Pakistani born biologist wins prestigious German award

Pakistani born Asifa Akhtar has been named as one of the recipients of one of Germany’s most prestigious research awards, for her exceptional work on gene regulation.

Pakistan has been blessed with talented minds who keep making the country proud. Such is the case for Pakistan-born Asifa Akhtar, a molecular biologist who is one of the few esteemed individuals selected as a recipient of Germany’s Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize- one of Germany’s most important research awards, bestowing winners with a maximum of €2.5 million per award.

Recognized for her revolutionary cell-biological work on the mechanisms of epigenetic gene regulation, Ms. Akhtar’s accomplishment was announced by Germany’s Max Planc society- a fundamental research and science organization, where Akhtar is also serving as the first international female Vice President. The society announced the thrilling news on their social media.

“Very excited that two Max Planc Press scientists are among the 2021 Leibniz Preis recipients: our Vice President Asifa Akthar, MPI of Immunobiology & Epigenetics and Volker Springel, MPI for Astrophysics. Congratulations!” they tweeted out.

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize was launched under the Leibniz Programme established in 1985, and enables researchers to work in improved conditions, reach for more research opportunities, relieve them of administrative tasks, and help them employ particularly qualified early career researchers.

Born in Karachi, Ms. Akhtar obtained her doctorate at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, UK, in 1997. She then moved to Germany as a Post Doctoral fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and the Adolf-Butenandt-Institute in Munich from 1998 to 2001.

She also received the Feldberg Prize in 2017, a prize awarded every year to one British and one German scientist, encouraging Anglo-German friendship in medical and biological science.

The Max Planc society remains in the leagues of some of the most prestigious research institutions worldwide, having been recognized as Germany’s most successful research organization since its establishment in 1948, with 18 Nobel laureates emerging from the ranks of its scientists.

Source: Dawn Images

Author: Wardah Javaid