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Dr. Fazal Adnan
Assistant Professor
Industrial Biotechnology

National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
H-12 Islamabad
Tel : +92 51 9085 6142 Cell# +92 333 3122939

Bacterial gene expression and regulation, RNA biology, RNomics

Ph.D Molecular Microbiology (University of Giessen, Germany)

Dr. Fazal Adnan is serving as Assistant Professor at Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) since July 2015. He acquired his bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of Peshawar in 2006 and his MPhil in Industrial Biotechnology from the Govt. College University (GCU) Lahore in 2009. After serving the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB) Lahore, for one year as a Research Officer, he was awarded with the prestigious DAAD scholarship by the German academic exchange services for his PhD studies at the University of Giessen in Germany. During his tenure at the Institute of Molecular Microbiology in Giessen, he investigated role of protein and RNA-based regulators in the photooxidative stress response mechanisms of alpha-proteobacteria Rhodobacter sphaeroides.

Detail of his projects and other activities is available on 
The AntiBacter Research Group     

The emergence of resistance in bacteria against antibiotics and the dwindling number of new antibiotics pose a double threat to our continued protection from bacterial pathogens. Thus, there is an imperative need for new agents and strategies to combat these resistant strains of bacteria. Keeping in view our region where excessive and exploiting use of antibiotics has helped the emergence of many superbugs resistant to the available antibiotics. Antibacter research group at ASAB is mainly focusing novel antibacterial strategies like Quorum Quenching, virulent gene silencing via synthetic sRNA, using CRISPR-CAS9 as precision antibacterial and phage therapy. We are new in the field of antibacterial research and would like to collaborate with other researchers and institutes working on similar projects. Areas of our interest include: 
Silencing of the bacterial toxins/virulent genes (shiga toxins) via synthetic sRNA in E. coli 
Investigation of the zoonotic potential of various avian and bovine pathogenic E. coli
CRISRP-CAS mediated genome excision to target virulence/antibiotic resistance genes in pathogenic bacterial strains 
Phage therapy; molecular characterization and engineering of bacteriophages to use them as alternative antibacterial therapy 
Metabolic re-arrangements for enhanced expression of industrially important enzymes (taq polymerase etc.)

Detail of our projects and other activities is available on 
Research Grants
    • NRPU grant worth 3.1 million PKR is approved as PI by the HEC (higher education commission) for the project entitled “CRISPR-CAS3 mediated whole genome excision of the Avian Pathogenic E. coli (APEC); a novel strategy to combat colibacillosis in poultry birds”​
    • An NRPU grant worth 2.7 million PKR is approved as a Co-PI. Project title is “Combating biofouling in the reverse osmosis membrane via Rhamnolipids; a novel greener alternative approach”. 
    • A research grant worth 0.5 million PKR is awarded by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan, for the project entitled “Silencing of the antibiotic resistance MecA gene via a synthetic non-coding RNAs in the Staphylococcus aureus”.
    • A research grant of 9.0 Million PKR is awarded by the research support program of the NUST University Islamabad, for acquiring the Biorad NGC (Next Generation Chromatography) system. 

Research Supervision 
​Degree ​Stud​ent's Name Thesis Title​
PhD Amna Jalil Prevalence and zoonotic potential of t​he Avian Pathogenic E. coli (APEC) from poultry farms of Rawalpindi-Islamabad region
PhD Sidra Hafeez​ ​Pharmacoinformatic screening of the MDR pthagenic E. coli strains and devising antibacterial peptide based therapy against them 
​PhD ​Bushra Rehman ​CRISPR-CAS3 mediated whole genome excision of the avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC); an novel approach to combat colibacillosis in poultry 
​PhD ​Hira Niaz ​Application of phage cocktail as preventative and therapeutic approach to combat bacterial infections​
​MS Samia Shafqat Samia Shafqat Silencing of the shiga toxin Stx-1 in Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157 (EHEC) via synthetic non-coding RNA; a novel antibacterial approach (complete 2017)
​MS Javariya Khalid ​Quenching the quorum; a novel approach to counter Quorum Sensing mechanism in the pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa (completed 2018)
MS​ Arslan Sarwar ​Evaluation of the knocking down effect of shiga toxins in the Enterohemorrhagic E. coli 0157 (EHEC); a strategy towards RNA-based therapeutics  (completed 2018)
​MS ​Mehk Arshad ​Overexpression of the Quorum Quenching Gene “aiiA” in P. putida Isolated from Membrane Bioreactor
​MS ​Maryam Arshad​
Characterization and sustainable expression of Taq Polymerase in Bacillus subtilis compared to its expression in E. coli​
MS​ Syed Abdullah​ Expression analysis of synthetic sRNA produced by M13 phages ​
​MS Quratulain​ CRISPR-CAS9 mediated virulent gene excision of the Avian Pathogenic E. coli (APEC)
​MS Asim Abbasi​ Investigation of the Bovine Mastitis causing Bacterial Strains and Confirmation of Virulence Potential of Mammary Pathogenic E. coli (MPEC)
​BS ​Nawal Dawood Study on involvement of the TRAP-T transporter TakP in resistance against selenite induced oxidative stress in R. sphaeroides​
​BS ​Maarij Khan Functional and Phylogenetic studies of 5′ and 3′ UTR of Dengue Virus for the Potential Target Prediction of its Self-Regulation​
​Arooj Arshad Molecular Characterization for the Quorum Quenching Efficiencies of the Pseudomonas putida QQ3 Strain Isolated from Sludge​
​BS Zehra Abbas​ Molecular docking of the Human GABA with GABA receptors and confirmation of a psychobiotic strain.​
BS​ ​Zubaish Saghir Deletion of lipopolysaccharide synthesis gene waaL from the Escherichia coli via CRISPR-Cas9 system (completed 2018)​
​BS ​Taiba Salim Deletion of lipopolysaccharide synthesis gene waaL from the Escherichia coli via CRISPR-Cas9 system (completed 2018)​
​BS ​Fatima,Rumsha, Samia, Farwa  ​Fungal Glucose Oxidase Purified via the Next Generation Chromatography (NGC) System; a Potential Biobleaching Agent for Local Cotton Fabric
Honours and Fellowships

    • Awarded with “Talented young scientist program” (TYSP) postdoctoral fellowship at the Antibacterial drug discovery lab, Zhejiang University China. March 2020 to March 2021. 
    • “Best Teacher Award 2018” at NUST- Islamabad 
    • “Best Community Services award 2019” at NUST – Islamabad
    • Nominated among the five NUST Champion for Internationalization since 2018  
    • Nominated for the “life science bridges” event in Marburg Germany, July 2017
    • Awarded with “DAAD fellowship” for PhD studies in Germany, 2011-2015  
    • Lab rotation fellowship from GGL for Newcastle university Australia June, 2012
    • Honored with two weeks visit to India for attending the South Asian Youth convention in 2005 at New Delhi.
    • Selected among the 100 Young Researchers in Biotechnology for the ICGEB conference in India, Sep. 2010
    • Chaired a conference session of the 4th annual GGL conference at Giessen in 2011
    • Member of the DAAD PhD scholarship selection committee since 2017
    • One month proteomic techniques training at the University of Newcastle, Australia (June 2012)
    • Attended workshop on “methods of Protein Analytics” Uni-Giessen, Germany 2013
    • Three Days seminar of VAAM microbiology at Dortmund, Germany 2011.
    • Attended workshop on “Techniques in Transgenics” at the UVAS, Lahore.


1) Qurrat ul ain, F. Adnan, Amir Ali Shah and Malik Badshah. (2019) Starved Spirodela polyrhiza and Saccharomyces cerevisiae: A Potent                       Combination for Sustainable Bioethanol Production" Biomass Conv Bioref doi:10.1007/s13399-019-00540-z. 

2) M. Faisal, Adnan F, Ihsan ullah (2019). Tannic acid Treatment to Deter Microbial Biofouling in Flow Cell System and on RO Membrane in Drip            Flow Reactor. Desalination and Water Treatment doi: 10.5004/dwt.2019.24767.  

3) Tahir A, F. Adnan, M. Nadeem (2018). Assessment of the risk for human health of Enterovirus and Hepatitis A virus in clinical and water                  sources from three metropolitan cities of Pakistan. Annals of Agri. & Env. Med, doi: 10.26444/aaem/99590.

4) Muhammad Adil, Fazal Adnan, Jawad Ahmed and Ishaq N. Khan (2018) Association of Metronidazole with Cancer: A Potential Risk Factor or            Inconsistent Deductions? Current Drug Metabolism doi: 10.2174/1389200219666180329124130.

5) Syed Ali Rizwan, Hasnain  Khan, Thomas A Bier, Fazal Adnan (2017), Use of Effective Micro-organisms (EM) Technology and Self-Compacting          Concrete (SCC) Technology Improved the Response of Cementitious Systems. J. Const. & Build. Mat. Vol. 152, 642-650.

6) Tahir Ahmad, Najma Arshad, Fazal Adnan, Najam-us-Sahar Sadaf Zaidi (2016). Prevalence of rotavirus, adenovirus, hepatitis A virus and                  enterovirus in water samples collected from different region of Peshawar, Pakistan. Annals of Agri. & Env. Med, vol. 23, No 4, 544-548.

7) Adnan, F., L. Weber and G. Klug, (2015) The sRNA SorY confers resistance during photooxidative stress by affecting a metabolite transporter            in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. RNA biology 12:5, 569-577.

8) Nuss, A.M., F. Adnan, L. Weber, B.A. Berghoff, J. Glaeser & G. Klug, (2013) DegS and RseP homologous proteases are involved in singlet                    oxygen dependent activation of RpoE in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. PloS one 8: e79520.

9) I. Haq*, S. Ali, M.M. Javed, A. Saleem, F. Adnan and M.A. Qadeer (2010) IIB GCU, Pakistan. Production of alpha amylase from a randomly                  induced Bacillus amyloliquefaciens and its application as a desizer in textile industry, Pak. J. Bot., 42(1): 473-484

10) I. Haq*, M.M. Javed, and F. Adnan (2010) IIB GCU, Pakistan. Kinetics & thermodynamic studies of alpha amylase from Bacillus licheniformis              mutant. Pak. J. Bot., 42(5)

11) Fazal Adnan, Peng Tao, Gabriele Klug (2018) Comparative analysis for tert-Butyle hydroperoxide (tBOOH) and methylene blue-based                        generation of singlet oxygen in the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. (submitted to Journal of Free Radicals and                           Antioxidants)

12) Tahir Ahmad, Fazal Adnan (2018). Assessment of the risk for human health of Enterovirus and Hepatitis A virus in clinical and water sources          from three metropolitan cities of Pakistan. Annals of Agri. & Env. Med, (submitted July 2018). 

Conference Talks/ Posters

  • Adnan F. CRISPR-CAS9 genome editing technology; a revolutiary technology for designing precision antibacterial. Invited talk at the Summer School on CRISPR-CAS system organized by Codon Corps Islamabad, July 2018, Islamabad
  • Adnan F. and Klug G.  Trap-T Transporter TakP; A Key Player in Resistance Against Selenite-Induced Oxidative Stress in R. sphaeroides.   Annual Conference of the ASM, The ASM microbe2016, Boston, USA. June 2016. (Abstract accepted in ASM-microbe2016, Boston
  • Adnan F., Nuss A., Berghoff B, and Klug G. Proteases with a putative role in the singlet    oxygen stress response of phototropic bacterium R. sphaeroides. 6th Annual Conference of the Giessen Graduate School for Life Sciences (GGL), Germany, 09/11-12/2013. (Oral talk)
  • Adnan F., Nuss A, and Klug G. Activation of RpoE by ChrR proteolysis in the 1O2 stress response of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Annual         Conference of the International Network for the Postgraduate Students (IPID) Koln, May 3-5, 2013. (Oral talk) 
  • Adnan F., Nuss A., J Glaeser, and G. Klug Activation of RpoE by ChrR proteolysis in the photooxidative stress response of Rhodobacter         sphaeroides. Annual Conference of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) Karlsruhe, Apr 3, 2011 to Apr 6, 2011

MS and PhD Courses 

RNA Biology                                (3 Credits)
Mammalian Cell Processing         (3 Credits) 
Research Methodology                (2 Credits)
Bioprocess Engineering               (3 Credits) ​

Undergraduate Courses  

Bacteriophage therapy                (3 Credits)
Laboratory Medicine                   (3 Credits)
1.   Analytical Microbiologist

Duration: 1.5 year (Sep. 2008 – March 2010)
Employer: PSQCA (Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority) Lahore, Pakistan
Responsibilities: Contributed efforts in remodeling of the microbiology lab according to ISO-17025 standard. Management of the standard protocol for microbial and chemical testing of different food items (water, milk, beverages and other fermented food commodities).

2.   Research Officer

Duration: 1 year (May 2007 - May 2008)
Employer: CEMB (Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology), Lahore, Pakistan
Responsibilities: Was part of the Genetic Diseases group (GD) and worked on NIH, USA funded project of Hereditary deafness disorders. Responsibilities included blood sampling from affected individuals and latter screening of the DNA with primers of already known loci for deafness in the human genome.