Sunway University’s Professor Naveed Khan Awarded Science Academy Gold Medal

~Award Winning Biological Sciences Research on the Potent Defence Mechanism of the Cockroach now at Sunway University~

BANDAR SUNWAY, Malaysia, April 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — In recognition of his outstanding research work in Biological Sciences, Sunway University’s Professor Naveed Khan was awarded the prestigious Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS) Gold Medal in November 2015. Simple yet fascinating, his research into cockroaches can be summed up. “As cockroaches live in the filthiest places known to humans, it makes sense they have potent defence mechanisms against superbugs. While we are protecting ourselves against various infections by introducing new antibacterial soaps, species such as cockroaches thrive in polluted environments.”

Professor Naveed Khan, Head of Biological Sciences, Sunway University who made a hero out of cockroaches.

Professor Khan’s research found several new antibiotics in the brains of cockroaches. He found that a cockroach’s central nervous system produces antibiotics with strong properties which kill bacteria deadly to humans such as the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and neuropathogenic E. coli without doing harm to human cells.

“Cockroaches are one of the most hated creatures but the fact is that they have existed for some 300 million years, have survived catastrophic events and high levels of radiation, live and thrive in filthy conditions. Based on these facts, we can learn a lot from such species. I believe they have a potent defence system,” said Professor Khan who aspires to look for an efficient answer to infectious diseases.

Professor Khan believes his research findings can help save millions of human lives, in the face of increasing threats from infectious diseases and emergence of superbugs. His research caught worldwide media attention and a Google search of “Naveed Khan and Cockroach” yields more than 50,000 web pages.

Since he joined Sunway, his team has extended his work to even scarier animals, such as crocodiles and alligators. He emphasises that new answers to age old problems or even emerging issues require one to go back to the basics. Professor Khan described how Sunway University is helping students to develop the ability to understand how to solve problems. By putting in the time, student’s research sensitivities will mature and keep them coming back to the lab throughout their degree programme. Professor Khan added, “Research is not a job but a lifestyle. Apply these skills to your routine lives. This will serve as a building capacity for the nation and yourself.”

Professor Khan brings with him 16 years of research and teaching experience to Sunway University in Malaysia. Sunway University partners Lancaster University, a top 10 UK university and ranked in the top 1% globally. Many of Sunway University’s degree programmes lead to dual awards with certificates awarded by both universities.

Rated 5-star by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) in teaching, employability and facilities, Sunway University’s graduates are highly sought after. In the Student Barometer Survey Entry Wave 2015 undertaken by i-graduate, the Sunway Education Group including Sunway University was ranked No.1 in Asia for overall learning experience and employability.

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