Chairperson: Prof. Dr. Viqar Sultana
Biochemistry at University of Karachi started as part of the Department of Chemistry in 1962 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Rafiq Ahmed. Dr. MA Wali, Dr. Zain-ul-Abedin and Dr. Sabir Ali have served as Department Chairs. During the tenure of the first three Chairs research within the Department was closely associated with the interests of the Chairs and was mentor to many scientists as they established their research careers here. Through its history since then the department has flourished under the direction of eleven chairpersons and currently have 27 faculty members and a MPhil/PhD program for which the degrees have been granted in the department since 1975.
Research work at molecular level led to an era of explosive productivity within the department and the training of a whole generation of young scientists, many of whom went on to distinguished careers in Biochemistry. With the creation of an independent department, the faculty expanded slowly to include three professors by 1970; 12 professors by 2007 and now 27 faculty members in 2012. Student enrollment and PhDs awarded also increased as the department expanded with increase in the annual scientific productivity. In recent years an average doctoral student had just over 3 co-authored papers from dissertation research, and is first author on two papers.
The department sets out to meet a key goal of modern biology – to arrive at a full understanding of the structure and dynamic chemistry of the underlying molecular constituents of cells, the essential feature is that biochemistry uses molecular methods to explain biological processes. The focus of research has shifted towards molecular biochemistry, genomics and proteomics, biotechnology, cellular biophysics and structural biology, clinical biochemistry, biochemical neuropharmacology, bioinformatics, nutritional biochemistry with several independent groups engaged in studies in molecular structure determination, molecular mechanisms of membrane trafficking, protein folding, and signal transduction.
The Department of Biochemistry now covers such a wide range that it is difficult to draw a demarcation around biochemistry it provides a multidisciplinary and collaborative setting that brings together cell biologists, neurochemists , clinical biochemists, biophysicists, nutritionists, enzymologist, geneticists, systems/computational biologists and structural biologists which provides the foundations of pathology, pharmacology, physiology, genetics. The research programs of most of the faculty within the Department revolved around these central themes. Major projects within the Department involved the understanding of the mechanism and regulation of enzymes, clinical chemistry, biotechnology ,behavioral neuropharmacology, protein-protein interactions, characterization of proteins in disease conditions using 2-DE and Mass Spectrometry, western blotting, HPLC and the structure of proteins using biophysical methods such as ultracentrifugation and electron microscopy.
Subsidiary student teaching remains an important role of department faculty. The Biochemistry faculty members are principally involved in the first Basic Science course, Molecules, Genes, and Cells to approximately 1200 students per year. Graduate students are the leaders of tomorrow and play a critical role in keeping the department at the forefront of international research. Many of whom went on to distinguished careers in Biochemistry like faculty at the world renowned Universities like Harvard University and NIH USA .
Over the years, faculty in the Department of Biochemistry has received considerable recognition, including receipt of major University awards, election to the National Academy of Sciences, International Advisory committee members and International Scientific Society Council members. We are proud of our history and current status, and we strive towards continued excellence in research, training, and service in the field of biochemistry.
- Excel in Undergraduate, Graduate and Post graduate education
- Serve the University through leadership in forums committed to admissions and curriculum
- Conduct world class research in Biochemistry
- Under graduate courses
- Graduate courses
- Post graduate courses for MPhil/PhD students
Our faculty members of Biochemistry department are leaders in the academic forums and participate actively in faculty committees.
Biochemistry form the core of life sciences, the department intend to play in the dissemination and application of knowledge through teaching and research. It is the aim of the department to promote the development of conducive scholarly environment to enhance intellectual capabilities, to offer graduate and undergraduate programs that are of international standards and to foster research and scholarly activities in biochemistry and interdisciplinary fields.
Graduates of Biochemistry usually get employment in well-known Pharmaceutical and food industries of Pakistan. Countless opportunities are available in clinical Laboratories, research institutes and teaching Institutions.
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