Four Biology Students at SSE-LUMS Receive PhD Scholarships
The very first graduating class of the Department of Biology at the LUMS School of Science and Engineering (SSE) is already realising its promise and with many months still remaining to their graduation as many as four students from the department have already gotten offers for fully-funded direct admissions into PhD programmes at some of the top and most selective universities in the world.
These four bright students; Kamil Ahsan, Syeda Nayab Fatima Abidi, Anum Khan and Saman Hussain, now have fully-funded PhD scholarship offers from some of the top-tier universities of the world including; Oxford University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, Duke University, New York University and Dartmouth University.
Saman Hussain has scooped up PhD offers in Biophysics from Oxford University, Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania whereas Kamil Ahsan, who aspires to pursue his PhD in Evolutionary Development has multiple options on the table to opt out from, which includes offers from University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, Duke University and New York University. Meanwhile, Nayyab Abidi has received her PhD nod in Neuroscience from University of Illinois and Urbana Champaign where as Anum Khan has an offer from Dartmouth University.
The scholarship-winning students unanimously agreed that they had received tremendous support and encouragement from the Biology department, SSE and LUMS. Ahsan pointed out that they received “a lot of help from all their professors especially from Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Dr. Sohail Qureshi and Dr. Shahid Khan.”
He went on and said that all of the Biology professors had always been there to give them individual attention, which helped them reach their final decision about their respective areas of specialisation. The students stressed that a key step in this process was, determining their final year projects which eventually helped them in identifying their areas of research specialisation.
When students were asked about applying for PhD right after an undergraduate programme, Ahsan replied, “When we started off with the Biology major, we were clear that we are not in medicine track or the Bio-Technology track, so we always knew that if we wish to go into research, we would have to apply for a PhD. It was only a question of when we start our PhD and what area we go into.”
Adding to Ahsan’s input, Abidi said, “All the courses were offered at the right time, this helped us decide by the end of our third year what our research areas should be.”
While commenting on the achievements of Biology students, Dr. Muhammad Tariq, the Chair at the Department of Biology said, “I am simply excited about their success. They have made us all very proud."
He added that their acceptance in some of the top-rated universities "that people only dream about" is a matter of pride and recognition not only for the Biology department but for SSE and LUMS alike. He also shared that Biology Programme offered at SSE-LUMS is competitive and far ahead of the U.S. programmes.
While commenting on the laudable achievements of Biology undergraduates, Dr. Adil Najam, Vice Chancellor of LUMS, said, “I am delighted at the commendable achievements of these students, who proved to be another link of the chain of successes coming from other departments at SSE.”
He also shared his happiness over the news from SSE, which included prestigious PhD admissions as well as jobs in leading international companies, such as Microsoft. He termed them all as a source of pride for LUMS.
Dr. Najam also emphasised that this news is "just one validation of the vision and aspirations with which LUMS and SSE was originally set up".