UoP VC elected as Pakistan Academy of Sciences fellow

PESHAWAR   -   Vice-Chancellor, University of Pesha­war, Prof Dr Muhammad Idrees has been elected as a fellow of the presti­gious Pakistan Academy of Sciences, as an acknowledgment of his meritorious services to the field of Virology over the last two decades. 

Founded in 1953, the Pakistan Acad­emy of Sciences is a non-governmen­tal and non-political supreme scientific body of distinguished scientists in the country. The government of Pakistan has given the consultative and advisory status to the Academy “on all problems relating to the development of scien­tific efforts in the country”. At present, there are 83 Fellows, and 34 Foreign Fellows of the Academy. 

Expressing his feelings on the elec­tion, Prof Idrees said that he is thank­ful to his students, colleagues, and staff members who have worked with him in his teaching and research journey over the last two decades. 

It is worth noting that as recognition of his tremendous contribution in the field of Molecular Virology, The Roy­al College of Pathologists London-UK awarded him with Fellowship of the College (FRCPath) in 2015 which is a unique honour for a Pakistani scientist. 

Dr Idrees is also a recipient of “TWAS Best Young Scientist of the Year-2009” award, the PAS Gold Medal 2016 in the scientific discipline “Emerging Tech­nologies’ by the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, and “Research Productivity Awards” for his excellent performance in the field of Molecular Biology. 

The learned doctor has also been awarded a certificate of appreciation for excellent lab support in the detec­tion of dengue fever cases during the outbreak in the year 2011 and award­ed a shield for his excellent perfor­mance in ‘Lab Services in Case Detec­tion for Dengue Fever’ by World Health Organisation.

Prof Dr Muhammad Idrees started his career as a Research Officer at the Centre for Applied Molecular Biology (CAMB), where he established a state-of-the-art Molecular-based Diagnostic Lab for the detection of infectious diseases to facil­itate the public with reliable, accurate, rapid, and more economical diagnostic services for widespread contagious in­fections and genetic diseases. 

Dr Idrees current scientific and clin­ical interests encompass basic and ap­plied research utilising modern mo­lecular based techniques. Recently he has developed an excellent teaching and research programme (BS, MPhil & PhD) in Applied Molecular Biology & Forensic Sciences for which, he has been internationally acclaimed as an eminent Molecular Biologist.

He is the first in the country to carry out pioneering studies on viral hepati­tis and he along with his team has been supervising the study of the genome variations in hepatitis viruses and My­cobacterium tuberculosis. Dr Idrees and his team focused on providing af­fordable health care to the communi­ty. Dr Idrees’s research group worked hard to produce low-cost Molecular Di­agnostic Kits for the detection of HBV, HCV, tuberculosis, dengue, and HCV Genotyping. This helped to overcome the inherent constraints of practicing modern molecular tools for disease di­agnosis and encouraged/contributed to the indigenous technologies around molecular diagnostics. He has been the principal/co-principal investigator of several research projects funded by na­tional and international funding agen­cies, namely Ministry of Science & Tech­nology, HEC, EMRO-WHO and Pak-USA.

Prof Muhammad Idrees remained the Vice-Chancellor of Hazara Univer­sity from 2016 to 2019 and is at pres­ent serving as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peshawar since De­cember 2020.

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