Dr. Hafsah MuhammadChapter Head KP
Dr. Hafsah Muhammad the KP-Chapter Head for Pakistan Biological Safety Association is a faculty member and Biosafety & Biosecurity expert at KP- Public Health Reference Lab (KP-PHRL) at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences (IBMS) – Khyber Medical University Peshawar. The Lab currently works round the clock providing COVID-19 testing service to tertiary care hospitals and District Head Quarter Hospitals of the province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Dr. Hafsah Muhammad has received her PhD in forensic molecular genetics from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad in 2016. During her doctoral studies she carried out her research at the Institute of Biomedical and Genetic Engineering, Islamabad and at the University of Cambridge, UK. At her parent department (Molecular Biology & Genetics/ IBMS-KMU)) she teaches biosafety, bioethics, One Health and molecular biology to post graduates and supervises research in the areas of her expertise, besides performing additionally assigned duties as Biosafety Officer, Coordinator for IBC, focal person for HRO implementation and in-charge of Biosafety Skill Lab she has set up in IBMS-KMU.
Dr Hafsah developed interest in the concepts of biosafety and biosecurity when she voluntarily worked during her postgraduate studies in USAID funded activity about Dual Use research of concern at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, in 2009. After joining KMU in 2017 she applied her basic biosafety knowledge and skills and expressed her interest and commitment to improve the already existing institutional biosafety program. After receiving formal professional trainings from PBSA, Dr Hafsah has emerged as a young and dynamic leader in the field of biosafety, providing services such revising Biosafety curricula, training life science research students, faculty, health care workers, organizing seminars & training sessions in other health care facilities and academic institutions thus not only strengthening the KMU Biosafety program but also improving overall biosafety culture in KP.
Since the start of epidemic in January 2020 Dr. Hafsah has been on the fore front. She in anticipation of possible pandemic took some concrete steps and organized the KP chapter by organizing groups of trainers for different facilities, developed training materials and conducted trainings at different hospitals, universities and schools. At her work place, she has trained lab staff, security personnel, janitorial and support staff, developed and updated SOPs, upgraded BSL-2 to BSL-3 labs, and Provided consultancy to different hospitals for sampling, packaging and transporting suspected COVID-19 samples.
To her, being on job means at work not necessarily for the specified working hours. Her philosophy is – to be at the service of others round the clock. Dr. Hafsah does not do what is just required of her but she does more to feel free.