Habib Response - Covid-19

Bioscience Lab


The Bioscience lab at Dhanani School of Science and Engineering caters to the lab requirement of all the biology related courses as well as some of the environmental science courses. The lab also facilitates every kind of biology based Student Life or Student Marketing led events. The bioscience lab operates closely with Chemistry/Energy lab for different projects and interdisciplinary courses. There is a diverse range of courses and topics for which labs are conducted in Bioscience lab including Microbiology, Cell Biology, Ecology, Biodiversity, Food and Nutrition and Environmental Sciences.

The lab is well equipped and has continued to build more technical facility to cover wide range of experiments. The experiments designed for different courses provide hands on or real time experience of the biological phenomenon which students are studying in their theory section and help them better understand the concepts. Other than the course requirements, this lab is also being utilised by students and faculty members for standalone research projects and some of the experimental requirements related to their non-bio courses. The courses are designed to train the students to think creatively and bring their own ideas from everyday life on which they can work. This flexibility allows the students to design their projects with innovation and interdisciplinary approach. Most of the students’ research projects are presented and published in national and international conferences almost every year.

List of Courses

  • The Secret World of Microbes
  • Cell Biology and Public Health
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Introduction to Biochemistry
  • Biodiversity in the City
  • Understanding the Human Body: The Physiology of Everyday life
  • Research in Bioscience (Independent Study)

Courses that utilize the Bioscience lab to elaborate the course concepts:

Some of the courses does not have a separate lab component but include few lab sessions to make the concepts more understandable for the students.

  • Scientific Methods: A Biology Perspective
  • Scientific Methods
  • Water is for Fighting Over
  • Introduction to Sustainabilit


Dr. Humaira Qureshi, Assistant Professor, iSciM
Dr. Humaira Jamshed, Assistant Professor, iSciM

Research Assistant

Miss Javeria Samad
Miss Javeria Samad is a Senior Research Assistant for Bioscience lab at Dhanani School of Science and Engineering. She has done Masters in Biotechnology from University of Karachi and has worked in Aga Khan University, in paediatrics infectious diseases research lab. She has expertise in Molecular Biology and Microbiology and is trained for the latest lab techniques as well as research skills in these areas. Javeria has worked on several multicentre projects related to infectious diseases and molecular biology at AKU.  At HU, Javeria has lead research projects with students, including food borne infections and public health challenges. She has also presented these researches at different national and international conferences, funded by international grants like US estate department’s grant and American Society for Microbiology, Microbe 2017, 2018, 2019 and FEMS 2019. Javeria has been involved in few pedagogical related studies and publication with the Bioscience faculty and also got them published in journals.


Collaborations outside HU:

The Bioscience lab collaborated with Dr. Shahana Urooj Kazmi (President Pakistan Society for Microbiology (PSM) and ex-Country Ambassador of American Society for Microbiology), VC Dadabhoy Institute of Higher education (DIHE) for a research project on hand hygiene and microbial contamination of street food in Karachi. Variety of street vended food samples were collected from different locations of Karachi city and tested for the presence of microbes and antibiotic resistance. The findings of this study were later on presented in an international conference ASM Microbe 2017, 2018 and 2019, USA.

Collaborations within HU:

The Bioscience lab has continuously been facilitating both schools within HU i.e. DSSE and AHSS. Some of the faculty members and students of AHSS and EE have collaborated for some of their art projects, social issues related projects and technical projects. The lab and the staff has provided technical support and supplies to these students.

An AHSS student, Mahnoor Bawa, tested the water samples collected from different “sabeels” during the month of Moharram ul haram, to check the microbial quality of the drinking water provided to the public. This was part of her project, supervised by faculty member, Zahra Malkani.

Ramsha Afaq, a student of AHSS, collected the samples of multiple public buses from different routes and tested them for microbial presence to relate it with her mega project of “Mass transit transport system of Karachi”. The project was supervised by AHSS faculty member Gulraiz Khan and was part of their communication and design study.

Another AHSS student, Asad Ali Zulfiqar, was working on a project to show that at the cellular level, cats and humans are alike. Samples of cat’s cheek cells and human cells were compared under the microscope and the student got to learn staining and microscopy techniques.

A group of students from Dr. Severine Minot’s course on trash, tested the samples for microbial analysis from different dump sites of the Karachi in the lab.

A faculty member form Electrical Engineering department, Dr. Muhammad Farhan, and his student used images of microbial colonies produced in Bioscience lab, to develop a software for colony counting. This project was part of an assignment and students were graded on the efficiency of the software.

Published Research

1) Are there more microbes on your smart devices than on toilet seats?

Accepted for poster presentation at ASM Microbe 2020, supposed to be held on June 18th to 22nd, in Chicago.

Omema Ahmed , Nimrah Jawed, Aiman Junaid, Rabeea Atif Rana, Javeria Samad, Humaira Qureshi

2) Disparity in Hand Hygiene Perception and Practice Attributes to Drug Resistant Pathogens among School Children of Karachi, Pakistan

Poster presentation (poster no PW005) and published in conference proceedings of FEMS 2019, in Glasgow, UK, held in July 7th – 11th 2019.

Javeria Samad, Anabia Alam, Sidra Sikandar, Humaira Qureshi

3) Antibiotic Resistance Pattern of Organisms Isolated from Fresh and Tetra Pack Milk Samples in Karachi, Pakistan

Poster presentation and published in conference proceedings of ASM Microbe 2019, in San Francisco, USA on June 20th -24th

Javeria Samad1, Shahana Urooj Kazmi2, Humaira Qureshi1

1Habib University, Karachi, 2Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education, Karachi, Pakistan

4) Detection of Drug Resistant Pathogens and Toxic Adulterants in Fresh and Tetra Pack Milk Samples in Karachi, Pakistan

Presented in ASM Microbe 2018, in Atlanta, GA June 7th -11th

Javeria Samad1,, Sidra Sikandar1, Shahana Urooj Kazmi2 , Humaira Qureshi1

1Habib University, Karachi, 2Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education, Karachi, Pakistan

5) Prevalence and Sources of Food Borne Infections Attributed to Drug Resistant Pathogens in Street Food of Karachi, Pakistan – A Risk to Public Health

Presented in 2nd International Conference of Food Microbiology, held in Madrid, Spain (29th Nov.-1st Dec. 2017)

Javeria Samad1, Humaira Qureshi1*, Sundeep Kumar1, Anabia Alam1, Nain Tara Bukhari2, Rubab Maqsood2, Shahana Urooj Kazmi2

1Habib University, Karachi, 2Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education, Karachi, Pakistan

6) Lack of Hygienic Practices of Street Food Vendors Facilitating Food Borne Infections with Drug Resistant Pathogens in Karachi, Pakistan

Presented in ASM Microbe 2017, in New Orleans, LA June 1st -5th.

Humaira Qureshi1, Nain Tara Bukhari2, Javeria Samad1, Rubab Maqsood2, Shahana Urooj Kazmi2

1Habib University, Karachi, 2Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education, Karachi, Pakistan


Student led projects during the course:

Students carried out small research projects in different courses. Some of the projects which were conducted during the course “The Secret World of Microbes” included the antibacterial effects of some of the chemical and natural disinfectants, testing microbial quality of different surfaces and items like soda cans, different types of currencies, cosmetics, laptops, mobile phones and toilet seats. Some of the students worked on potential hazards towards public health and as a part of their project they performed microbial analysis of different food samples, fresh and tetra pack milk samples and water samples from multiple areas of the city. One of the students conducted an interesting project, as a part of her independent study, with the help and supervision of the faculty and RA. It was related to hand hygiene practices of school children and sanitation facilities available at their schools and it was later on selected for presentation at an international conference FEMS 2019, at Glasgow, England.

Student Life Events

The Bioscience lab has facilitated different HU student life and student marketing led events related to Biology like OMICRON, High Achievers Event, HU Experience and Splash programs in the past four years. Students had brief lab facility orientation, overview of biosafety and lab rules. They were briefed through poster display, about the research projects conducted by HU students in different courses. Participants were provided with hands on experience of DNA extraction and microbial cultures during these activities.