Boston University’s Hamid Zaman and his students have developed a detector for counterfeit and defective drugs flooding poorer countries, among other technologies to improve medical care in the developing world.
Zaman is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at BU’s College of Engineering and a columnist for The Express Tribune. But now he has another feather in his cap.
He is one of the 15 professors across the United States – and the first Pakistani – to receive the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professorships, awarded to researchers to introduce innovative techniques for undergraduate science education. And for this, the professorship confers a five-year $1 million grant to each HHMI professor.
The aim of the professorship is to provide resources to research scientists who are making science more engaging for undergraduate students and empower these individuals to create new models for teaching science at research universities, according to the HHMI website.
And how will Zaman make this happen? “My goal is to use the professorship to increase awareness about complex health challenges in developing countries, including Pakistan, and develop stronger academic ties between students,” he says, while talking to The Express Tribune. “Collectively, I hope, we will be able to address high-impact health challenges of the developing countries, through innovation, context awareness and a broad-based approach.”
The goal is to go beyond the disciplinary boundaries and integrate policy, development and health research with engineering education to come up with new and more potent tools to address these challenges, he explains.
“A lot of my approaches and appreciation of global health challenges are derived from my background. I grew up in Pakistan so not only do I have a soft corner for global health challenges.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2014.