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Borlaug Fellowship & USDA-ICARDA Virology Group Meeting
A one day meeting of Borlaug Fellows and USDA-ICARDA Virology Group was held at Main Office, NUST on August 2015. The group comprising renowned scientists from USA and Pakistan discussed the implications and threats of viral diseases on sustainable agriculture development in the country. Dr. Peter John, Principal Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB) in the opening address welcomed the participants and briefed them on the research and development activities at ASAB. Dr. Muhammad Tahir, Borlaug fellow and PI of the ICARDA-USDA project convene the meeting. Molly Rumery, Representative Borlaug Fellow from USA, shared her experiences and role of the fellowship program in promoting food security and agriculture development. The USDA representative and Research Leader of Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Unit, Dr. Brian Scheffler briefed the members about the various opportunities provided by USDA for the purpose. Pro-Rector (Acad) NUST, Dr. Asif Raza, also addressed the meeting and enlightened the participants with the role of NUST in training plant biotechnologists for meeting the agricultural threats. Dr. Muhammad Arshad, Coordinator USDA-ICARDA project, highlighted the progress regarding cotton virus management in a USDA-ICARDA funded project.  The group members then had an in-depth discussion on the subject matter. The foreign delegates also included Dr. Jodi Scheffler (USDA, USA) Dr. Judy Brown (University of Arizona, USA) and Dr. Rob Briddon (NIBGE). The Virology groups of Pakistan side include members from NIBGE,Punjab University and ASAB NUST. The participants from NUST included Dr. Najam-us-Sahar Sadaf Zaidi (Head Industrial Biotechnology Department at ASAB), Dr. Attya Bhatti (Head Healthcare Biotechnology Department at ASAB) and Dr. Hajra Sadia (Head Research Department at ASAB).