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Spotlighting recent advancements in biological and biomedical sciences research

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Aga Khan University Marks 40 Years of Excellence in Research and Education

The ‘Trailblazing Onwards’ theme marked the 3rd Annual Biological Sciences Conference, commemorating the 40th year of Aga Khan University’s (AKU) excellence in research and education. This conference served as a platform for biological science researchers in the country to present fundamental science and mechanistic studies across diverse fields of human and animal biological sciences. It also facilitated collaboration and idea exchange among experts in the scientific community.

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Featuring national and international speakers, along with oral presentations and poster displays, the conference delved into topics such as cancer biology, infectious diseases, multi-omics, stem cells, regenerative medicine, functional foods, natural products, neurosciences, artificial intelligence, and healthcare. Additionally, it explored aspects of teaching, learning, and assessment in training programs. The one-day event brought together experts not only from AKU but also from institutions like Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Ziauddin University, Salim Habib University, University of Karachi, NED, Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, and Dow University.

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“The Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at AKU is committed to enhancing scholarship and research responsive to the needs of the country and to the success of its students and trainees through transformative learning experiences,” said Dr Kulsoom Ghias, Chair of the BBS Department. “The annual biological sciences conference is an excellent opportunity to bring researchers together, to network, build collaborations, and showcase impactful scholarship.”

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Aamir Ahmed, specializing in Cell and Development Biology at University College London, UK. Dr. Ahmed discussed the application of Wnt signaling in translational therapies, using small molecules to combat various cancers and enhance the accessibility of chemotherapy. Dr. Fatima Khwaja Rehman, representing the University of North Florida, USA, presented cutting-edge research focused on cancer stem cells.

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Pre-conference workshops on artificial intelligence, animal sciences, and reference managers played a crucial role in equipping participants with advanced skills and tools. “These workshops significantly enhanced research methodologies and the application of technology, contributing to exploring new frontiers within the field of biological sciences,” 

explained AKU Associate Professor, Dr Sadia Fatima.

Dr. Muhammad Tariq, a speaker from LUMS, provided insights into the epigenetic factors involved in maintaining cell fate. Additionally, Professor Rizwan Ahmed Khan, affiliated with Salim Habib University, explored the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in medical imaging and healthcare.

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