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Newsletter Online
September 2006
VOL 7. NO.2

Health Sciences Research Assembly 2006

Faculty Produced Nearly 500 Abstracts

Health care research in a developing country is directly linked to the improvement in its health care indicators. Given its unique socio-economic set up, Pakistan offers research and investigation opportunities in all social sectors including health sciences. Researchers at AKU have actively responded to the need for indigenous data to facilitate advancements in health care for the local population.

Faculty members discuss one of the 240 posters displayed.

The volume of research in health sciences being carried out at AKU accounts for about a third of all indexed health sciences publications from Pakistan each year. At any given time, there are as many as 500 research projects in progress at AKU highlighting the need to bring investigators together on a forum to facilitate collaboration and enrichment in research activities. This led to the first Health Sciences Research Assembly in 2005.

In 2006, a total of 484 abstracts were submitted by almost 80% of the 250 faculty members from all academic units. Over all, 240 posters were displayed on each day of the two-day event, which surpassed the anticipated target of 200 posters per day.

An analysis shows that about 600 abstracts presented in the last two years were unpublished. Only about 300 research articles were published in a year against an annual output of 500 abstracts. "To lower the gap, we are developing a mechanism not only to monitor the publication status of each abstract but to support faculty in grants writing and manuscript writing," said Dr Anwar Siddiqui, Associate Dean of Research at AKU.

"The Research Assembly is an opportunity for junior researchers to learn and gain confidence through exposure and interaction with peers and seniors. "This will have a positive impact on the research environment at AKU and Pakistan," said Dr Mohammad Wasay, Chair of the Assembly Organising Committee and Associate Professor of Neurology.

Research Assembly has been a success in terms of enhancing research ethos at AKU and is becoming a hub for sharing, collaboration and University-based compilation of research work.