Germany supports virology center at ICCBS-UoK

KARACHI, Aug 22 (APP):German universities were providing technical assistance to Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research, University of Karachi (UoK) to set
up a Virology Center.
Pakistani and German scientists expressed these views in a meeting recently held at the Dr. Panjwani Center, said a statement on Thursday.
They observed that although Pakistan has the first highest global burden of viral diseases, the country lacks the national capacity in the field of virology. The country has suffered a dilemma of infectious diseases such as dengue, Crimean-Congo
fever, hepatitis, measles, and polio etc, they added.
Director, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi Prof. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary arranged the meeting which was also attended by German Consul General in Karachi Eugen Wollfarth, and Director, Institute of Medical Virology and Epidemiology of Viral Diseases,
Tuebingen University, Germany, Prof. Dr. Iftner Thomas.
Other officials of the international center were also present on the occasion.
Prof. Iqbal Choudhary welcomed the visiting German scholars to the international center, and said that the virology center was being built in collaboration with Germanys Tuebingen University.
This collaboration contains technical assistance, faculty and technicians training, guidance in building development etc, he added.
The vision of the Virology Center, ICCBS is to improve the health status in Pakistan as the country has suffered a lot from infectious diseases such as dengue, Crimean-Congo fever, hepatitis, measles, and polio etc, he said.
The virology center would provide quality services by advancing the virology research in laboratory technology, training, and rapid diagnostics, he added.
This center provides the excellence in virological research, to conduct a scientific investigation on viral and other diseases, to contribute knowledge policies and practices, and to engage in capacity development for improved public health in
Pakistan, he said.
He informed the meeting that the center had already procured state-of-the-art technologies for cutting edge instruments.
The construction of Bio-Safety Level-3 (BSL-3), an important component of the virology laboratory, is almost completed where the experiments involving live viruses will be carried out, he maintained.
This would enable the researchers to test the anti-viral activity of various compounds and to test vaccine candidates for their immune reactivity, he said.
Multiple memorandums of understanding (MOUs) have also been signed with different renowned international institutes to further train more personnel, he said.
Addressing the occasion, Eugen Wollfarth said that his country would extend his full support to research cause of the international center.
He said that Germany had good relations with Pakistan, and the country intended to further extend this bilateral relation.
German scholar, Prof. Iftner Thomas said that Tuebingen University would lead the Dr. Panjwani Center to run this state-of-the-art virology center, which was designed to provide quality services by advancing the virology research in laboratory
technology, training, and rapid diagnostics.

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