The education is the utmost necessity of life for the success of any nation. Comparing the education system of Pakistan from past to present, it is quite different. Earlier, the education system of Pakistan is not as much strong and stable as now. Currently the education in Pakistan is overseen by the government’s ministry of education and the provincial governments, whereas the federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and in the financing of research.
The International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) at the University of Karachi is one of best example. It the one of the finest academic research establishments of chemical and biomedical sciences in Pakistan as compare to developing countries. It is the institution of higher learning which imparts highest quality research training to its students in frontier fields of science and technology.
The International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) comprising of H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry and Dr. Panjwani Centre for Molecular and Drug Research since its inception intended to be a pre-eminent academic research and teaching institution recognized as a world leader in training of scholars and research in frontier fields of science and technology.
It is the institution of higher learning which imparts highest quality research training to its students in frontier fields of science and technology. It strives to contribute in fulfilling the need of quality manpower in science and technology and expect that the graduates will serve the nation and humanity at large. Having sophisticated research instruments and quality faculty, it shows that Pakistan has done remarkable job in the field of higher education and research.
On the retirement of Prof. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui as Chairman PCSIR his services were taken up by the University of Karachi and a Postgraduate Institute of Chemistry was established under his Directorship in 1967 in a wing of the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Atta ur Rahman joined the Institute in March 1969 after obtaining Ph.D. from the Kings College, Cambridge University, later accepted a 4-year assignment as a Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University. He was then sent by Cambridge University to the University of Karachi during 1971-74 to assist in the setting up of a modern postgraduate institute of chemistry, and he brought with him donations of gas chromatograph, balances and a combustion microanalyser from Cambridge University.
Dr. Atta ur Rahman succeeded in obtaining grants to acquire a new mass and NMR spectrometers, both of which were installed in 1973, within a year of his return to Pakistan. He was appointed as the Co-Director in 1977 and succeeded in winning several major projects for the institute from the West, which have transformed the institute into the finest center in Asia and one of the best in the world in the field of Natural Product Chemistry. In January 1990, Prof. Atta ur Rahman was appointed as the Director, while Professor Viqar Uddin Ahmad took over as Co-Director in 1990. In 2000, Prof. Bina S. Siddiqui was appointed as the Co-Director on the retirement of Professor Ahmad, while in 2002 Professor Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary was given the responsibilities of the Director (Acting) of ICCBS and Co-Director of Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research. In September 2008, he was appointed as the Director of the ICCBS institutions. During last ten years, the institute has gone through a rapid and unprecedented expansion, both in terms of infrastructure development and academic programs, while maintaining the highest quality in research and student training.
A generous donation was offered to the University for the Institute by the leading philanthropist/industrialist Mr. Latif Ebrahim Jamal on behalf of the Husein Ebrahim Jamal Foundation in 1976, the largest donation at that time in the history of the country. The Institute was accordingly named as “Husein Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry”, in the memory of late Mr. Husein Ebrahim Jamal.
The efforts of Professor Dr. W. Voelter of Tuebingen University, Germany, deserve a special praise since the initial grant of 2.3 million DM from the Republic of Germany was largely due to his untiring efforts, and collaborative researches continue with his group till today.
The institute has organized a number of major international conferences and symposia on various aspects of Natural Product Chemistry, Spectroscopy and Protein Chemistry. The institute had the distinction of hosting the 19th IUPAC Symposium on Natural Product Chemistry in January 1994 in which over 500 scientists from 52 countries, including 4 Nobel Laureates participated.
Additionally the Institute has also been selected as one of the three library centers of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). The H.E.J. Institute has been designated as the W.H.O. Center for Pesticide Analysis for the Eastern Mediterranean Region. The institute is also a member of the IUCN-International, WAITRO, and COMSATS. More recently the institute is designated as the OIC Center of Excellence in Chemical Sciences. In 2001, the H.E.J. Research Institute became a constituent institution of the International Center for Chemical Sciences (later named as International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences).
In 2004, the H.E.J. Research Institute received the most prestigious IDB (Islamic Development Bank) prize for the best science institution in the entire Islamic world. Recently, the IDB awarded the best science institution again to the H.E.J. Research Institute (second time), an unprecedented honor to any science institution in OIC region.
In August 2003, an Industrial Analytical Center was established as the service wing of H. E. J. Institute. Third World Center (TWC) Laboratory complex was formally inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2005 as an extension of the H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry. The building of TWC was renamed as Prof. Atta ur Rahman Laboratories by the Executive Board in 2011, in recognition of the outstanding services of Prof. Atta ur Rahman who is now serving the institute as the Patron-in-chief.
Molecular medicine is an emerging new field, which deals with the understanding of the molecular basis of diseases and then developing appropriate strategies for their early diagnosis, management and elimination. Knowledge of human biology and disease mechanism at molecular level is the most important step in developing effective disease prevention and treatment. In the year 2004, the Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD) was established through a generous donation and patronage of Ms Nadira Panjwani (Chairperson, Dr. Panjwani Memorial Trust) in the memory of her beloved father, Dr. Mohammad Hussain Panjwani, a leading scholar and philanthropist. The main objective of the center is to train highly qualified manpower in the emerging new fields of molecular medicine and drug development. The academicians, clinicians and pharmaceutical researchers are brought together to translate basic scientific discoveries into new therapies, vaccines and diagnostic tests.
Late Latif Ebrahim Jamal, Chairman Ebrahim Jamal Foundation, continuing his patronage to the Institute, established the Latif Ebrahim Jamal National Science Information Center in 2005. The beautiful building of this one of the largest paperless libraries of the region was constructed under the direct supervision of Mr. Aziz Latif Jamal S.I. (Current Chairman Husein Ebrahim Jamal Foundation), able and committed son of (Late) Mr. Latif Ebrahim Jamal.
ICCBS has planned to conduct two major conferences MMDR, ISNPC and some workshops / Seminars in 2012-2013.
A large number of eminent foreign scholars came and delivered lecture series, supervise research of students, discuss and guide institutional development and to arrange training of young scholars abroad in frontier disciplines. Some eminent foreign scholars Dr. Daniel Hoessli, Switzerland, Dr. Hartmut Wellerdte (Germany), Dr. Mujeeb Uddin Shad (USA), Prof. Dr. Sumaira Amir (USA), Dr. Munir Ozturk (Turkey), Dr. Ursula Ann Karra (Germany), Prof. Dr. Ayhan Ulubelen (Turkey), Prof. Dr. Bohari M. Yamin (Malaysia), Prof. Dr. David L. Smith (USA) , Prof. Dr. Elias Baydoun (Lebanon), Prof. Dr. Heiko Iven (Germany), Prof. Dr. Iqbal Ahmed (Malaysia), Prof. Dr. Khalilur Rahman (Bangladesh), Prof. Dr. Laura D. Shirtellif , USA, Prof. Dr. Massimo Bertino, USA, Prof. Dr. Nicholas Levents, USA, Prof. Dr. Suchi Gua, Columbia, Prof. Dr. Thomas Nugent , Germany, Dr. Aftab Ahmed, USA, Dr. Aliya Malik, UK, Dr. Azwani, Malaysia
ICCBS has over 110 laboratories of various sizes distributed in four large buildings spread over 50 acres of land in ICCBS campus. These laboratories are well equipped with research facilities, chemicals, glasswares and other appliances.
Over the years the Institute has acquired sophisticated modern instruments of research worth over US $ 35 million. These facilities make this institute one of the finest in the developing world and at part to major universities of the West. The Laboratories includes NMR Labortaratoies, Mass Spectrometric Laboratories, Protein Chemistry Laboratories, Biotechnology Laboratories, Marine Chemistry Laboratories, Tropical Research Laboratories, Microbial Transformation Laboratories, Enzyme Inhibition Laboratories, Organic Synthesis Labs, Computational Chemistry Laboratories, Immunology Laboratory, Bioassay and Plant Screening Laboratories and Plant Extract Bank.
Being an international center of excellence, the ICCBS has signed a number MoUs with many international institutions. This includes:
- ICCBS with European Molecular Biology(EMBO)
Collaboration is established between International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences and European Molecular Biology (EMBO), Heidelberg, Germany in terms of Exchange of Faculty, workshops and courses, joint M Sc. or Ph. D. activities and joint grant proposals in April 2012.
- PCMD with University of Dhaka
Memorandum of Understanding signed between University of Dhaka and Dr. Panjwani center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research and H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences for collaboration and Training on Various aspects of Chemical and Biomedical Sciences in May 2012.
- ICCBS with Institute of Laboratory Animal Sciences(ILAS)
A Memorandum of Understanding signed Between Institute of Laboratory Animal Sciences (ILAS) (Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS), Beijing, China) and International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) (University of Karachi, Karachi Pakistan) on drug discovery with animal models in December 14, 2012.
- ICCBS with University Kebangasaan(UKM)
Memorandum of Understanding was Signed between International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences ICCBS and the University Kebangsaan (UKM), Malaysia on March 12, 2011.
- ICCBS with TWAS-UNESCO
Memorandum of Understanding was signed between International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) and the TWAS-UNESCO Associate ship Scheme at Centers of Excellence in the South, Trieste-Italy for five years on October 26, 2011.
- ICCBS with Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
Memorandum of Understanding was signed between International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) and Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan, November 2011.
- ICCBS with Sultan Qaboos University Musscat
Memorandum of Understanding was
signed between “Sultan Qaboos University Musscat”, and “International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences” for the “Synthesis of New Novel Therapeutically Active Molecules”, on May 05, 2010.
- ICCBS with Macter International (PVT) Limited
Memorandum of Understanding was signed between “Macter International (PVT) Limited” and “International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences” for the “Synthesis of New Novel Therapeutically Active Molecules”, on August 30, 2010.
- ICCBS with Sultan Qaboos University Musscat
Memorandum of Understanding was signed between “Sultan Qaboos University Musscat”, and “International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences” for the “Synthesis of New Novel Therapeutically Active Molecules”, on May 05, 2010.
In ICCBS, several scientific programs of MS/Ph. D in all units for international students including In organic Chemistry, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Plant Biotechnology, Plant Biochemistry, Physical Chemistry, Textile Chemistry, Nano Chemistry, Genome, Environmental Chemistry, Molecular Medicine, Drug Research and Genetics.
ICCBS has established collaboration between International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences and European Molecular Biology (EMBO), Heidelberg, Germany in terms of Exchange of Faculty, workshops and courses, joint M Sc. or Ph. D. activities and joint grant proposals. ICCBS has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TWAS-UNESCO Associate ship Scheme at Centers of Excellence in the South, Trieste-Italy for five years.