Bahria University and Altinbas University Turkey sign MOU for collaboration in research


 Bahria University and Altinbas University Turkey
sign MOU for collaboration in research

ERASMUS agreement between two universities also includes
Faculty and Students exchange programme

KARACHI: Bahria University from Pakistan and Altinbas University from Istanbul Turkey had signed a general Memorandum of Understanding and an Exchange Protocol in February 2017. The exchange protocol between the two institutes only provided fee waiver but no support for boarding and lodging expense. In fall 2017, under this exchange protocol Bahria University sent two students to study at Altinbas University for a semester. It was followed by a delegation of four faculty members from Bahria University Medical and Dental College which visited three universities of Turkey from 3rd to 6th July 2017 for collaboration especially in areas of research. The Bahria delegation was headed by Prof Dr. Ambreen Usmani along with her team which included Prof. Nasim Karim, Dr. Kulsoom Rizvi and Cdr. Surg (R) HamidUllah Arif.

Later an ERASMUS Exchange Agreement was signed in September 2017 for both faculty and students exchange. ERASMUS agreement provided financial cover to exchange programme of students for a stay of approximately four months and faculty exchange for seven days. Faculty exchange includes two components:

a) Training mobility

b) Teaching mobility 

The objective of training mobility is to allow faculty from Bahria University to teach at Altinbas University for a week (at least 8 hours) and vice versa. The training mobility is aimed to allow faculty/staff of both universities to visit each other, shadowing relevant academic or administrative departments to learn about academic or administrative procedures/practices being followed there. This arrangement is also for a stay of seven days (including travel dates). The ERASMUS (EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is a European Union (EU) student exchange programme established in 1987. ERASMUS+, or ERASMUS Plus, is the new programme combining all the EU’s current schemes for education, training, youth and sport which was started in January 2014.

The visiting delegation from Altinbas University from Istanbul Turkey photographed alongwith
faculty members of Bahria University Medical & Dental College at Karachi.

Prof. Ambreen Usmani told Pulse International that they have already received one staff member of Altinbas University on Training mobility (Dr. Ceren Gedikoglu) and more are expected to join this year which include Prof. Dr. Ertan Yurdakos, Department of Physiology-BUMDC (Training Mobility), Ms. Gizem Güray, International Officer (Training Mobility), Prof. Leyla Ates, Department of Law (Teaching Mobility). Under ERASMUS student’s exchange, Bahria University has at present seven students who are studying in their relevant departments at Altinbas University (Spring 2018 semester). They have been there since January this year and will be returning back on 25th May 2018.

During the Bahria University delegation’s visit to Turkey, the Rector of Altinbas University (AU) greeted Bahria University (BU) delegation and informed that this was the first ever official visit by any Pakistani University and they are all looking forward to building a strong mutually beneficial partnership with Bahria University. The Rector AU, briefed the BU delegation about their University, its various programmes, campuses and students body. This was followed by Introduction of Bahria University by Rector BU Vice Admiral (R) Tanveer Faiz.The briefings were followed by signing of MoU and Students’ exchange protocol between Bahria University and Istanbul Altinbas University. The MoU provides a bigger umbrella of future collaboration whereas exchange protocol allows BU to send up to five students to AU in a year to study for a semester on free tuition fee basis and vice versa. After the MoU signing, other areas of mutual collaboration were discussed for future consideration between both the universities.

Scientific Presentations

More recently a delegation from Altinbas University- Istanbul Turkey visited Bahria University Medical and Dental College-Karachi from 8th May to 11th May 2018. The visiting faculty included Prof. Feride Severcan -Scientist, Dr. Ceren Gedikoglu Head of Innovation and Research Projects Department, Dr. Ayca Dogan Mollaglue - Assistant Professor, Scientist and Vice Dean. Prof. Feride Severcan and Dr. Ayca Dogan Mollaoglu presented their research papers on effect of InfraRed on Cancers and genetic predisposition in Obesity respectively. Dr. Ayca Dogan has discovered a gene which effects obesity, she has had this gene patent under her name and Altinbas University.

Bahria University Medical and Dental College organized a farewell reception for the visiting Turkish
delegation from Altinbas University from Istanbul recently. Group photograph taken on this occasion
shows the visitors
alongwith Principal BUMDC Prof. Asad, Prof. Ambreen Usmani
and other senior faculty members.

Dr. Ayca Dogan Mollaoglu’s presentation during the seminar held at the Bahria University Auditorium on May 11th was titled as” Genome wide quantitative trait LOCi analysis of body composition and obesity” and she discussed in detail the body composition, obesity and Genetic mode. Speaking about topical body composition she pointed out that it consists of skeletal structure, fat mass, lean mass and body fluids. Energy intake, she opined, should match energy expenditures and any deviation in energy intake results in obesity. Talking about Adipose tissue contents she said that if you gain weight, the spillover of fatty acids into blood and it leads to lipotoxicity. Adipose tissue serves as endocrine organ. Adipokines leads to appetite and immunity. She also discussed the link between adipose tissue and inflammation/immunity. Weight loss it was pointed out is associated with decreased concentration of inflammation related products. Discussing genetic determination of body composition and obesity, she said, body weight and obesity are influenced by many genes. She then discussed QTL mapping in detail. Continuing, Dr. Ayca Dogan highlighted genetic model BXD recombinant inbred strains. Inbred lines identify individual genes. All this was described with the help of numerous slides in the animal studies.

ATR FTIR spectroscopy: This, Dr. Ayca Dogan stated is a popular sampling method in inbred spectroscopy which is based on transition between vibrations energy levels of molecules. In research strategy, mapping multiple genes in QLT contribute to variation in the trait. QLT mapping is a technique. She also talked about mapping of QLT for differences in body weight. In the study details of which were shared with the participants, mice were fed with high fat diet for three to twenty weeks. Body weight and fat, lean mass was measured. Body fat and food intake in both male and female was also looked into. She then talked about phenotypic characteristics of BXD strains as well as candidate gene discovery filters. BDX R1 mouse strain panel it was stated is a powerful genetic tool to identify QTL. During the discussion the effects of hormones on the body were also discussed.

The second presentation during the seminar was by Dr. Ceren Gedikoglu Head of Innovation and Research Projects Department at the Altinbas University. She gave details of the facilities available under the Erasmus Funding International orbit mobility international exchange programme for students and faculty. She also highlighted the Criteria for selection under ERASMUS exchange programme.

She pointed out that at present over two thousand international students from various countries were enrolled at their university under this programme. After selection and accreditation the selected candidates will get financial assistance. She also pointed out that a joint degree programme with some countries was also under discussion. The students under this programme will get the credit for the semester completed here and in Turkey. Ideally the students should apply in first and second year. After MBBS one can apply in Masters Programme in different subjects which is a two to three years programme and later one can also get enrolled in the PhD programme after completing the requisite formalities. Graduate School of Health Science at the university offers various programme of different durations. The selected students in this programme, she hastened to add undergo strict monitoring to ensure that they do not miss any lecture so that they can compelte the course in time.

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