Research L​​aboratory, Juma Building

About the Lab

The Research Laboratory at Juma Building has been a key feature of the University infrastructure for research since 1999. At any given time, teams of energetic and dedicated researchers work in the areas of immunohistochemistry, cell and molecular biology, bacteriology, virology, parasitology, genetics, cancer and tissue banking.

Impact

  • Keeping in view of the regional spectrum of health needs and pattern of communicable diseases, this was the first purpose-built and fully functional Biosafety Level 3 facility in Pakistan that allowed researchers to conduct work on exotic and potentially lethal bacteria and viruses.
  • This lab has also functioned as a preemptive unit to introduce new laboratory techniques that became preferred bio-analytical methods in research and diagnostics at the University Hospital. Till 2004, it was the only facility in Pakistan that could offer Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing for tuberculosis. Eventually, the PCR technology was acquired by the Aga Khan University Hospital Laboratory and national labs.
  • Only facility that could support testing for anthrax in the 2001 bio-terrorism case at a leading newspaper’s office in Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Research Laboratory, Juma Lab regularly back-stops the University Hospital labs for several key tests.
  • To date, 60 projects have been completed and 151 papers published based on the work done in the lab.

Facilities 

  • Biosafety Level-2 Laboratory supports working with organisms/ biological samples of moderate risk.  
  • BSL2 has an open hall area with 36 research benches available on fair-usage policy.​​
  • Each bench space has:

    • a computer with full access to the internet

    • secured cabinets

    • safety hoods connected to the central exhaust system

    • basic equipment: centrifuges, water baths, hotplate, pH meters and vortexes

    • Under-counter fridges are available on almost all benches.

  • State-of-the-art microscopy and tissue culture suite

  • State-of-the-art imaging suite

  • Biological safety cabinets,

  • Sophisticated equipment: Refrigerated centrifuges and CO2 incubators.

 
  • Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory supports working with highly infectious organisms/ biological samples.
  • State-of-the-art suites for bacteriology/parasitology, virology & TB culture respectively
  • In addition to the above, each bench space has

    • Controlled environment with ante room locks, negative pres​sure monitors at each door

    • Biological safety cabinets connected to the building’s central exhaust system

    • Kill tank connected to every sink inside BSL3

Other Facilities​​​

  • Storage facility with ULT freezers and liquid nitrogen tank for biological samples.
  • Stored items include consumables, chemicals and reagents, and biological samples (imported cell lines and antibodies).

  • Round-the-clock electricity supply.

  • Safe environment (Restricted access, logging and monitoring and surveillance round the clock).

  • Efficient alarms (hooter, fire bell, smoke/fume detectors).

  • Conference/meeting room.

​​Location

​Ground​, Juma Building,

Aga Khan University

Stadium Road

Karachi, Pakistan

​​​​Contact​

Rizwana Nasim

 In-charge, Research Laboratory

Sana Ayaz
 Coordinator, Research