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International Symposium on Hepatitis B Virus-ASAB

Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB) in collaboration with Pak-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program, organized a one-day symposium on ‘Hepatitis B Virus (HBV): Emergence and Surveillance’ on April 2. The seminar  highlighted leading-edge preclinical, translational and clinical  research related to Hepatitis B in Pakistan. The symposium offered a multifaceted exploration of the virus and featured plenary sessions.

The opening speech held alarming statistics, emphasizing the  gravity of the situation, with approximately 400 million people affected worldwide and over 300 million carriers. There were  two technical sessions in the symposium including valued talks  on different aspects of HBV associated hepatocellular carcinoma.

Dr. Aleem, Professor of Medicine at UCSD, introduced HBV Hepatocellular Carcinoma, followed by Dr. Iftikhar Qayyum of RMC Peshawar, who discussed the danger of virus persistence  and how it might result in deterioration of liver function. Dr. Brig. Agha Babar Hussain, AFIP, Rawalpindi, moved the discussion to diagnosis, with molecular testing in chronic HBV. Dr. Abida Raza of Noori Hospital, Islamabad, shed light on the ongoing research through clinical and phylogenetic studies. ASAB’s Dr.  Nasir Jalal and Ms. Zaira Rehman also delivered detailed talks covering research in treatment.

Dr. Amir Mehmood, Head of Vaccines Amsons, Rawalpindi, stressed on developing a cure for the threatening virus, mentioning how our country needs to strive to attain equal footing  with global developments in HBV treatment and drug supply. The closing ceremony was chaired by Rector NUST, Engr. Muhammad Asghar, who concluded the symposium on a positive  note, mentioning how Pakistan had attained exemplary progress in fields such as IT, it certainly had the potential to combat an enemy such as HBV. He expressed delight at ASAB’s educational programs and encouraged their research endeavors.

The final segment comprised shield presentations to guests and invited speakers. Not only was the symposium a focal point for knowledge transfer, it also provided an opportunity for NUST based researchers and Biotech companies to network and initiate collaborations.