Background of Construction of Biosafety Laboratory
The Department of Biological Sciences, Karakoram International University (KIU), Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan and Fogarty International Centre (FIC) USA submitted a joint research proposal entitled “Water, Sanitation, Health Hygiene Intervention in a Northern Pakistani Village: 15 years Prospective Follow up of Diarrhoeal Disease, Pneumonia, Childhood Growth, Water Quality and Latrine Microbiology” to Pak-US Joint Academic & Research Program 2009-10. The submitted proposal approved by the Selection Committee of Higher Education (HEC) Pakistan, USAID and Ministry of Science & Technology in their meeting held in July 2010 with a grant of Rs. (11800701.5) from HEC Pakistan and more than this amount from USA to carry out the project activities. Pakistani Principal Investigators was Prof. Dr. Khalil Ahmed, Chairman Department of Biological Sciences KIU Gilgit, Dr. Mark Miller from (FIC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA and Dr. Zeba Rasmussen, Senior Research Fellow of FIC has been the Accountable Investigator from the US side.
Due to shortage of space of laboratory in KIU for the laboratory work of Pak-U.S Joint research project, our U.S research partners financially supported for construction of a prefabricated laboratory in the allocated space (in the north corner of the boundary wall of KIU near the warehouse). The project’s research activities and construction of prefabricated lab at KIU was successfully completed.
Biosecurity Engagement Project
To strengthen the state of Biosafety in mountain areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, the US research partners suggested continuing the collaborative work between KIU and NIH FIC, USA. Knobler Stacey, Director FIC, Dr. Zeba Rasmussen, senior research fellow FIC USA and Prof. Dr. Khalil Ahmed, Chairman Department of biological Sciences, KIU submitted the proposal “Biosecurity Engagement Project” to U.S Government for funding. The main features of the Project proposal were
- To establish a sophisticated Biosafety Lab at KIU Gilgit to fulfill the basic facilities of research up to molecular level studies of the research projects related to human pathogenic organisms.
- The main Equipment for this lab may be purchased.
- To conduct two Biosafety workshops on Biosafety to create awareness among the scientists/researchers of KIU, pathologists, lab technologists of the Government & private hospitals and Agricultural Scientists of the Govt .of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The submitted proposal approved with a grant of USD 298018, and MoU was signed between the KIU Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan and the Division of International Epidemiology and Population Studies, FIC, NIH- USA on 23rd April 2013
The Biosafety lab is a very sophisticated/important research laboratory to deal the projects related to human pathogenic organisms. It must be designed as error free as possible and that all the state of the art safety measures be in place. Keeping this in view FIC hired the services of Biosafety Consultant from Belgium who had been suggested by the Pakistan Biological Safety Association (PBSA), Dr. Philippe Stroot, and an architectural consulting firm, Design Syndicate in Karachi, which is already experienced in the design of such labs; its service hired by FIC.
- After completion of the design of the Biosafety lab KIU will advertise it accordingly by keeping the institution’s rules and regulations, and will execute the project through its engineers. The design consultant firm’s architect and engineers will also visit the site.
- View of External Design of the Biosafety lab