Program Overview

Molecular genetics is an important sub discipline of the major field of biological/life sciences. It has its tremendous contribution in the recent and historical advancements since the discovery of DNA double helical structure by Watson and Crick, as well as other landmark discoveries such as polymerase chain reaction followed by the initiation of human genome sequencing project. Molecular genetics mainly focuses on but is not limited to the genetic information of the living organisms in terms of storage, transmission as well as expression and control of genetic information. In the current era of huge technological advancements although most rather all the sciences are interrelated and cannot be fully separated from one another, molecular genetics still occupies its space in the life science disciplines.

In the department of biosciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, faculty members having background in the field of molecular genetics are engaged in conducting quality research on various aspects of molecular genetics. Research done in our laboratories is routinely published in good quality peer review scientific journals. Familial studies are conducted on different families having various clinical phenotypes that follow mendelian patterns of inheritance, whereas sporadic forms of the diseases are subjected to genetic case-control model of studies in which associated of a single locus is established with a disease phenotype by genotyping cases as well as controls followed by appropriate statistical analysis.

Faculty members and Principal Investigators have also established international collaboration and wherein there comes the need for a highly demanding research facility that is not available in our department then PhD scholars are engaged with international collaborators through different fellowship opportunities such as HEC IRSIP program to conduct part of their research in universities of technologically advanced countries.

Entry Requirements

minimum of 18 years of education in a relevant field (Biosciences, Biology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Genetics, or a related field).

  1. A minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent is expected.
  2. A research proposal-outlining intended research project demonstrating understanding of the research area, highlighting the significance of the research, and outlining the research objectives and methodology.
  3. Appear for an entrance test, which assesses your aptitude and subject-specific knowledge.
  4. Shortlisted candidates may be called for an interview. The interview aims to assess your motivation, research interests, and suitability for the program.
  5. Need to submit letters of recommendation from academic referees who can attest to your academic abilities, research potential, and suitability for doctoral studies.

Research Opportunities

In the major program of PhD Molecular Genetics specializations can be sought in the various aspects of the human genetics including but not limited to the following areas:

  1. Cancer genetics (breast cancer, urinary blood cancer)
  2. Cardiovascular genetics (myocardial infarction, familial hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia)
  3. Ophthalmic genetics (retinitis pigmentosa, cataract, glaucoma, high myopia, diabetic retinopathy, retinoblastoma)
  4. Neurogenetics (neuropsychiatric genetics, neurodevelopmental genetics, epilepsy, Dyslexia and ADHD)
  5. Hepatobiliary genetics (gallstone disease, liver diseases)
  6. Next Generation sequencing: Next generation sequencing is employed to identify novel genes and genetic variants associated with the disease phenotypes.

Career Prospects

Doctoral graduates in Molecular Genetics have a range of job opportunities within the country as well as abroad, of which few are listed below: -

  1. Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs (IPFP): This is a competitive program run by HEC for placing fresh PhD graduates for one year in different universities within the country.
  2. Faculty positions: New faculty positions are advertised by different universities from time to time, and fresh graduates can be hired as assistant professors or lecturers in different departments.
  3. Post doctoral positions: PhD graduates can also be hired in different institutes as early career post docs.
  4. Faculty/Post doc positions in international universities: Fresh PhD graduates may find relevant positions in international universities abroad for early training before engaging themselves in career building.

Scholarships available

HEC offers indigenous Ph.D. scholarships for eligible students to study in higher education institutes of Pakistan. Ph.D. students may also receive a one-time scholarship by HEC to carry out part of their research work in world-renowned universities for a period of six months under International Research Support Initiative program (IRSIP). Ph.D. studentships may also be available to work with a principal investigator in funded project of his area of expertise.