LAHORE - Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassadaq Hussain Jillani has stressed the need for setting priorities to regain past glory.

Addressing the inaugural session of international symposium at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Tuesday, he said that though there had been considerable development in education and research in the country during the last 10 years, there was still much to be desired.

“It is high time that we ask ourselves why not a single university of 57 Islamic states is amongst top 100 institutions of the world; why Pakistan spends only 2.4 per cent of its GDP on education; and, why we have such a horrible infant mortality rate”, Justice Jillani said.

The two-day symposium has been arranged by Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Biomedical Materials (IRCBM) in collaboration with UHS, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology and Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology, King Edward Medical University.

In his address, Prof John Haycock of University of Sheffield, UK, said that  biomaterials were being used in joint replacements, bone plates, bone cement, artificial ligaments and tendons, dental implants for tooth fixation, blood vessel prostheses, heart valves, skin repair devices (artificial tissue), cochlear replacements, contact lenses, breast implants, drug delivery mechanisms, sustainable materials, vascular grafts, and stents.

The Executive Director of IRCBM Prof Ihtesham-ur-Rehman, stressed the need of strengthening linkages between universities and industry.

UHS VC Maj Gen (retd) Prof Muhammad Aslam said that emerging biomedical materials held out the promise of new therapies for the treatment of many currently untreatable medical conditions. He emphasized that research results should enter the market for larger public good.

The theme of the symposium is ‘Translational Research and Commercialization’. The topics discussed included: materials in orthopedic and clinical dentistry, skin repair and regeneration, tissue engineering, drug delivery, nanotechnology, biosensors, implants, materials for cancer treatment and current clinical approaches to functional neurosurgery, skin injuries, ophthalmology and cover treatment.

The facilitators who spoke included: Prof Jean-Louis Marty, University of Perpignan, France, Prof Jonathan C Knowles, Eastman Dental Institute, UK, Prof John Haycock, University of Sheffield, UK, Dr Jukka Pekka Matinlinna, University of Hong Kong, Dr Nicola Gree, University of Sheffield, UK, Prof Jawwad A Dar, University College London, UK, and Prof Syed M Awais, King Edward Medical University, Lahore.