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Dr. Muhammad Faraz Bhatti
Assistant Professor
Plant Biotechnology

National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
H-12 Campus, Islamabad
Tel : +92 51 9085 6136

Molecular Biology (Virology)

PhD (Molecular Biology, Imperial College London, UK)

Muhammad Faraz Bhatti is serving as an Assistant Professor at Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) since, January 2012. He received his M.Sc (Hons) degree in Plant Breeding and Genetics from University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) in 2007. Later, in the same year he was awarded a prestigious overseas scholarshipby Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan to commence his PhD studies at one of the finest and top ranked institute of the world, Imperial College London (UK). During his stay at Imperial College, he investigated the role of double-stranded RNA mycoviruses and their effects on human opportunistic pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus. In October 2011, he acquired his PhD degree from Imperial College London in the field of Molecular Biology and returned to Pakistan to serve the nation.


Fungal viruses (mycoviruses) ubiquitously infect all major taxa of fungi. Knowledge of mycovirusesis relatively new and that most scientists are hardly aware of its existence. The role of mycoviruses in their respective hosts is largely unknown.There is need for extensive research in the field of Mycology and Virology to elucidate the role of emerging mycoviruses in different fungi.

Faraz and his research team arecurrently interested in:

•    Identification of novel mycoviruses infecting pathogenic fungi
•    Molecular characterisation of novel mycoviruses and understanding its phylogeny
•    Studying the impact of mycoviruses on the fitness of their hosts
•    Mycovirus induced gene silencing
•    Extending the host range of mycoviruses using novel techniques
•    Exploitation of mycoviruses for biological control

Research Supervision

Currently supervising 3 PhD candidates and 1 MS student

Graduated student

Hafsah Akhtar, (2013). Identification of mycoviral infections in environmental fungal isolates. Undergraduate Dissertation (NUST)
Research Publications
1- Bhatti, M. F., Bignell, E. M. and Coutts, R. H. A., (2011). Complete nucleotide sequences of two dsRNAs associated with a new partitivirus infecting Aspergillus fumigatus. Arch. Virol., 156, 1677-1680. 

2- Bhatti, M. F., Jamal, A., Petrou, M. A, Cairns, T. C., Bignell, E. M. and Coutts, R.H.A., (2011). The effects of dsRNA mycoviruses on growth and murine virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus. Fungal Genet. Biol., 48, 1071-1075. 

3- Bhatti, M. F., Jamal, A., Bignell, E. M., Petrou, M. A. and Coutts, R.H.A., (2012). Incidence of  dsRNA mycoviruses in a collection of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates. Mycopathologia, 174, 323-326. 

4- Kozlakidis, Z., Herrero, N., Ozkan, S., Kanhayuwa, L., Jamal, A., Bhatti, M. F. and Coutts, R. H. A., (2013). Sequence determination of a quadripartite dsRNA virus isolated from Aspergillus foetidus. Arch. Virol., 158, 267-72. 

5- Kozlakidis, Z., Herrero, N., Ozkan, S., Kanhayuwa, L., Bhatti, M. F. and Coutts, R. H. A., (2013). A novel dsRNA element isolated from the Aspergillus foetidus mycovirus complex. Arch. Virol., 158, 2625-2628. 

6- Siddiqa, A., Zainab, M., Qadri, I., Bhatti, M. F. and Parish, J. L., (2014). Prevalence and genotyping of high risk human papillomavirus in cervical cancer samples from Punjab, Pakistan. Viruses, 6, 2762-2777

7- Siddiqa, A., Léon,K. C., James, C. D., Bhatti, M. F., Roberts, S. and Parish, J. L. (2015).
The human papillomavirus type 16 L1 protein interacts directly with E2 and enhances E2-dependent replication and transcription activation
J. Gen. Virol.97; 2274-2285.

8- Siddiqa, A. and Bhatti, M. F. (2016) Genetic variation of high-risk HPV-16 from a cervical cancer biopsy collected in Pakistan.  Future Virol.  11; 31-38.

9- Iftikhar, H., Naveed, N., Virk, N., Bhatti, M.F. and Song, F., (2017). In silico analysis reveals widespread presence of three gene families, MAPK, MAPKK and MAPKKK, of the MAPK cascade from crop plants of Solanaceae in comparison to the distantly-related syntenic species from Rubiaceae, coffee. PeerJ, 5, p.e3255.

10- Jan, S. U., Jamil, M., Alipour, H., Bhatti, M. F., and Gul, A. (2017). Analysis of salinity tolerance potential in synthetic hexaploid wheat. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 49(4); 1269-1278.

11- Aslam, R., Williams, L.E., Bhatti, M.F. and Virk, N. (2017). Genome-wide analysis of wheat calcium ATPases and potential role of selected ACA s and ECA s in calcium stress. BMC Plant Biology, 17(1); p.174.

12- Younus, A. and Bhatti M.F. (2017) A Comprehensive Computational Mutation-Structure Function Approach for Determining Potential Drug Target Sites among Poliovirus 2A Protease. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 16(12); 2831-2841.

13- Asif, A., Zeeshan, M., Hashmi, I., Zahid, U. and  Bhatti. M. F. (2018). Microbial quality assessment of indoor air in a large hospital building during winter and spring seasons. Build Environ., 135; 68-73. 

14- Younus, A., Munawar, S., Bhatti, M. F, Ikram, A., Awan, F., Jabeen, I., Virk, N., Janjua, H., Arshad, M., (2018). Structure-Function Mutational Analysis and Prediction of the Potential Impact of High Risk Non-Synonymous Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism on Poliovirus 2A Protease Stability Using Comprehensive Informatics Approaches. Genes 9, 228.

15- Fahim, A., Rehman, Z., Bhatti, M. F., Ali, A., Virk, N., Rashid, A., Paracha, R. Z. (2018) Structural insights and characterization of human Npas4 protein. PeerJ 6:e4978

Other International Journals

1- Ghafoor, B., Ali, M.N., Ansari, U., Bhatti, M.F., Mir, M., Akhtar, H. and Darakhshan, F., (2016). New Biofunctional Loading of Natural Antimicrobial Agent in Biodegradable Polymeric Films for Biomedical Applications. International Journal of Biomaterials, 2016.

2- Younus, A., Bhatti, M.F., Ahmad, T., Virk, N., Arshad, M., Janjua, H.A., (2016) Protein structure modelling, ligand docking and active site analysis of mutated Poliovirus 2a protease gene isolated from the blood of Pakistani polio infected patients. International Journal of Advances in Science Engineering and Technology. 4(3), Spl. Issue 2, 52-57.

3- Iftikhar, H., Virk, N., Cheng, X., Bhatti, M.F., (2016) In silico analysis reveals multiple genes of mapk, mapkk and mapkkk gene families of the mapk cascade in Nicotiana tabacum. International Journal of Advances in Science Engineering and Technology, 4(3), Spl. Issue 2, 42-47

Publication in HEC recognized National Journals 

1- Ali, M. A., Bhatti, M. F., Abbas, A. and Khan, I. A., (2010). Assessment of inheritance of
some multigenic characters in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). J. Agric. Res., 48, 25-33.

Book Chapters 

1- Ghori, Z., Iftikhar, H., Bhatti, M.F., Sharma, I., Kazi, A.G. and Ahmad, P., (2015). Phytoextraction: the use of plants to remove heavy metals from soil. In Plant Metal Interaction (pp. 385-409).

Conference publications

1- Aslam, R., Farthing, E.C., Virk, N., Bhatti, M.F., Williams, L.E. (2016) Stress Induces the Retention of Introns in ECA3 Transcripts in Wheat. 4th International Conference on Advances in Agricultural, Biological & Ecological Sciences (AABES-16) Dec. 1-2, 2016 London(UK)
Teaching following enlisted courses

UG Courses

•    Molecular Biology
•    Plant Molecular Biology
•    Research Methodology

PG Courses

•    Plant Functional Genomics
.Advance Plant Physiology