- Professor of Biotechnology & Chair of the Department, (September 2014 – Present).
American University of Ras Al Khaimah, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
The Department of Biotechnology at the AURAK is lucky to have young dynamic, hardworking faculty members team that I am heading. All of them have been in the AURAK since last several years. They have been highly welcoming and helpful in discharging my day to day duties as Chair of the Department. I have also strived and mentored them in their teaching and particularly in scholarship including creative activities. Moreover, all decisions are made with the mutual consent of faculty members. Recently, we evaluated our contributions at AURAK and put forward recommendations for the upkeep of our department activities.
Since I started my career at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, I have remained focused on helping students to perform well and bring excellence in teaching both inside and outside the classroom. As a Chair of the Department, I deem myself responsible for promoting excellence in teaching, research and services, working in line with department vision and priorities of the AURAK, managing departmental staff and their day to day affairs, coordinating student matters, advisement, courses offering and evaluation of material generated in academic activities, and representing interests of the department inside and outside the university.
I am constantly evaluating what I am teaching and how I am teaching it while continually striving for the most creative and effective methods to maximize student learning and student success. Same, I have been professing to faculty members of the Department who have been very cooperative in all the past several months during my career span here at AURAK.
I have continuously mentored faculty members of the department for excellence in teaching, scholarship and creative activities the values AURAK care. Within less than a year all faculty members of the Biotechnology Department have received grants to embark on their research projects. Worth mentioning over here is external funding received by Dr. Maxime Merheb from the Al Qasimi Foundation Seed Grant for his project entitled “Biofuel Exploration from Soil Microorganisms in the Ras Al Khaimah Mangroves” Furthermore, almost every member has published a research paper with AURAK affiliation in the ISI indexed journal. Though I have already published two papers with AURAK affiliation and two more are in the pipeline.
I believe that excellence in teaching and dedication to students must go beyond the walls of the classroom. Students’ participation in extracurricular activities mainly in their discipline relevant activities connects them more deeply to their peers and highlights the school/department values. Since my arrival, here at AURAK, students from the Department of Biotechnology have been encouraged to participate in a number of scientific events held in Emirates and in the coming days we expect from them to interact internationally also in collaboration with efforts of the AURAK Office of International Programs. A few recent past students’ engagements worth mentioning are:
The Department of Biotechnology participated in the 1st Middle East Molecular Biology Congress and Exhibition held in Dubai World Trade Center during 14-17 September 2014. This mega biotechnology relevant event received support from 26 regional scientific organizations and 32 global companies to host scientific sessions and biotechnology relevant specialized exhibitions from all across the globe. Students from the Department of Biotechnology spent a day in this conference and got information about latest developments in this discipline. Moreover, faculty members of the department Drs. Maxime and Rachel participated in all four days events promoting AURAK biotechnology program.
The AURAK Department of Biotechnology students also participated in the Emiratisation Summit 2015, held in conjunction with Emirati Youth Forum 2015 held in ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, during 2-4 February 2015.
Students were encouraged to participate in the ARABLAB 2015 the largest technology show serving the Middle East & Africa held in Dubai International Exhibition Center (23 -26 March 2015). Participation in this event provided our students with the opportunity to learn about the biotechnology relevant laboratory and instrumentation, new equipment from all the leading manufacturers in the world.
We also supported biotechnology students to participate in the first ever distinguished exhibition Dubai Nobel Museum’s Travelling Exhibition, “The Nobel Prize: Ideas Changing the Word” brought to Dubai by The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. It is important to describe here that every year Noble Prizes are awarded in six categories including physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics, and the promotion of peace and several awards in the past have been bestowed on people for their work relevant to biotechnology inventions.
- Vice Chancellor, (July 2010 – July 2014),
The Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB), Pakistan.
As chief academic officer, I was responsible for promoting academic excellence throughout the university, and two off-site campuses provide guidance and support to the deans, directors principals, as they strengthen the schools, lead efforts to integrate the academic elements across multi-campuses of the university, work actively with higher education commission and other donor bodies to secure support for the academic mission, and help to advance IUB’s overall excellence and distinction. Responsible for all academic schools, admissions, financial aid, student life, career development services for students, the libraries, international programs, information technology, and institutional research.
- Selective Accomplishments as Vice Chancellor of the Islamia University Bahawalpur:
- Led the development and implementation of strategic plan, the “IUB, a symbol of excellence in higher education”.
- Redesigned the admission process through implementing online admission.
- Established Inter-University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences Arts and Humanities for enhanced inter-institutional interactions, interdisciplinary collaboration, and research.
- Introduced weekend and online educational programs for degree programs having high job market.
- To enhance the loyalty of the people with the university introduced the concept of the university as a town and town as a university for enhancing community engagement.
- Executed a program to compensate faculty for their intellectual contributions through a highly transparent evaluative process
- The enhanced fiscal strength of the university through streamlining internal funds and received matching grants from federal higher education commission. In four years there was a five-time increase in self-generated funds and almost same contribution received from the higher education commission.
- Implemented “Living with our Cultural Values”, received support from governmental and non-governmental organizations to apprise student with cultural and social values of the region through various programs in the university.
- Completion of the sports complex in the main campus, the new building for off-site campuses.
- Conceived, planned, prepared a project on strengthening the Islamia University of Bahawalpur and procured funds from the federal government. These funds will be utilized for constructing a management faculty building beside establishment of the civil engineering department at the University College of Engineering and Technology.
- Secured funds for revamping the faculty of education having state of the art educational facilities from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); installation of 2.5 MW photovoltaic cells at the main campus of IUB from the provincial government.
- Student facilitation by establishing the main parking lot at the model of world-class universities, development of green belt with the name of Gosha-e- Gulab and provision of ATM and IT facilities in the girl’s hostel main complex.
- Founding Vice Chancellor, (March 2013 – July 2014), The Government Sadiq College Women University Bahawalpur
- Professor of Biochemistry (Higher Education Commission of Pakistan), (July 2007 – July 2010), Department of Biochemistry, PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan
- Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, College of Medicine, (July 2006 – May 2007), Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102, USA
- Director, Neurovirology Section, (March 2003 – June 2006), Thomas Jefferson University, 1020 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA
- Research Assistant Professor of Medicine, (July 2001 – March 2003), Thomas Jefferson University, 1020 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA
- Instructor of Medicine, (July 2000 – June 2001), Thomas Jefferson University, 1020 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA
- Post-Doctoral Fellow/Research Associate, (May 1995 – June 2000), Thomas Jefferson University, 1020 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA
- Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant, (Sept 1989 – Aug 1994), Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
- Research Officer/Lecturer, (1985 – 1989), University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
- Sales Officer/Area Manager, (1981 – 1985), Efroze Chemical Industries, Pakistan/Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany
Academic Support Assignments:
- Founding Chairperson, (2012 – 2013), Inter-University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities (IUCPSS) in Pakistan
- Member Board of Governors, Chancellor Nominee, (2010 – 2014), The Institute of Southern Punjab, Multan, Pakistan
- Member, Ph.D. Review Committee, (2010 – 2014), Evaluating Ph.D. program of public and private sector Universities in Pakistan
- Biosafety Officer, (May 1995 – June 2006), Managed the Division of Infectious Diseases biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory at the Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
- Member, (June 2003 – June 2006), Farber Institute for Neurosciences of Jefferson Hospital for Neurosciences, at the Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
- Radiation Safety Officer/Advisor, (May 1995 – June 2006), Advisory role in Radiation Safety Program of Division of Infectious Diseases and Environmental Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
- Lab Manager, (1990 – 1994), Organized Molecular Fungal Genetics Labs at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA