KARACHI: ​Pakistan-born scientist ​​​​​​​​Asifa Akhtar has become the first international female vice president of the biology and medicine section at Germany’s prestigious Max Planck Society.


The Max Planck Society is the most successful research organization in Germany. Since its inception in 1948, there are no less than 18 Nobel nominees from the ranks of scientists, putting them in a good position with some of the world’s most prestigious research institutes.

During her tenure in office, Ms.

“My heart beats for young scientists,” a public website quoted Akhtar as saying.

“The science of education is a good example of integration because it has people from all over the world transforming knowledge without borders, culture or prejudice,” he told the public in an interview.

As vice president, Ms. Akhtar also wants to promote gender equality. “Gender equality should always be practiced. There are women who are at the forefront of science and we must make every effort to use the resources to benefit the Max Planck Society, ”she said.

To allow for gender diversity in different fields of work, he said, society needs to have more resilience and understanding. “If we want women to advance in science, we need to provide practical solutions such as child care and time sharing or home office options,” she added.

Born in Karachi, he found himself a doctor at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, UK, in 1997.

He then moved to Germany, where he was a Postdoctoral fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and at the Adolf-Butenandt-Institute in Munich from 1998 to 2001.

Unks Akhtar was awarded the Early Career European Life Science Organization award in 2008, became an EMBO member in 2013, and the Feldberg Award in 2017. He was re-elected as a member of the National Academy of Science Leopoldina in 2019.