By Suhail Yusuf
Charity for science
An imaginary circle of less than three kilometers encompasses what can safely be described as the hub for science in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Built with funds donated by individuals and groups from across the country in the last 50 years, the five centers for research that dot this particular area of Karachi University are now torch bearers in their respective fields.
Of these five centers, one is the only institute for human clinical trials in Pakistan, the other a core of computational biology and the third provides consultancy to people suffering from genetic diseases.
Besides world class research, these centers are also engaged in creating competent academia, providing solutions to hundreds of industries, as well as lending a hand in addressing various domestic issues.
The centers and their growth have been working towards what has been termed as a ‘silent revolution’ and had been described by Professor Wolfgang Voelter of Tubingen University as a ‘miracle.’
The nucleus of chemistry
The Hussain Ebrahim Jamal (HEJ) Research Institute of Chemistry was only a small post graduate institute before a generous donation of Rs 5 million in 1976 set the center towards the path of excellence. Latif Ebrahim Jamal’s endowment, on behalf of the Hussain Ebrahim Jamal Foundation, was the largest private funding for science in Pakistan at the time.