A Pakistani woman has become the first female vice president of the Biology and Medicine department at the prestigious Max Planck Society, a government-funded Germany’s research institute.
49-year-old Asifa Akhtar, who hails from Karachi, has become the first biologist to have achieved this feat. According to Business Recorder, she completed her doctorate study from Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London in 1997, after that she went to Germany where she completed post doctoral fellowship at the European Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and the Adolf- Butenandt-Institute in Munich from 1998 to 2001.
Apart from being in charge of the biology department, Asifa Akhtar will also serve as the focal contact person for the Max Planck Schools. She thinks that academic science is a beautiful example of integration because you have people from all over the world exchanging knowledge beyond boundaries, cultures or prejudice.
The Karachi-born woman has earned different many awards in the field of science including the Early Career European Life Science Organization Award (2008).
She is also vocal about gender equality and wants contribution of women in the field of science.
“Gender equality needs to be worked on continuously. There are outstanding women in science and we should make all the efforts and use our resources to win them for the Max Planck Society,” she said.