Prof. Rita Yusuf

Dean, School of Life Sciences

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
― Marie Curie

When my alma mater, Columbia University (then King’s College) was inaugurated more than 250 years ago, its first president, Dr. Samuel Johnson, articulated aptly that a good liberal arts education would teach students how to “reason exactly, write correctly, and speak eloquently”. In its unique capacity as one of the few select educational institutions within Bangladesh which provides a strong liberal arts foundation, Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) strives to do exactly that. In keeping with this overall university tradition, the Life Science programs at IUB have been designed to emphasize the essential skills of quantitative reasoning, logical inference and creative thinking.

The goal of the school is to provide a rigorous, challenging, and fulfilling experience for the students. We train our students not to memorize, but to analyze, and experience the excitement of scientific discovery. In today’s fast evolving field of biological sciences, the ability to generate new ideas and skillfully design elegant methods of analysis is what will set the leaders in the discipline apart from the rest.

Modeled on the North American Ivy League educational tradition, the undergraduate and graduate programs at IUB begin by providing a solid foundation in modern molecular and cellular biology. Additionally, the undergraduate curriculum requires students to take courses in introductory biology, chemistry, physics, and math in order to gain a firm grounding in the basic building blocks of science and become acquainted with the inherent logic behind scientific reasoning. Subsequently, students are exposed to hands-on research skills as well as training in critical scientific analysis, where they will need to read current scientific publications as well as practice modern laboratory techniques. Not only will students be expected to analytically dissect recent, cutting edge work in their respective majors, they will also need to master the art of scientific writing and presentation themselves. Our programs will familiarize them with the newest, most innovative ideas and technologies of the time, with up-to-date courses on topics ranging from genomics, to stem cell research, to emerging viruses, as well as putative biotechnological solutions to malaria, cancer, and climate change.

The School of Life Sciences strives to be a regional center of excellence, which strongly fosters national and international collaborative research ventures. This dynamic and creative atmosphere will provide our students with the opportunity to interact one on one with an international community of scientists and gain exposure to innovative thinking, new techniques, and differing methods of scientific inquiry. Our faculty will work to maximize each student’s possibility of engaging in ongoing faculty-based research projects and ultimately, going abroad to gain further expertise in his or her concentration. Upon completion of graduation requirements, our graduates will be well prepared to enter graduate school abroad or embark on research and/or technical careers within universities, government and industry. Our programs are intellectually strong and unique because they:

  • Emphasize logic, reasoning, and analysis
  • Encourage creative and innovative thought
  • Teach how to evaluate scientific literature
  • Enhance scientific writing skills
  • Provide critical training in presentation skills
  • Provide a solid foundation in basic biological sciences, while familiarizing students with the most current literature and cutting edge research
  • Expose students to hands-on laboratory work
  • Enable access to dynamic, internationally trained faculty and ongoing international research collaborations


I invite ambitious students to join us and come experience the excitement that is biology today.