Sunday, April 1, 2007

148)My comment on Ismaili Mail article highlighting the leading role of AKU in scientific research.

Aga Khan University Hospital accounts for 70% of all Pakistani bio-medical research
March 30, 2007
Posted by ismailimail in
Cities & Countries, Health, Aga Khan Institutions, AKU, Pakistan, Asia. trackback

KARACHI, March 28: A three-day workshop on guidelines to grant writing skills concluded yesterday at the Professional Skills Development Centre, Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS). The workshop was organised in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.

The objective of the workshop was to educate medical professionals and students involved in research about how to write a convincing application for a grant in bio-medical research, the various research methods, funding resources and challenges in the field.

“We don’t have a research culture in society. This is because research is a demanding job in terms of money and time and there had hardly been any government support earlier. Now, with the initiatives of Higher Education Commission, this workshop is a step to encourage research activities in medical institutions, especially in DUHS, which lags far behind in this field,” said Dr Sharaf Ali Shah, the course director.

The contribution of Aga Khan University and Hospital to bio-medical research, he said, was 70 per cent, while the remaining 30 per cent was shared by other institutions. At present, only three to four research papers from DUHS were printed in recognised international journals and this trend needed to be changed, he said.

The workshop was conducted by Sibylle Kristensen, Assistant Professor, Director, UAB International Research Training Programme, Travis Broome and Alexis McCain.

About the research infrastructure in Pakistan, Kristensen said that there were institutions which did meet the international criteria. But people needed to know that competition was getting tougher day by day, while there was hardly any raise in the research grant money.

Thirty-five professionals from Aga Khan University and Hospital, DUHS, Baqai University, Pakistan Medical Research Council, JPMC and the Health Department participated in the workshop


1.easynash- March 31, 2007
In this article you highlight the fact that The AKU has become a leader in basic and applied scientific research:

“The contribution of Aga Khan University and Hospital to bio-medical research, he said, was 70 per cent, while the remaining 30 per cent was shared by other institutions.”

This fact is very gratifying because it is a direct vindication of the great desire of our 48th Imam(Aga Khan III) to re-establish the fundamental Islamic principle of the study of science, the study of our universe, what it is made of, how does it function, how can knowledge about it be used to practically benefit society, etc, as seen in this passage :

“Quote from a letter written by Our 48th Imam(Aga Khan III) to a friend in 1952 under the title: “What have we forgotten in Islam?”:

Islam is fundamentally in its very nature a natural religion. Throughout the Quran God’s signs (Ayats) are referred to as the natural phenomenon, the law and order of the universe, the exactitudes and consequences of the relations between natural phenomenon in cause and effect. Over and over, the stars, sun, moon, earthquakes, fruits of the earth and trees are mentioned as the signs of divine power, divine law and divine order. Even in the Ayeh of Noor, divine is referred to as the natural phenomenon of light and even references are made to the fruit of the earth. During the great period of Islam, Muslims did not forget these principles of their religion. Alas, Islam which is a natural religion in which God’s miracles are the very law and order of nature drifted away and still drifting away, even in Pakistan, from science which is the study of those very laws and orders of nature.

……Islam is a natural religion of which the Ayats are the universe in which we live and move and have our being……

…..The God of the Quran is the one whose Ayats are the universe……”

The study of science using the correct attitude can also allow us to step onto the upward ladder of knowledge leading to the Intellect:

According to a famous hadith of the Prophet: "The first thing created by God was the Intellect (‘aql)." Mowlana Hazar Imam(Aga Khan IV) elaborated further in an interview with Spiegel Magazine on October 9th 2006: "Of the Abrahamic faiths, Islam is probably the one that places the greatest emphasis on knowledge. The purpose is to understand God's creation, and therefore it is a faith which is eminently logical. Islam is a faith of reason."


Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation:Aga Khan 4.
The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being:Aga Khan 3