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Islamabad, Pakistan

The Foundation University, Islamabad , is a private university located in Islamabad, Pakistan. It has three additional campuses in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan.The university offers undergraduate, post-graduate, and doctoral studies in medical science, humanities, fine arts, philosophy, law and various registered academic programmes. Its primary financial endowment and funding are sponsored by the Fauji Foundation, run under the auspicious of Pakistan Army.FUI has been established as a private sector university, sponsored by the Fauji Foundation which is the largest welfare organization in the country. FUI was granted its charter by the Federal Government vide Ordinance No. LXXXVIII of 2002.In a university category list issued by the Higher Education Commission in 2005, Foundation University was placed in the "A" category, along with other top ranking universities of Pakistan such as LUMS, NUST. According to the latest ranking of HEC, Foundation University has been placed in the highest W-4 category. Wikipedia.

Vercauteren F.,Foundation University
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2010

In this paper, we introduce the concept of an optimal pairing, which by definition can be computed using only log2 r/φ (k) basic Miller iterations, with r the order of the groups involved and k the embedding degree. We describe an algorithm to construct optimal ate pairings on all parametrized families of pairing friendly elliptic curves. Finally, we conjecture that any nondegenerate pairing on an elliptic curve without efficiently computable endomorphisms different from powers of Frobenius requires at least log 2 r/φ(k) basic Miller iterations. © 2009 IEEE.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: BM Gates Foundation | Award Amount: 741.83K | Year: 2016

Finger millet is a grain crop of strategic importance to food security in Eastern Africa. The grain has high nutritional value, can grow in arid environments and thus is important to the livelihood of smallholder farmers. A major agricultural goal in the region is to develop higher yielding varieties of finger millet through reducing or eliminating diseases that impact growth of the plant. Blast fungus is a pathogen that reduces yield up to 80% and is one of the main diseases affecting finger millet. To understand how to control disease outbreaks, this project uses genomic sequencing as a powerful approach to identify precise strains of the fungus and to study how the fungus causes disease symptoms in the plant. Sequence analyses of blast strains collected in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia will provide information on the genetic diversity of the pathogen in Eastern Africa, and provide a resource to identify the factors that are responsible for infection of finger millet. The knowledge from this approach is essential to develop efficient disease management strategies. Furthermore, sequence analyses of the finger millet host will clarify why some cultivars are more resistant to blast than others. The generated resources will also be used as a vehicle to train undergraduate and graduate students in Eastern Africa in bioinformatics, an expertise that is essential to translate the information to improve breeding strategies.

The specific aims of the project are to (1) Generate 80X PacBio sequence for the allotetraploid finger millet genome (1C=1.8 Gb) to generate a high quality genome assembly (1C=1.8 Gb); (2) Resequence 200 Eastern African isolates of the finger millet blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, including 24 that were collected 10 years ago, to determine the diversity and evolution of this finger millet pathogen both over time and across geographic regions. The blast genome sequences will be mined to identify candidate effector genes using an effector prediction pipeline that incorporates common characteristics of known effectors (secretion and high polymorphism levels;(3) Analyze the blast-finger millet interaction transcriptome using RNA-Seq to identify genes that are induced at early stages of infection. Genes encoding secreted proteins will be identified from the RNA-Seq experiment and cross-referenced to those identified using the effector prediction pipeline. Host genes that are differentially expressed will be compared between compatible and incompatible interactions, and with genes that are differentially expressed during early stages of blast infection in rice, and(4) Develop a nested association mapping panel of some 4000 RILs derived from 21 diverse parents using a double round robin design. This population will represent the first mapping resource that captures substantial diversity present in finger millet germplasm and has a high quantitative trait loci detection power.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Systems and Synthetic Biology | Award Amount: 451.15K | Year: 2016

One of the major challenges in biology is to discover ways to convert renewable plant-based material into commodity chemicals and fuels. For this process to be economically feasible, valuable products must be made from lignin, a portion of plant material that now remains mostly unused. Lignin is abundant and its chemical composition holds great potential for bioenergy production and biotechnology. This project seeks to use newly developed tools in computational and experimental biology to manipulate bacterial pathways for improved lignin degradation with the ultimate goal of developing effective methods of generating energy in a renewable fashion. A soil bacterium, Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1, that already degrades a vast array of plant derived compounds will be used in these studies. The degradation capability of this bacterium will be expanded by introducing new genes into the chromosome and by optimizing the expression of the catabolic genes for the desired applications. This integrative project will be accomplished via a multi-disciplinary collaboration, including an international component. Training opportunities will enable students to visit and conduct some of the research in the laboratories of different collaborators. All collaborators have a strong commitment to training students at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels. This project will be used to enhance diversity and inclusiveness in the scientific community.

Building on the conceptual framework of synthetic biology, this project will develop A. baylyi as the recipient cell (the chassis) to incorporate genetic modules (devices) to expand bacterial pathways for aromatic compound catabolism. To overcome obstacles that may arise from differences between idealized concepts and biological realities, a novel method of experimental evolution that relies on gene amplification will help optimize metabolic functions. This method exploits the exceptionally high efficiency of natural transformation and homologous recombination in A. baylyi. This bacterium is an ideal chassis for lignin biodegradation because of its powerful genetic system and ability to degrade many aromatic compounds, including those that are toxic to Escherichia coli. Experimental flux analysis and kinetic studies will be used to build dynamical models for the design, optimization, and synthetic expansion of aromatic compound catabolic abilities. Advanced computational tools, developed by a member of this research team, in collaboration with others, will also be applied: Biochemical Network Integrated Computational Explorer (BNICE). To complement these approaches, biochemical, biophysical, and structural studies will examine how the spatial orientation of enzymes can be used to improve catalytic efficiency, target metabolite flow, and prevent toxic intermediates from accumulating.

This collaborative US/UK project is supported by the US National Science Foundation and the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Chemical Synthesis | Award Amount: 510.00K | Year: 2016

The Chemical Synthesis Program of the Chemistry Division supports the research project by Professor Gregory H. Robinson, a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at The University of Georgia. Professor Robinson and his research team are studying the unique chemistry of low-oxidation state main group chemical compounds. The goal of this research is to exploit the unique stabilizing effects of organic bases (a class of compounds known as carbenes) on highly reactive main group molecules. For example, important molecules like disilicon (Si2) are only detectable at extremely low temperatures. In contrast, diphosphorus (P2) is typically only detectable at very high temperatures. The Robinson team has developed a means to stabilize molecules like Si2 and P2 (and many others) at room temperature, thus allowing the convenient study of the structure and reactivity of these important molecules. In particular, these researchers recently reported the first stable molecular examples of silicon oxides. This project investigates the synthesis of more ambitious silicon oxides. This chemistry has the potential for us to learn more about the silicon-oxygen interface with possible implications to computer chips and semiconductors. These researchers will also attempt to synthesize molecules containing large silicon and arsenic clusters. This project lies at the heart of main group chemistry, a field of inorganic chemistry that has traditionally received more emphasis in Europe. Outreach activities involving women and traditionally under-represented groups is central to this research. The students engaged in this work are acquiring valuable synthetic and experimental skills that make them highly valuable in the employment market.

An ambitious program to explore challenging areas of low-oxidation main group chemistry is underway. The Robinson laboratory has developed N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHC or L:) and N-heterocyclic dicarbene (NHDC) derivatives that are being used as a unique platform from which many unusual low-oxidation state main group species can be synthetically stabilized. Major synthetic goals in this work include: (a) carbene-based multisilylenes; (b) carbene-stabilized silicon atom and clusters; (c) carbene-stabilized heteronuclear diatomic molecules [i.e., silicon carbides, diatomic III-V (13-15) species, arsenic phosphide (AsP)]. The recent report by this laboratory of carbene-stabilization of elusive silicon oxides (Nature Chem. 2015, 7, 509) has encouraged these workers to develop the long-sought molecular chemistry of SOx. Consequently, the syntheses of a series of carbene-stabilized silicon oxides (such as SiO, SiO2, Si2O, Si2O2, and Si3O6, etc.) and silicon hydrides [Si3H2 and Si2H2 (parent disilyne)] are being pursued. These carbene-stabilized silicon oxides may be further utilized to develop the corresponding transition-metal-modified derivatives and transfer silicon oxide clusters into organic or organometallic substrates. In addition, carbene-stabilized bis-silylenes are explored as potential transfer agents for the disilyne unit. The transition metal chemistry of carbene-stabilized zero-oxidation-state main group species are being examined in the work. Research findings from the Robinson laboratory have repeatedly challenged traditional theories of structure and bonding in inorganic chemistry and some of this has begun to appear in chemistry textbooks. Students engaged in this work are acquiring valuable synthetic, crystallographic, and computational skills. The Robinson laboratory has a positive record of extending the chemistry enterprise to larger segments of the human resource as a number of women and African Americans have been trained in his laboratory. In addition, Professor Robinson has developed a popular seminar course entitled Molecules That Changed History.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY | Award Amount: 489.81K | Year: 2016

This project focuses on the development of new instrumentation for measuring the optical properties of atmospheric aerosol. These instruments will provide measurements of light scattering and absorption by aerosols and enable better characterization of soot particles and particles containing black and brown carbon. A better understanding of the optical properties of atmospheric aerosol is needed for more accurate ground-based and satellite retrievals of data on atmospheric aerosols and for developing improved global climate models.

This research will: (1) build a portable 3-wavelength polar nephelometer to measure light scattering by particles as a function of angle and light polarization; (2) expand the capabilities for measuring ambient aerosol absorption by adding a near-IR channel to a photoacoustic spectrophotometer (PAS), building a UV PAS instrument, and constructing a thermodenuder to better measure the black and brown carbon components of absorption, and (3) more accurately measure the optical properties of soot (black and black carbon) and especially those properties associated with aerosol coatings.

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