The Board of Advances Studies and Research of the University of Karachi awarded PhD degrees to five people from the Dr AQ Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIGBE) based on their potentially groundbreaking work.
The PhDs were awarded to Dr Saboohi Raza, Dr Sitwat Zehra, Dr Saima Saleem, Dr Aaliya Riaz and Dr Qamar-un-Nisa. Dr Raza used a special technique of genetic engineering in her study called Somaclonal Variation aimed at identifying good sugarcane, while Dr Zehra was awarded the degree as she worked on Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms (PMS) and studied the variations in hormones in such cases.
Dr Saima Saleem focused on oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), more commonly known as oral cancer. In her research, she found that due to the use of paan, Chalia, Gutka, Niswar and Main Puri, there is an alteration of a gene named TP53¸which is responsible for tumour suppression.
Dr. Aaliya Riaz completed her research on an enzyme extracted from a unique bacteria and named it Bacillus. This enzyme is widely used by the medicine, food, garment, paper and the ethanol productive industries.
Meanwhile, Dr Qamar-un-Nisa’s research was on a single gene named AVP1 that has a salt and drought tolerance ability. This gene was introduced in Brassica Napus (Conola) in order to develop a salt and dough tolerance property in the same species.