ISLAMABAD, Mar 13 (APP): Caretaker Minister for Health Ejaz Rahim Thursday urged the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) countries to adopt new approaches and initiatives for advancement in the field of science and technology.
“In this rapidly changing world, it is imperative for the OIC member-states not to be mere silent spectators and rather they should fully participate in various miracles which science has to offer in almost every sector of human endeavor”, said Ejaz Rahim while addressing the inaugural session of an International Workshop on Nanomedicine organized by the OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH), in collaboration with Higher Education Commission of Pakistan here at COMSTECH Secretariat building.
The Minister lauded the role of COMSTECH in promoting science and technology across the OIC region and the efforts being made by Prof. Dr. Atta-ur- Rahman, the Coordinator General COMSTECH for realization of the dream of scientific and technological independence the Ummah.
Rahim said that nanotechnology was the future of 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. Nevertheless, it is hoped that the workshop would bring together on a common forum all the active scientists in nanotech research and those involved in medicine research in Pakistan and other OIC member-states”, added the Minister.
Ejaz Rahim said the government had been spending generously for advancement in the field of science and technology and higher education during the last five years which clearly reflected in the significant increase of budgetary allocation in these areas.
Addressing the gathering, 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 the OIC member-states.
Highlighting the importance of research in nanoscience and nanotechnology he said that by the use of nano particles in medical diagnostics, early detection of cancers for instance breast tumor or brain tumor is possible and it was in use in the advanced world.
“Nano tubes are being used for diagnosis of diseases which is an amazing development and it is also being used in the industries,” he said.
Appraising the multicultural gathering about COMSTECH programs and initiatives, he said the efforts by COMSTECH in developing Literature Search Service, Inter-Library Resource Network, and Directory of Active Scientist 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 the 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 and 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.
COMSTECH has initiated a two-year thematic workshops program in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. This program is being jointly funded by Higher Education Commission (HEC) and COMSTECH. The workshop on Nanomedicine: the Use of Nano Particles in Medical Diagnostics is the 10th of its 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.
Faculty members, doctors, researchers, scientists and senior students from Malaysia, Libya, Tunisia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, 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.