The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in South (COMSATS) in Pakistan with other stakeholders inked a memorandum to form a thematic research group on natural product sciences.
The first foundation meeting of the group was held at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) in Karachi University, which is designated as a nucleus center for the thematic group.
The number of stakeholder countries included in the groups are, Pharmaceutical Industries Division, National Research Center (Egypt), Industrial Research and Consultancy Center (Sudan), Iranian Research Organisation for Science and Technology (Iran), Departement of Science Laboratory Technology, The Federal Polytechnic (Nigeria), Institute of Fundamental Studies (Sri Lanka), Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and University of Dhaka (Bangladesh), Department of Biology, Ege University (Turkey).
The basic frame work, process and responsibilities of the group were discussed in the first meeting.
The aim of the group will be to foster capabilities such as, capacity building, joint research projects, pharmacological and toxicological studies, standardization of herbal medicine, in the COMSAT member countries.
It was discussed in the meeting that ICCBS will play the role of an international team leader while COMSATS will provide financial support for travel to the scholars of thematic group, giving members a forum to exchange ideas and knowledge.
The meeting was headed by Prof. Dr.M.Iqbal Choudhary, Director ICCBS.
During the meeting he announced five scholarships for the members states, three of them were for postdoctoral research and two were for the technicians.
Dr. Choudhary said “ICCBS is ready to train and always welcomes scholars from other developing nations because young motivated trainees play an important role to raise the profile of any institute.”
During a presentation, Asst Professor Dr. Farzana Shaheen of Hussain Ibrahim Jamal Institute of Chemistry, which is also the mother institute of ICCBS, said that ICCBS is one of the most prestigious science research institutes in the world which presented 31,000 publications and holds state of the art research facilities at the frontier of knowledge.
Speaking to Dawn.com, Dr Shaheen said that a website will be developed after feedback from the members of the thematic group, while the next conference will be decided after co-ordination.
The COMSATS Director General (IA) Tajammul Hussain said that it is the first meeting to form a cluster group of various stakeholders in order to foster research and development in the field of natural product sciences.
He further added, “This is an initial step and we are hopeful that other members of COMSATS will come forward to join this group. In today’s meeting we have identified a project for joint venture.” – Dawn.com