Pakistan China Genomics Workshop 2018, held on 17th-19th July 2018


A three day “PAKISTAN- CHINA GENOMICS WORKSHOP” was held at National Center for Bioinformatics (NCB), Quaid-I-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad from July 17th till July 19th, 2018. The workshop was a joint effort by Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan, and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and was organized by NCB-QAU faculty with the support of Dean Faculty of Biology and Vice Chancellor Javed Ashraf. The sole purpose of this workshop was to train PhD scholars and faculty in handling of big data related to life sciences.

A delegate of 5 eminent scientists from Beijing Institute of Genomics (BIG) lead by Prof. Dr. Yiming Bao (Director of BIG Data Center in Beijing Institute of Genomics, CAS) conducted this workshop and around a hundred participants registered from different institutes of Islamabad including National University of Science and Technology (NUST), COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) and Pir Mehr Ali Shah (PMAS) Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi. Extensive training sessions comprised of lectures and hands on training. The Chinese delegate also held various meetings with HEC, Faculty members of QAU and president of COMSTECH Prof Dr. Qasim Jan to discuss the possibilities of carrying out research activities between Pakistan and China. This entire effort was a part of larger collaborative initiative between National Center for Bioinformatics, QAU and Beijing Institute of Genomics, CAS. National Center for Bioinformatics has been a proud collaborator in one-belt and one-road initiative with BIG Data Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The “Global Omic Data Sharing Project” is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China. Prof. Dr. Yiming Bao of Beijing Institute of Genomics, CAS is the principle investigator of this project and Prof. Dr. Amir Ali Abbasi of National Center for Bioinformatics, QAU is the Co- Principle investigator. Within two years long partnership, Dr Amir Ali Abbasi visited twice (2016 and 2017) as invited speaker to attend international Big data forum in Beijing Institute of Genomics, furthermore, National Center for Bioinformatics has hosted a five member delegate comprising of renowned scientists and researchers from China in July 2017 under the leadership of Director BIG, Prof. Yongbiao Xue that included signing of the MoU between the Quaid-i-Azam University and the BIG members. This visit was followed by a visit from delegate of Quaid-i-Azam University including the honourable vice chancellor, Prof. Dr Javed Ashraf to BIG in January 2018.

This three day workshop (July 17th-July 19th 2018) enlightened on the participants, the significance of the Global Omics Data Sharing Initiative and the effect of this project on economic front between China and Pakistan. Besides this, the workshop enabled the PhD scholars and faculty to get insight of Next Generation DNA Sequencing Technology and its role in accelerating biological and biomedical research through the wide applications on pharmaceutical sciences, precision medicine, forensic investigations, targeted DNA sequencing and gene expression profiling of cancer patients, and small RNA sequencing of infectious diseases like hepatitis and AIDS. Under the umbrella of Global Omics Data Sharing Initiative, workshop also aimed to study and comprehend the biodiversity in Pakistan. In particular, the workshop highlighted the importance of DNA sequencing of whole genomes of endangered species of animals and plants. This academic venture with the leading scientists of the China will greatly encourage young graduates of Pakistan to pursue cutting edge science and be in strong collaborative position with the rest of the world. 

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