Renowned Pakistani scientist to visit URI Sept. 20-24

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To give public lecture Thursday, Sept. 23

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 8, 2010 –The director of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Science in Pakistan will visit the University of Rhode Island from Sept. 20 through Sept. 24 for a series of seminars, visits with URI faculty and a public lecture.

University of Karachi Professor Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, who is also co-director of the Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicines and Drug Research at the university, will discuss “Science, Technology and Higher Education: Pakistan’s Experience,” Thursday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 100 of URI’s Center for Biological and Life Sciences, 120 Flagg Road. His talk is free and open to the public. URI’s Distinguished International Scholars Program, Honors Program and Graduate School are sponsoring his visit.

Choudhary’s visit comes as President Barack Obama has emphasized the need for the United States to reach out to Muslim nations in the areas of science and technology. During his week in Rhode Island, Choudhary will meet with URI Provost Donald H. DeHayes, vice president for Academic Affairs, and Pharmacy Dean Ronald P. Jordan, as well as numerous other faculty and students to discuss a variety of initiatives.

“Professor Choudhary is a leading member of numerous projects, including a comprehensive survey of medicinal plants in Pakistan, environmental monitoring, and capacity building in science and technology in Pakistan,” said URI Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Navindra Seeram, a medicinal plant research specialist who has also garnered international attention for his work. “More than 40 graduate students have earned their degrees under Professor Choudhary’s guidance and published more than 550 peer-reviewed publications in international scientific journals.”

Choudhary has served as editor/co-editor of 24 books and as author/co-author of 36 book chapters. He is the inventor or co-inventor of products/processes that have earned 20 international patients. He is editor-in-chief of Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry and Current Bioactive Compounds.

“Professor Choudhary plays an important role in building a global and interdisciplinary role in the development of science and technology in Pakistan and in the region,” Seeram said.

Choudhary is a member of the National Commission on Science and Technology, the highest advisory body in his country, working directly under Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. He served as a member of a United Nations panel and a U.S. State Department committee for global capacity development in science and technology.

URI officials will be discussing with Choudhary collaborative programs for faculty and students. The plan is to provide URI researchers with access to the chemical diversity and bioactivity that Choudhary has discovered over the years.

“His rich experiences in drug discovery from natural sources and his extensive international linkages will help URI expand research in the field of drug discovery,” Seeram said.