Next Generation Sequencing Seminar 2017 – Pakistan



The seminar was held by H. A. Shah & Sons which is a company of H. A. Shah Group in collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific on Next Generation Sequencing at Ramada Hotel Islamabad. It was thoroughly attended by the clinical team of The ZB Foundation, who also interacted with the technical attendees there. The ZB Foundation is deeply thankful to Dr George Sahyoun for recommending its involvement to the organizers.

The main speakers were Dr Sarah Chahine and Jessica Ghazarian. The seminar included talks by the aforementioned speakers on:

  • Thermal Cyclers, PCR Polymerases,
  • Automated DNA/RNA Extraction Techniques via KingFisher,
  • Oncology and Reproductive Health laboratory solutions

Sales Manager Mr. Hassan Naqvi and Chairman Mr. Musharraf Bokhari of H. A. Shah & Sons also took few minutes to introduce the agendas of H. A. Shah & Sons Company and their services.

  1. A Shah & Sons were established in 1975, H. A. Shah & Sons initiated their work as an exclusive distributor of laboratory equipment within Pakistan, with its major focus towards delivering inventive and innovative technology, creative solutions, and competent dynamic service to its clients. Since four decades, they acquired the key markets of Pakistan including the chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, as well as the automotive and food sectors. With offices all over the country, at present H. A. Shah & Sons are Pakistan’s only representatives of the world’s leading laboratory equipment manufacturers Agilent Technologies (USA), Anton Paar (Austria), and Retsch (Germany), NETZSCH(Germany), LAUDA(Germany). They are ISO 9001:2015 certified among the manufacturers, also known for their quality efficient products and dedicated services.

Dr Sarah Chahine is the Genetic Analysis Specialist for Middle-East region for Thermo Fisher Scientific. At her role, she focuses on NGS products focusing on Genetic disorders. Sarah started her career at Life Technologies in the USA as an Account Manager where she was also responsible for the Sanger Sequencing and QPCR products. Jessica Ghazarian is the Technical Sales and Product Specialist for Middle East region for Thermo Fisher Scientific. On 8th September 2017, Mohammad Ali Jinnah University President Prof Dr. Zubair Shaikh offered to Thermo Fisher Scientific, the USA to establish a Biomedical Scientific Research Center at its University campus to encourage research activities in the field of life sciences education.

Dr Sarah and Jessica were delighted to know about The ZB Foundation’s Newborn Screening Program and would love to assist us in various ways in future. In her talk, she highlighted that the 7000 Rare Diseases are not as rare they used to be years back and 25 to 30 million people are afflicted with them every year. She also highlighted that 1000 genes are responsible for mental retardation in Pakistan population. Further emphasis was put on Pakistan’s standing in the statistics of Rare Diseases to be peaking higher as days go by due to consanguinity posing as a great factor.

From the seminar and the exclusive interaction with them, The ZB team concluded that some flexible equipments can be used for the confirmatory tests. Some of those equipments included:

  • TaqMan PCR,
  • Vertiflex Thermal Cycler System,
  • SimpliAmp Thermal Cycler system,
  • Ion AmplSeq technology,
  • Applied Biosystems Real Time PCR
  • HID Veriti 96-Well Thermal Cycler

Image credits: The seminar speakers with the ZB team. From left to right – Dr Sarah Chahine, Ayesha Raza, Fizza Faizan Farooqui, Ambreen Barkat and Jessica Ghazarian.

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