Team - iGEM Peshawar 2016


iGEM Peshawar 2016 is the first ever team from Pakistan to participate in the iGEM competition. The team has twelve undergrads, an instructor, and two PIs. The students have varying backgrounds and come from all corners of Pakistan. They carried out rigorous training and research at the Institute of Integrative Biosciences, CECOS University in the four months leading up to the jamboree.


Muhammad Ali

22 | Biochemistry undergrad | University of Karachi

My interests are technology and biosciences and nothing excites me more than a creative fusion of them. My fascination for life forms led me to study life sciences.

I seek challenges which are especially out of my comfort zone and I am not afraid to dive into knowledge unfamiliar to me. I have also represented Pakistan as a youth ambassador in United States of America on a student exchange scholarship.

Asif Hanif

22 | Biotechnology undergrad | University of Baluchistan

I belong to Kalat, a scenic town in the Baluchistan province. As an aspiring future bioengineer, I want to change my society and the world for the better.

My hobbies are painting, playing chess, travelling, and meeting new people.

Abdul Hadi Abro

21 | Genetics undergrad | University of Sindh

I got interested in synthetic biology due to its potential to solve real-world problems. iGEM competition is a chance for me to showcase my ideas, and to work on something meaningful and beneficial that would not only benefit the people of my nation, but possibly the whole world.

My hobbies include doing fitness training, reading fiction and horror, singing, and spending time with my family. I am also an awesome cook by the way.

Maliha Mashkoor

22 | BS Bioinformatics | Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University

I am interested in exploring and analyzing large sets of biological data using different computational and statistical techniques. I always adopt a rigorous approach to attain a deeper understanding of the problem at hand. Problem solving is an exhilarating experience for me — unparalleled by anything else. My attraction in iGEM competition springs from its multi–disciplinary approach which integrates a strong flavor of bioinformatics.

My hobbies include web surfing, blogging, painting, and travelling.

Mansoor Saleem

20 | Biotechnology undergrad | University of Peshawar

I am working on iGEM Project with some of the coolest minds from around the country. We are introducing synthetic biology for the first time in our country; I believe this small effort will prove to be a stepping stone in increasing the pace at which biotechnology is happening currently in this part of the world.

Masoom Hussain

22 | Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering undergrad | Agriculture University Peshawar

I am from Bangladesh doing my undergrad studies in Pakistan. My interests are entrepreneurship and synthetic biology. I am delighted to be part of iGEM Peshawar 2016 - the first ever iGEM team from Pakistan.

I love to travel to new places, volunteer for philanthropic causes I am passionate about, read a good book, and spend quality time with friends and family. I love to work in a team and always on a look out to expand my network.

Rabia Dawar

22 | Biotechnology undergrad | Univerity of Peshawar

I am passionate about the discipline of Biotechnology and Biomedical sciences. I am a critical thinker and very devoted to my work. Nothing excites me more than the synthetic biology approach of combining biology with engineering.

I love to sleep, but I never got late for a morning lecture.

Rayyan Tariq

22 | Biological Sciences undergrad | Forman Christian College Lahore

I love tinkering with technology; whether it is synthetic organisms or Arduinos, I am game for it. Above all, I always look forward to bringing together design and functional inspirations from different mediums and turning them into working prototypes — you know, to aid myself in my grandiose plans of world domination.

When I am not busy playing Ironman, I do MMA and rugby. I am also a professional writer and editor. I love eating dragons and leaving out commas.

Sami Ullah

22 | BS Biotechnology | University of Peshawar

I am from Charsadda — the capital of ancient Ghandhara civilization. Growing up in the countryside, I developed a special appreciation for nature, which found its proper expression when I took up Biotechnology as my major. I wanted to study synthetic biology as it represents fruitful opportunities for future research and economic growth.

I am a social worker and run a welfare organization along with my friends. In my spare time, I read scientific magazines, articles and blogs, and play cricket to maintain my health.

Sarah Farooq

22 | Biotechnology undergrad | University of Peshawar, Pakistan

I hop and hope too much as there is an perpetual voice echoing a big'ol optimistic 'Yes' in my heart. Synthetic biology, to me, is an amalgam of art and science: it has colors, patterns, and beauty that intrigue me.

I am magnetized towards creative and intellectual people. I am not genius — rather a genuine person who gets all the creative ideas, either artistic or scientific, from my own real dreams. I do archery, painting and photography, and like to go on long drives. I fear maths and therefore, love doing it. My thirst for learning new things and skills is never ending.

Sidra Usman

20 | Biotechnology undergrad | Institute of Integrative Biosciences, Peshawar

As an aspiring molecular biologist, I love to unravel the mysteries of life sciences. I believe my place is in the wet lab. I want to develop sustainable technologies which can bring a positive change in the near future.

I am a fun loving girl; I like traveling, photography, and cooking.


Muhammad Adil Salim

MPhil Biotechnology | University of Peshawar

Adil is the coordinator and instructor for our team. He managed the team's day–to–day activities and guided us every step of the way.

Adil graduated in biotechnology from University of Peshawar. During his undergrad studies, Adil spent a semester in Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, OH, USA. He currently works as an Undergraduate Research Coordinator at Institute of integrative Biosciences, CECOS University, Peshawar. His research area is network biology focusing on protein-protein interactions network of dengue viral proteins with its host human proteins, but he has a great interest in synthetic biology too.

Principal Investigators

Faisal F. Khan

DPhil | Oxford University, UK

Dr. Faisal is the Primary PI for our team. iGEM Peshawar would not have been possible without his efforts. He pulled all the strings to make it all happen.

Faisal is a graduate of the University of Oxford, where he completed his doctoral studies at the intersection of Cell Biology and Systems Biology as a member of the Oxford Protein Informatics Group. He works very closely with the provincial government and is a member of the KP IT Board, the Advisory Committee at the Directorate of Science and Technology, and the newly established Higher Education Research Endowment Fund, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He is also the director of Institute of Integrative Biosciences — the institute hosting the iGEM Peshawar Team.

Adnan M. Niazi

M.Sc. Human Media Interaction | Universiteit Twente, Netherlands

Adnan is the Secondary PI for our team. He is also our wiki manager and UI/UX designer.

Adnan currently works at CECOS University where he teaches Computer Programming and Statistical Computing to graduate and undergraduate programmes. Adnan loves teaching and believes that no matter what he does in his own personal and scientific career, the greatest impact he will have on this world would be through the students he mentored. His research interests include integrating optogenetics with neurofeedback to treat neurological disorders such as a Tourette's syndrome and frontal lobe epilepsy.