Face of Medicine is changing rapidly & stem cells hold promise for repairing old body organs

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 Day-1 Function at Baqai Medical University

Face of Medicine is changing rapidly
& stem cells hold promise for
repairing old body organs

Personalized medicine is developing & will
become a reality - Prof. Atta-Ur-Rehman

BMU pioneered the idea of entry test which has now
been accepted nationally - Prof. Zahida Baqai

KARACHI: Face of medicine is changing rapidly and stem cells hold promise for repairing old body organs. Personalized medicine is developing and will become a reality in the days to come. This was stated by Prof. Atta-Ur-Rehman, the well known scientist and former Chairman of Higher Education Commission, Government of Pakistan. He was speaking at the Day-1 function of Baqai Medical University at BMU Camps on November 28th, 2012. The function was attended by the newly admitted students to Baqai Medical and Dental College batch 2013, their parents and faculty members of the university.

Major Gen. Prof. M. Aslam Pro Vice Chancellor of Baqai Medical University
presenting a memento to Prof. Atta Ur Rahman former Chairman of HEC
who was the chief guest at Day-1 Function at BMU. Also seen in the picture
are Prof. Mrs. Zahida Baqai and Prof. F.U. Baqai Vice Chancellor and
Chancellor of BMU

Speaking on fascinating world of science, Prof. Atta-Ur-Rehman pointed out that truth is stranger than fiction. He then talked about Meta materials- the cloaking devices, smart materials, bullet proof paper, cellulose- running cars on old newspapers, Nano technology, the new research on anti aging compounds which have now all become a reality. In human genome, billions of molecules of four different types have been identified and the software will show which molecules has to fit where. Scientists have now discovered the protection cap which can stop erosion of body organs. This has now been found out and confirmed by research studies. Hence now aging can be stopped or reduced.
Giving details of other fascinating discoveries Prof. Atta-Ur-Rehman said that scientists have now invented devices whereby the blind can see with their tongue and this can restore their partial eyesight. Paralyzed persons can have moving chairs and cars which can be driven with thought control. Cars have also been invented which run on air, now aeroplanes can fly without internal fuel and powered insects can be utilized for intelligence gathering. He also talked about DNA software of life and chemistry of life. He also disclosed that based on genetic group they have started work at their state of the art laboratories at HEJ Institute of Chemistry at Karachi University. He also talked about genome sequencing on which lot of work is being done these days. Continuing Prof. Atta-Ur-Rehman said that we are what we eat, we have an expanding universe. We are all made of star dust. Scientists are now designing and playing with the chemicals. Facilities have been developed which helps in slow release of chemicals.
When I was Federal Minister for Science and Technology and Chairman of Higher Education Commission, we ensured six thousand percent increase in development budget for science and 2400 percent increase in budget for higher education. Increasing younger generation in Pakistan, he said, is both a challenge and also offers opportunities. Unemployed youth of the country will create frustration but we can move forward by creating opportunities for them by providing enabling environment so that they can opt for professional careers. We increased salaries of researchers, introduced research funding besides access to literature. We must open our doors to attract Pakistani professionals from overseas. He termed it a great tragedy to lose young brilliant professionals. We introduced international assessment of research work, tenure track system for faculty members and sent thousands of brilliant students overseas with scholarships to do PhD in various subjects. Faculty is extremely important for any university and not the buildings. One university in UK which has very old buildings has produced seventy Nobel laureates. To promote research culture we promoted and increased access to digital libraries with the result that now most of the universities have access to thousands of research journals and books. We will soon overtake India as regards published research papers per million populations. Addressing the newly admitted students he advised them to avail the opportunities and not to waste time. We in Pakistan, he said, have everything, we have talent and you need to concentrate on your studies. Be thirsty of knowledge. Coming to Baqai Medical University, he said, is a great honour for him. There is a lesson to learn from Baqai’s that if you are committed, sincere and have the courage to dream, use your energies, work hard to make your dreams come true, God Almighty also helps you.
Prof. Mrs. Zahida Baqai Vice Chancellor of Baqai Medical University in her welcome address said that previously admissions to medical colleges used to be a very simple procedure and it was based on FSc marks. I thought there must be some innovation; hence we decided to re-test the potential candidates to see the difference between the merit based on F. Sc and our own test. With the consensus of our colleagues we started it in our college. The merit was worked out as 40% marks were based on the result of F.Sc, 40% on our own test and the rest 20% based on the interview. The interview board consisted of Vice Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dean and Heads of Departments. After that we also introduced meeting and interview with the parents, the idea was to know the whole family, who they are and what is the attitude of their parents. This has been so successful and now entry test has been adopted by all the medical and dental colleges in public as well as private sector. We are proud of the fact that we pioneered this concept of this entry test. Then we started having this function of Day-One to meet the newly admitted students and their parents. Day-Two function consists of introducing the students to the faculty and the whole medical education is based on Community Oriented Medical Education. She also briefly talked about the history of Baqai Medical University and its various departments which were constructed and added one by one.
Prof. S.M. Rab an eminent physician and Member of Board of Governors of BMU in his speech talked about the problems between the patient and the healer, what is expected of the doctor, what is available and how the healthcare professionals have to perform. At present he said, everything was in a mess. If the environment is not changed, it will be difficult for the doctors to perform as he or she has planned. Today we had a much disciplined meeting and we heard pearls of wisdom from a world renowned Pakistani scientist. After listening to him, one expects that you all will now think differently. If you want to learn, use this knowledge. Medicine and education, he remarked are not a part time profession. You keep on learning throughout your life. Over the years practice of medicine has changed a lot. Today is the age of molecular biology and genomes, he added.
Chancellor of Baqai Medical University Prof. F. U. Baqai also briefly addressed the participants and thanked the chief guest as well as other guests. He told the participants that the amount of gratitude which you can earn in Pakistan is enormous which is only possible here. He repeated his earlier statements that when a doctor is trained, the fate of that whole family changes for the better. He advised the students that they must have a passion to serve. It is my mission to see that every child in Pakistan is educated and has at least basic education that is why we have established numerous educational institutions in different parts of Pakistan.
Earlier Prof. Intisar Zahid Khan and Prof. Kashif Ikram Principal’s of Baqai Medical and Baqai Dental Colleges respectively presented the newly admitted students. Later the chief guest was presented a memento by Pro Vice Chancellor Major Gen. Prof. M. Aslam. The Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and, Prof. S. M. Rab was also presented on this occasion. The meeting was conducted by Prof. Jamil Ahmad.

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