By Jean Gordon Cook
(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University has been awarded more than $400,000 from the U.S. Department of State to establish a Biostatistical Consulting Center at a Pakistani university. The project is part of the State Department’s Pakistan-U.S. Science and Technology Cooperation Program.
“Pakistan and the United States have a long history of cooperation,” said the project principal investigator H. Anwar Ahmad, who is an associate professor of biology and manager of JSU’s Biostatistical Support Unit. “These projects increase contact on a person-to-person level.”
The grant will help create a new Biostatistical Consulting Center at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) in Lahore, Pakistan. Construction of a state-of-the-art lab there started in January, Ahmad said.
The project will also take Ahmad to Pakistan periodically to train faculty and other researchers in experimental design and data analysis. Participants will be selected from UVAS and other institutions in the country, with special emphasis given to qualified women. Researchers and graduate students who have already collected their research data will be identified for further training at JSU.
“At the Biostatistical Support Unit at JSU, we’ve been providing consulting services to faculty and researchers mainly on campus,” Ahmad said. “We have the expertise to share it with others.”
The funding is part of the State Department’s division of Development, Security and Cooperation, which engages developing, transitional and advanced industrial societies to promote social progress and reduce global conflicts and crises. The projects help build the science and technical community in the cooperating country, bring it into the mainstream of the international scientific community and enable scientists to share insights and knowledge.
Ahmad is actively involved in multidisciplinary and multifunctional collaborative research nationally and internationally. Some of his research areas include biostatistics education and consulting, neural network modeling of physiological variables, microbial risk assessment and poultry growth and nutrition modeling.