Alveena Zehra

IFBA ECC Member (Pakistan)

Organization: The Aga Khan University (Pakistan)

Current Field/Position: I am a doctorate in Biotechnology and currently serving as a Research Specialist at Aga Khan University, Pakistan. My work primarily involves identification of need to laboratory biosafety and biosecurity training, planning the trainings, and conducting them on a national level. This work is part of a larger project that aims to strengthen local capacity of laboratory staff for antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Pakistan.

Special Interests: As a biotechnologist, I am interested in recent developments in the field of biotechnology and the need for responsible and careful usage of these technologies to ensure global safety. With technologies such as genome editing, it has increasingly become important to have strict regulations, adequate biocontainment systems, and multiple layers of control in place to avoid biosafety or biosecurity breaches in laboratory settings (which prevents genetically modified organisms from being accidentally or deliberately released). I’m very interested in reading and otherwise continuing to enhance my knowledge about this.

What Attracted You to the ECC?: Differences in the availability of resources, trainings, socioeconomic conditions, gender roles, and cultural practices makes implementation of safety culture a challenge on regional and global scales. These differences must be acknowledged to develop frameworks of practice that may be practical, attainable, and sustainable for implicated groups. As the IFBA ECC considers these aspects, and aims to advocate for marginalized groups in biosafety and biosecurity, I feel inclined to get involved with them.