UHS researcher wins Rs. 21.5 million HEC grant

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has approved a grant of Rs 21.5 million for a research project of the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on early-stage screening of patients with colorectal cancer.

The principal investigator of the research is the Immunology department’s head, Dr Shah Jahan. This is the sixth research funding won by the stalwart researcher. The title of the research project is “Fecal microbiota profiling and molecular biomarkers for colorectal cancer screening at an early stage: A way towards the non-invasive, cost-effective, and accurate CRC screening assay for local patients”.

The funding has been approved under the Local Challenge Fund initiative of the HEC with the support of the World Bank. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common gastrointestinal tumor, affecting 1.36 million people with about 65000 deaths per year worldwide and ranked as the fourth leading cause of death in Pakistan. From benign to malignant, it follows a long stepwise progression.

CRC remains asymptomatic in the early stage and spreads sporadically in most cases. Environmental factors play a leading role in the sporadic spread. The death rate can be reduced significantly if detected early. Diagnosis by colonoscopy method is invasive, labor-intensive, and not widely acceptable in the community. Available non-invasive methods are still expensive, less accurate, and may lead to a poor prognosis. To improve the CRC screening accuracy and acceptability, a cost-effective, non-invasive screening test is a research challenge addressed in this research project.

In this regard, Dr Shah Jahan has said the project will also help in building the research capacity of the department by adding new diagnostic, molecular, and computational facilities. UHS Vice-Chancellor Professor Javed Akram has commended the efforts of Dr Shah Jahan while wishing him success in the project.

Related: UHS approves country’s first clinical research course

UHE establishes Kanwal wellness center for public

The University of Home Economics (UHE) has established the Kanwal Wellness Center which is one of unique in a university set up to serve the public at large by having on penal highly qualified and experienced Clinical Counsellor, Psychiatrists, and Dietitians.

Prof. Dr. Javed Akram, Vice-Chancellor University of Health Sciences, and Vice-Chancellor UHE Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen inaugurated the Wellness Center.

The idea emerged to serve the community by using the university’s academics & professionals to connect in a possible way and the center will help the university in self-reliance.

Vice-Chancellor UHE, Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen, was of the view that one should learn how to cope with mental stress and our mission is to provide a holistic healing approach toward both physical and mental well-being. She said that before visiting the University’s Center, patients can make an appointment with the doctor by phone, and further details will be shared on the University Portal.

She also announced a 0.5 million donation from Ali Zafar Foundation for the self-reliance of the Center. She thanked the free-of-cost assistance of the renowned US-based Clinical Counsellor Prof. Dr. Ali Kazim for the establishment of the Center. “I am happy that UHE has taken this great initiative for the mental-wellness of community and we are ready to provide training workshops, training for Clinical Counsellor, Breast Cancer awareness camps, and Mammography workshops” for university teachers, said Prof. Dr. Javed Akram. He also offered free treatment services for the lower staff. He was of the view that Wellness Courses should be offered to students so that they could learn to maintain their health. He announced the matching of 0.5 million donations to Kanwal Wellness Center from the Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM).

Related: MoU signed to set up Women Development Centre at UHE