Interview with Dr. Muhammad Anwaar Nazeer (Biomedical Sciences & Engineering)
I am Dr. Muhammad Anwaar Nazeer. I came to KOC University in Fall 2013 under Higher Education Commission (Pakistan) scholarship. I did my PhD in Biomedical Sciences & Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Iskender Yilgor. My topic of research in PhD was “Design, Fabrication and Characterization of Biodegradable Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Applications”. In simple words, tissue engineering involves development of artificial tissues and organs by using biomaterials. Biomaterials are materials of natural or synthetic origin that are used to direct, appendage or provide substitute to the functions of native tissues/organs and they are not toxic to biological systems. Results obtained from research which focused on a wide range of applications, it has been demonstrated that tissue engineering has tremendous potential for bone, skin, cartilage, liver, kidney, muscle and nerve regenerative medicine applications. During my PhD research, I worked on synthesis of bio-compatible materials and utilized these materials to fabricate scaffolds for skin and bone repair. Now, I am working as a post-doc researcher with Prof. Seda Kizilel and working on a very core issue of tissue engineering. The engineered scaffolds are lacking blood vessels, so we need to generate organized blood vessels network in these artificial tissues, specially in thick scaffolds for true clinical translation of engineered tissues and strategies.
I am also leading Pakistani community in Koc University as President, Pakistan Students Association (PSA). We organize different events to introduce our culture to Turkish community and with other international students. Key events include Basant (Kite Flying), Cultural Show, Pakistani Music, Food Festival, and inter-university sports competition. Extra-curricular activities are necessary to take a break from hectic routine of classes and research. KOC University’s Office of International Affairs, Research Center for Asian Studies usually support our various activities. As cricket is very popular game in Asia so we have very few cricket teams in Istanbul. Other than KOC, Sabanci University, Özyeğin University and two locally registered clubs play cricket. We usually have bilateral cricket games with Sabanci University. Turkish Government is also keen to introduce Cricket game in Turkey. Recently, they organized a cricket tournament on behalf of International Cricket Council. KOC team also participated and we won all the league matches and reached to Final match. Unfortunately, KOC team was defeated by Özyeğin team after very tough and interesting competition. Originally, match was drawn and and then decided on super over (Just like if in a soccer game, match is drawn in available game time and then decided on penalties). So, at the end of the day, we stood second and got trophy and silver medals. But we really enjoyed while playing and appreciate Turkish Government for arranging such a wonderful event.
Playing 11 team members who were awarded silver medals include Faheem Ahamd (Team Captain), Muhammad Anwaar Nazeer, Najeeb Ahmad, Jameel Ahmad, Rehan Chaudhry, Talha Irfan Khan, Munam Arshad, Anjum Malik, Muhammad Tahir, Haseeb Ullah, Faaz Butt (Team Manager). The whole team was re-awarded with silver medals in a small ceremony held in Koc University. Dean of Students, Dr. Bilgen Bilgin along-with Mert Sanivar (OIP Office) and Mehmet Bulak (Sports Coordinator) re-awarded trophy and medals to team. At the end, Anwaar presented trophy to Mehmet Bulak on behalf of Pakistani Community.
In near future, we are also planning to organize an inter-university cricket tournament. We will try to make compulsory for each team to add at-least 2 Turkish players out of 11. This will help us to introduce cricket game to Turkish people because usually they think that its base ball :D, but its not :).
Of-course, everything gets success because of team effort. In PSA team we have several people who work hard to make things happen for a successful event. PSA team includes Muhammad Anwaar Nazeer (President), Aatif Ijaz (Event Coordinator), Faheem Ahmad (Finance Coordinator), Faaz Butt (Sports Coordinator), Muhammad Zeeshan Shah (Cultural Coordinator) and Syeda Rubab Batool (Information Coordinator). We are very dedicated to arrange more events in KOC University to introduce our cultural and norms with Turkish and other International students.