The School of Life Sciences hosted noted molecular biologist Dr. Zeba I. Seraj on September 29th, 2016. Dr. Seraj discussed her decades long work on the creation of salt tolerant strains of rice. Her cutting edge work with international collaborators and the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute has been successful in the genetic engineering of varieties of rice which will help us adapt to the effects of climate change. The inevitable rise in sea levels due to climate change are expected to substantively increase soil salinity, particularly in coastal regions of Bangladesh. Dr. Seraz explained the molecular biology and bioinformatics approaches that are being employed for this research. At the end of her talk, members of her research team introduced the audience to cBLAST, a center that offers online courses in various topics in bioinformatics.
Vice Chancellor Professor M. Omar Rahman, in his remarks, talked about the necessity of such research, and the need for collaboration between institutions to tackle important issues like climate change. Professor Rita Yusuf, the Dean of the School of Life Sciences, offered the formal vote of thanks and spoke about the enormous significance of Dr. Seraz’s research and genetic engineering, in general, on international development and empowerment of marginalized populations. The speaker was introduced by Ms. Mariz Sintaha, Senior Lecturer in the School of Life Sciences.