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Posted: March 13, 2008
Pakistan Minister of Health inaugurates international workshop on Nanomedicine
(Nanowerk News) The International Workshop on Nanomedicine organized by OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH), in collaboration with Higher Education Commission of Pakistan was inaugurated by Mr. Ejaz Rahim, the Federal Health Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, on March 13, 2008 at COMSTECH Secretariat building in Islamabad, Pakistan. He was the Chief Guest of the ceremony.
COMSTECH had initiated a 2-year thematic workshops Program in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. This program is being jointly funded by Higher Education Commission (HEC) and COMSTECH. The International workshop on Nanomedicine: the Use of Nano Particles in Medical Diagnostics is the 10th of the series which has been organized to provide a platform for researchers from universities and research institutes of OIC member states to share their knowledge and develop collaborative research programs in nanomedicine. The primary objective of the workshop is to bring the forefront and cutting edge in molecular medicine to scientists from the developing parts of the world; in particular those from OIC countries.
Mr. Ejaz Rahim, Minister of Health, appreciated the role of COMSTECH in promoting science and technology across OIC region and lauded the efforts being made by Prof. Dr. Atta ur Rahman, the Coordinator General COMSTECH for realization of the dream of scientific and technological independence of the Ummah. He said that nanotechnology was the future of the science and technology and efforts made by COMSTECH for development of expertise and human resource in nanomedicine would go a long way in the field of medical research and development in OIC member states.
“In Pakistan, I don’t think that anyone is still particularly active to explore the applications of nanotechnology particularly in medicine. It is hoped that the workshop shall bring together on a common forum the active scientists in nanotech research and those involved in medicine research in Pakistan and other OIC member states”, said the Minister for Health.
“In present scenario of restructuring of OIC it is important that new approaches and initiatives for developing science and technology in Islamic world are critically examined. In this rapidly changing world it is imperative that the OIC member states should not be silent spectators but fully participate in many miracles which science has to offer in almost every sector of human endeavor”, he said further. Talking on commitment of Pakistan government, Mr. Ejaz Rahim said that the Government of Pakistan had been spending generously for betterment of science and technology and higher education during last 4 or 5 years which was clearly reflected in the significant increase of budgetary allocation in those two areas.
Prof. Dr. Atta ur Rahman, Coordinator General COMSTECH addreessed the gathering from various countires of OIC region including Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion Prof Dr Atta ur Rahman said that thematic workshops in frontier technologies were being organized to find solutions and develop strategies to solve specific problems of economic importance in OIC member states.
Highlighting the importance of research in nanoscience and nanotechnology he said’ “by the use of nano particles in medical diagnostics early detection of cancers for instance breast tumor or brain tumors is possible and it was in use in the advanced world. Nano tubes are being used for diagnosis of diseases which is an excellent development and it is also being used in industries.” He appraised the multicultural gathering about COMSTECH programs and initiatives. He was of the view that efforts by COMSTECH in developing Literature Search Service, Inter-Library Resource Network, and Directory of Active Scientist etc. could be made a base for sharing knowledge and expertise among OIC member states.
“COMSTECH has taken initiative for introduction and application of nanotechnology in OIC region and this workshop is designed to develop awareness and expertise in nano-medicine across the OIC region.” he said further.
Earlier, Dr. Anwar Nasim COMSTECH Advisor Science apprised the gathering of the purpose of thematic workshop series. “The program will impact the ongoing programs in biotechnology in OIC member countries as it focuses on arranging specific thematic symposia and workshops on the pattern of specialized symposia organized by Cold Spring Harbor Labs, New York, USA & ICGEB. The ultimate goal is to develop strategies to find solutions through the applications of frontier biotechnologies. These strategies will guide a prescribed agenda of research for various universities and research institutes in OIC region.” said Dr Nasim.
Faculty members, doctors, researchers, scientists and senior students from Malasia, Libya, Tunisia, Iran, Saudi Arbia, Indonesia, Sudan, and Pakistan are participating in the weeklong workshop. Professor Mathias Brust, Professor Wolfgang J. Parak, Dr. Pilar Rivera Gil from top ranking universities of Germany, UK and USA and Dr Irshad Hussain, Dr N.M. Butt, Dr Arshad Saleem, Professor Rashid Bashir from Pakistan are the resource persons for the workshop.
Nanomedicine exploits the novel physical, chemical and biological properties of materials at the nanometer range. Nanomedicine research includes the development of diagnostics for rapid monitoring, targeted cancer therapies, localized drug delivery, improved cell material interactions, scaffolds for tissue engineering, and gene delivery systems. It also refers to highly specific medical intervention at the molecular scale for curing disease or repairing damaged tissues, such as bone, muscle, or nerve etc. Techniques towards ultra-high spatial resolution, molecular resolution and ultra-high sensitivity provide a better understanding of the cell’s complex “machinery” in basic research.
COMSTECH is a Ministerial Standing Committee of the Organisation of Islamic Conference working for promotion of science and technology across the OIC region. Its Seretariate is in Islamabad, Pakistan. COMSTECH was founded in 1981 during the Third Islamic Summit held at Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.