KARACHI- The 15th International Symposium on Natural Product Chemistry (ISNPC-15) was opened at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (UoK) on Monday.
Vice Chancellor University of Karachi Prof. Dr. Khalid Mehmood Iraqi inaugurated the symposium in the Prof. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium. Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, Chairman of Prime Minister’s Task Force on Science and Technology and ICCBS Patron-in-chief, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Director of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, and COMSTECH Coordinator General, Mr. Aziz Latif Jamal, Chairman Husein Ebrahim Jamal Foundation, Ms. Nadira Panjwani, Chairperson Dr. Panjwani Memorial Trust, Consulate General Of Indonesia in Karachi, Turkish diplomats, national and international delegates and other dignitaries attended the opening ceremony. As many as 60 scholars from more than 20 countries are participating in the conference, while 400 scholars are only from Pakistan.
Delivering the inaugural speech, Prof. Khalid Iraqi urged the government’s higher officials to support public universities and research institutions in the country instead of indulging themselves in any rivalry action against the national academia. He praised the role of ICCBS – University of Karachi in terms of encouraging academic and research activities and producing high-quality graduates in the country. The remarkable achievements of the international center reflect the quality of leadership and dedicated teamwork, he said.
Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman welcomed all the delegates, especially those coming from abroad, to the ISNPC-15, the most prestigious international event in the field of natural product sciences, and hoped that this global science symposium will be very stimulating and thought-provoking for the participants.
Talking about the past of the ICCBS, he said, “I was appointed as the Co-Director in 1977. The day and night teamwork 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. I was appointed as the director after the demise of Prof. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui.”
This center has now triple recognition of UNESCO Center of Excellence, WHO Collaborating Center, and OIC Center of Excellence, he said.
He said that science was always a work in progress. It is an ever-changing phenomenon, he said, and asked the young scientists not to give up, and keep continuously striving for new horizons in the vigorous fields of sciences.
Prof. Iqbal Choudhary said, “The ISNPC-15 is focused on natural products chemistry, which plays an important role in human life, from nutraceuticals to cosmetics, and form agrochemicals to pharmaceuticals. As many as 60 scholars from more than 20 countries are participating in the conference, he said.
He said in the last few years ICCBS – University of Karachi had achieved many milestones. The center is serving the pharmaceutical, chemical, and food industries in the country through Industrial Analytical Center, the Center for Bioequivalence Studies and Clinical Research, as well as Sindh Forensic DNA Laboratory, he said.
Following the request of the Sindh government, the ICCBS helped the provincial government in terms of strengthening and upgrading of the existing Chemico-Bacterial Laboratory facilities of Sindh, he mentioned.
The Center has played a very important role in the national flight against COVID-19, he said, and maintained that the National Institute of Virology, the only institute in the field of viral diseases, has conducted over 0.35 million COVID tests, monitored the genome sequencing of delta variants.
Mr. Aziz Latif Jamal said, “H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry is leading the national capacity-building efforts in various fields of chemical science and technology.”
The H.E.J. Institute, which was established in 1966, is a flagship initiative of our foundation, he said, adding that the center has established productive research and academic linkages with top institutions of the world.