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Cancer Research LAB – Cancer Research Group
The cancer research group (CRG) is a part of NUST Center of Virology and Immunology (ASAB), NUST. CRG is a specialized research group comprising individuals from different disciplines of biosciences like microbiology, immunology, molecular genetics, biotechnology, and cancer biology. Being at ASAB, we have the opportunity to work closely with other researchers working on different virological and immunological disorders.

The CRG originated in August 2009, the primary goal of which is to modulate cancer therapy. The special emphasis is on Leukemic cell biology, skin cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and the development of treatment regimens for different leukemia types. The projects have been designed with the ultimate aim of therapeutic interventions against leukemia through cytokines and RNA interference.
We are actively working with Molecular Hematology and Oncology group in National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad, and Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Islamabad.

Group Leader
Dr Hajra Saadia (

Group Members
Dr Rumeza Hanif (
Dr Mehak Rafiq (
Dr Maria Shabbir (

Lab Facilities
The CRL has fundamental molecular biology equipment including Thermal Cycler, Electrophoresis Units, Centrifuge Machine, Incubator, pH Meter, digital Balance etc. In addition we have access to the specialized equipment like FACS, HPLC, Genetic Analyzer, Confocal Microscope and CV chromo-scan installed at ASAB and other collaborating institutions.

We are currently working on the following projects:
Use of cytokines as immune regulators of Leukemia and Neutropenia.
Molecular profiling of Acute Myeloid Leukemia to find out the prevalence of gene translocations and duplications for better diagnosis and prognosis of AML.
Development of recombinant Hepatitis B surface antigen (rHBsAg) as potential vaccine candidate against HBV infections.
Development of vaccine candidates for treatment of cancers.

Recent Publications from our Group
1. Akhtar H, Tran SM, Hamming OJ, Khalid M, Terczyn'ska-Dyla E, Hartmann R, Sadia H 2015 ‘Expression of interferon-lambda receptor (IFN-λR1) in mononuclear phagocyte cells and effects of levels of newly discovered type III interferon lambda 4 (in-vitro study)’, Journal of Clinical Virology, Vol. 69, pp. 230. 
2. Akhtar H, Islam G, Jan SU, Nawaz A, Akhtar S, Hartmann R, Sadia H 2015 ‘Identification of essential regulatory elements responsible for the explicit expression of IL-28Rα and their effect on critical SNPs using in-silico methods’, Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol.28, No.4(Suppl), pp.1523-1532. 
3. Rehman Z, Fahim A, Sadia H 2015 ‘Deciphering the mystery of hepatitis B virus receptors: A historical prospective’, VirusDisease, vol. 26. 
4. Akhtar H, Hamming OJ, Jan SU, Akhtar S, Dyla ET, Siupka P, Shafique A, Hartmann R, Sadia H 2015, ‘Unrevealing the molecular mechanism governing the tissue specific expression of IFNλR1’, Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Accepted