Professor Haseena Khan at SLS/ICBH Career Forum

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The School of Life Sciences (SLS) and International Center for Biotechnology and Health (ICBH) at Independent University, Bangladesh launched the SLS/ICBH Career Forum on February 2, 2017. This forum is designed to introduce students in small groups to eminent personalities in biology and help them better understand the diverse career prospects that are available and the strategies and skills that are needed to become future leaders in science. This session was coordinated by Professor Rita Yusuf, Dean, SLS and Ms. Afreen Zaman Khan, Lecturer, SLS with Professor Haseena Khan, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka as the first guest speaker. Over 40 faculty and students participated to make this novel setting a success.  Professor Khan is internationally renowned for her research in jute molecular biology where she has successfully brought the crop to the forefront of the country’s molecular research.  As jute is one of the main cash crops of Bangladesh, such research is essential for improvement of both its growth potential and product diversification. Jute’s potential and feasibility as a cash crop to make high-value bio-based products using biotechnology has been under utilized. She shared with the students, her personal journey from the time she aspired to work with jute through limited resources up to now when her team has developed methods for jute transformation and made genetic manipulation of jute relatively easy. Professor Khan talked about the various personal and professional hurdles she faced along the way and inspired the students to stay diligent and passionate towards their area of interest in order to overcome the challenges. Students were very excited to be able to speak to her in such a close-knit and informal manner and were particularly interested in the various research areas available for them to explore.

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