Presentations

Prevent Pancreatic Inflammation Due To An Endoscopic Procedure: Dr. Sohail Zakiuddin Husain, MD

  • Speaker’s Profile

    Dr. Husain is an Associate Professor of Pediatric Gastroenterology at the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses treating pancreatitis, which is a painful, inflammatory pancreatic disease. Dr. Husain has published over 55 scientific papers and holds two large independent research grants from the NIH. He also serves as a standing NIH study section member, Chair of a major GI abstract committee, Vice-Chair of the Pancreas Committee of the North American Pediatric GI Society, and Co-Director of the Pittsburgh Pediatric Pancreatic Program. On a Jamaat level, Dr. Husain serves as President of the USA Ahmadiyya Muslim Scientists.

  • Abstract

    A novel strategy to prevent pancreatic inflammation due to an endoscopic procedure called an ERCP.

    There is a pressing need to develop effective preventative therapies for post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP). We recently published that early PEP events are induced through the activation of a calcium-activated phosphatase called calcineurin and that global deletion of calcineurin abolishes PEP in a mouse model. A crucial question is whether calcineurin within the pancreas itself controls the initiation of PEP. We now show, using two complementary genetic approaches, that PEP is dependent on calcineurin produced by the main cells of the pancreas called acinar cells and that calcineurin inhibitor medications, infused within the radiocontrast given during ERCP, can largely prevent PEP. These results provide impetus for launching clinical trials to test the efficacy of this novel delivery of calcineurin inhibitors to prevent PEP.

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Pesticide Effects on Honeybee Survival and Gene Expression: Dr. Mohamed Alburaki, Ph.D.

  • Speaker’s Profile

    Mohamed Alburaki, Ph.D.
    Honeybee genetics and behavior, The University of Tennessee, Entomology and Plant Pathology Department
    Jackson, TN – USA

  • Abstract

    Some widely used pesticides, such as neonicotinoids, are known to be extremely toxic for bees and can, even at sublethal doses, significantly decrease honeybee performance and trigger disorders in colony dynamics and labour partition. The aim of the present work was to assess the effects of agricultural pesticides on honeybee survival and physiological stress. A large number of foragers were tracked during their foraging activity in four different agricultural landscapes. Those landscapes included three agricultural areas that contained large field crops (corn, cotton, soybean, and sorghum) and one control treatment with no agriculture. Marked bees were recovered from their colonies after few weeks and analyzed chemically. Expressions of some detoxification genes were quantified in the recovered bee brains too. Our results show that recovered foragers contained low doses of pesticides except those foraging in non-agricultural area. Genetic expression of the studied genes showed no response to pesticide exposure but rather to the bee ages.

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Reconciliation of Chirality with the Holy Qur’an: Dr. Hameed A. Mirza, Ph.D.

  • Speaker’s Profile

    Dr. Hameed A. Mirza has a Ph.D. in Metal-Organic Chemistry from University of Western Ontario, London. He then moved to McGill University and did post-doctoral fellowship in Protein Engineering Center of Excellence at Pulp and Paper Research institute Canada. Since 2004, he is teaching at the Department of Chemistry at York University. Dr. Mirza is also involved in the applied research in the area of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the A.S. Chemical Laboratories Inc. as Chief Scientific Officer. He has published over 45 research papers in the peer reviewed international Journals and made over 50 presentations at regional, national and international conferences. He also sits as the board of directors at the NAPIT. Currently, Dr. Mirza is also serving as the National Secretary Ta’lim (Education) at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at. He is also serving at the President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Scientist Association Canada.

  • Abstract

    In 1848 Louis Pasteur discovered first time evidence of chirality in the salt of tartaric acid. He was able to isolate two set of crystals each mirror image of the other. Since then thousands of chiral molecules have been discovered or synthesized in the laboratories around the globe. The extra ordinary properties of these optical isomers that have identical chemical composition, deeply have an impact on our life.  Many medicines heal or exhibit adverse effect due to the presence of chiral molecules. This presentation will discuss the basic nature of chiral molecules, its impact on our life along with the initial research work by our group in the light of Quranic references regarding the concept of Chirality.

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Is Honey Just Sugar?, Review of scientific evidence: Dr. Tauseef Ahmad Khan, Ph.D.

  • Speaker’s Profile

    Dr Tauseef Ahmad Khan is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. His research interests are honey, sugars and their effect on cardio-metabolic health. He also serves as the Chair of Review of Religions Research Canada, a research group of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Canada.

  • Abstract

    Honey has been used since ancient times for its sweet taste and benefits for health. In a recent statement, World Health Organisation has included honey among added sugars and called for a limit to the use of honey.

    Is honey just another form of sugar?

    Does honey have health benefits beyond its sugar content?

    Dr. Ahmad will compare honey with sugar and present his research on the cardio-metabolic effects of honey versus sugar.

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Code of the Holy Qur’an – Number “19”: Dr. Munir Hasssan, Ph.D.

  • Speaker’s Profile

    Education

    • PhD – University of Sheffield, UK

    Former Regular Positions

    • Professor & Vice Chancellor, NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi
    • Advisor to Chancellor, Sir Syed Engineering University, Karachi
    • Director, Usman Institute of Technology, Karachi
    • Founder Principal, Riphah University Engineering College, Islamabad
    • Executive Director, Sir Syed Institute of Technology, Islamabad
    • Rector, Iqra University, Karachi
    • Dean Engineering, Bahria University, Karachi

    Former Honorary Positions

    • Chairman, Institution of Electrical Engineers, Pakistan, Karachi Centre
    • Chairman, Institution of Electrical & Electronic Engineers, Pakistan, Islamabad Centre
    • Chairman Sectional Committee for Rotating Machines, Pakistan Standards Institution
    • Vice President, Institution of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, Pakistan
    • Member Board of Governors, Institute of Material Sciences, Pakistan Steel, Karachi
    • Member Advisory Board, PERAC Research & Development Foundation, Karachi
    • Member Executive Committee, Pakistan Engineering Council
    • Member Qualifications Equivalence Committee, Pakistan Engineering Council
    • Member, Hamdard Majlis-e-Shoora (Founded by Hakim Mohammad Saeed)
    • Managing Trustee, Trust for Scientific Research in Qur’an (TSRQ)

    Professional Affiliations

    • Life Fellow, Institute of Engineers, Pakistan
    • Life fellow, Institution of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, Pakistan
    • Life Member, Pakistan Engineering Council

    Publications

    An Engineering Textbook, Books on Qur’an & Science, Autobiography, Some Other Books, Research Papers, Scientific & Medical Articles, and Other Articles of General Interest Published in the Newspapers.

    Distinctions

    • Pioneer of Biomedical Engineering Education and Research in Pakistan
    • Proposed a New Model for the Treatment of Cancer
  • Abstract

    The Holy Qur’an is a complete Book from Allah not only for the believers but also for all the human beings. It is not only a book of Faith and rituals, but gives a complete code of life. It covers all the aspects of our worldly life including social, moral, political, legal and financial. This aspect of the Qur’an is known to everybody, especially to the believers.

    All Muslims believe in the Holy Qur’an as a divine book. However, in the last a few decades there have been instances where even the believers, especially the younger ones, have been curious and started asking questions. Apart from other earlier arguments, Allah has recently revealed many other arguments for those who sincerely want to learn from it. Many are in the scientific field where the truthfulness of Qur’an becomes more and more evident as the deliberation on various Qur’anic verses in the scientific interpretation is carried out.

    This presentation is mathematical evidence of the Holy Qur’an being a divine book. This miracle was not known until about four decades ago and is now gaining popularity. It shows that various letters, words, verses and Surahs (Chapters) of Qur’an are not randomly placed, but are placed according to a pre-determined mathematical arrangement. There is so much sophistication in this arrangement that nobody could ever think about it at the time of the revelation of various verses of the Qur’an. It could only be a work of a Supreme Wise who planned all these arrangements and research is still going on in this direction. However, whatever is known till today is enough to prove that it is a divine revelation and can never be a work of a human being.

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Understanding the Production and Use of Medicinal Marijuana in the Context of Quran and Science: Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza, Ph.D.

  • Speaker’s Profile

    Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza is a graduate of the University of Alberta in plant sciences. He worked as a research and extension specialist in greenhouse crops with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development for 33 years and now is director of education and research with the Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association. His main achievement is the development of soil-less cultivation for greenhouse vegetables. He is the editor of Alberta Greenhouse Newsletter and also writes a column “Growing Points” in a national magazine Greenhouse Canada.

  • Abstract

    Cannabis species cultivation in the history of the world has been well documented and spans a time of several thousands of years BC. For the most part, cannabis was used for medicine and spiritual purposes during the pre-modern time. The idea that it is an evil drug is a recent construction.

    Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica are two common species grown.  Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. It acts much like the cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

    Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in certain areas of the brain associated with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and time perception. According to NIDA, THC attaches to these receptors and activates them and affects a person’s memory, pleasure, movements, thinking, concentration, coordination, and sensory and time perception. While THC is considered to cause psychoactive symptoms, another closely related chemical Cannabidiol (CBD) is shown to help with diseases like nausea, pains etc.

    Canada is expected to legalize the use of Marijuana in 2017. The author has been researching the use of hemp varieties (Cannabis sativa L) for high CBD contents and is going to suggest that it’s use in medicinal area will come under the Quranic commandment of 2:220. He will present the information that recreational use of products derived from this plant will come under the same commandment where intoxicants are forbidden.

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The Pursuit of Science: Harnessing the Power of Nature: Mr. Sinwan Basharat

  • Speaker’s Profile

    Graduate Student, Dept. of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto.

  • Abstract

    “Blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators” [23:15]

    In the early 20th century, researchers began to unravel the great potential of microorganisms to improve the health of humans with the discovery of drugs such as Penicillin. These compounds known as antibiotics are produced by bacteria and fungi to fight off other organisms. It was these revolutionary compounds that transformed modern health care and were key in reducing the burden of infectious diseases, saving millions of lives.

    Allah says in the Holy Qur’an,

    “And He has subjected to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth: all this is from Him. In that surely are Signs for a people who reflect.” [45:14]

    From cattle to E.coli, it is the great beneficence of Allah that He has gifted humans with the capability to harness the power of nature and His creation. However, when this early work into microorganisms was being undertaken, no one could have predicted the great potential they could have for humans. While it is important to find cures to diseases and other human maladies through directed research, the last 100 years of science has repeatedly shown us that basic science, that is open ended inquisitiveness leads the way in finding new cures and new possibilities.

    My talk will highlight how basic science research especially into microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses has helped to revolutionize the way we treat diseases and has driven our understanding of the building blocks of life. I will discuss specific examples of the origins of biotechnology, drug discovery, molecular biology, and the latest gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR. My aim will be to inspire and to educate the attendees (both scientific & nonscientific) about the wonders of basic science as a vessel to improve the world.

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Powerful Pathways of the Holy Qur`an – Insights for social-neuroscience and BME (Brain, Mind, Education): Dr. Altaf Qadeer, Ph.D.

  • Speaker’s Profile

    Dr. Altaf Qadeer is a Member of ESERA (European Science Education Research Association). He has served as the Adjunct Professor and Site-Coordinator at York University (for teacher practicums).  He is currently working as a researcher at the Department of Science Education, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Granada University, Spain. He has worked as an educator for a long period in various parts of the world, including his long work in Canada.  Dr. Altaf Qadeer has recently written a book with some innovative approaches about cognitive-net, inspiring creativity and innovation. He has presented at various conferences and has delivered lectures on a range of topics.

  • Abstract

    The Holy Quran gives insights and living pathways to inspire our creativity in an ever expanding universe of ideas with multidisciplinary frameworks. With the power of thought experiments and complex frameworks of connectivity—the world of invention and learning has strong links to social-neuroscience, cognitive-net and the Holy Quran. The insights based on the Holy Quran can enrich human creativity in multiple ways. This short presentation regarding some innovative approaches and scientific evidences links previous research work in this field and demonstrates possible research pathways to apply them in the future scientific studies. There are also real life applications such as data collection through various research methods as micro genetic designs, experimental research methods and narrative inquiry.

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Defining a Person – The Conflict between Science, Secular Philosophy and Religion: Farhan Khokhar

  • Speaker’s Profile

    Farhan Khokhar works in the field of Risk Management and Quality Assurance. On a personal journey, he tries to learn more about the contemporary interpretation of scriptures. Farhan is deeply interested in “How People of Faith define themselves?”

  • Abstract

    Take existence of our mind and soul as a fact. But what and who is human? It is a question that has remained elusive since the emergence of human conscious. Thus it is not a surprise that agreement does not exist between science, secular philosophy or theology on how to define the precise moment when personhood begins and what are its rights and how do we define its end. From Aristotle to early Judeo Christian scholars; from birth of Islam to immense advancement in science there is no consensus of what uniqueness constitutes the human state and when that state does ends. This conflict between science, religion and secular philosophy is at the heart of this presentation. The presentation will explore Islamic teachings in context of historical and current advancements in science. It will highlight the key points of contention between religion, secular philosophy and science. The presentation will attempt to show that a solution to the conundrum of defining humanity is hidden in Revealed guidance.

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Gravitational Waves: Mohammad Shahab Khokhar

  • Speaker’s Profile

    Mr. Mohammad Shahab Khokhar is a theoretical physicist. He holds a Master’s Degree in Physics with a focus on Gravitation and Cosmology. Mr. Shahab has a keen interest in the relationship of Qur`an and science especially in the context of forecasting discoveries and scientific advancements based on the Holy Qur`an.

  • Abstract

    On September 14 th , 2015 Gravitational Waves were detected directly for the first time. This triggered a renewed interest in perhaps the most complex of the fundamental forces; Gravity. This presentation explores what the Holy Qur’an says about gravity. Furthermore, how we can use the hints within the Holy Qur’an to one day ride the gravitational waves and derive a Grand Unification Theory by understanding how gravity works.

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Computer Science Tools to Better Understand Quran: Dr. Afzal Uppal, Ph.D.

  • Speaker’s Profile

    Dr. Afzal Upal is a Senior Defence Scientist and Leader of the Effects & Influence Group at Defence R&D Canada’s Toronto Research Centre. Dr. Upal has a Bachelors in Double Math/Physics from Talim-ul-Islam College Rabwah, Masters in Computer Science from University of Saskatchewan, and PhD (Computer Science) from the University of Alberta in 1999. He has worked as a professor of Computer Science at Dalhousie University and the University of Toledo and as a professor of Cognitive Science at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He serves on the editorial board of several scholarly journals including Journal of Cultural & Religious Studies and Journal of Neurology & Psychology.

  • Abstract

    Given that Quran repeatedly asks its readers to ponder over its message, it is understandable that developing a fuller understanding of Quran has been important to Muslims since the time of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Starting with Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas “Tanwir_al-Miqbas” & other Islamic scholars who have produced hundreds of exegesis to help their fellow Muslims gain a better understanding of the word of Allah. Recent scientific breakthroughs in the field of artificial intelligence and information retrieval have resulted in the development of automated text analytics tools that aim to automatically discover and visualize patterns in various types of texts. Increasing number of scholars are turning to these tools to better understand patterns in various texts. In my talk I will review text analytics tools and using examples, illustrate how they can help us better understand the final word of God that’s designed to guide humanity till the end of times.

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