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LAHORE, July 21: US Consulate General Lahore Economics Officer Frank P Talluto on Saturday launched the US-funded bio-statistical consulting centre at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences.

The centre has been equipped with 20 computers and state-of-the-art data analysis software to develop research plans, analyze data, and draft manuscripts for publication.

He said the United States government was focusing on Pakistan’s educational capacity building through science and technology programme and added the US authorities had allocated $350,000 for research projects for Pakistan this year. He said the new centre would provide critical research-infrastructure support to investigators and students in Pakistan conducting high-quality research.

Under the cooperation programme, Dr Hafiz Anwar Ahmad of Jackson State University (JSU) in Mississippi conducted a US-funded rigorous three-week research camp for faculty and PhD students, which concluded on Saturday.

In addition, Dr Ahmad was also identifying researchers and graduate students for further US-funded training at JSU. The centre and the JSU training would pave the way for further development of vital human resources and technology infrastructure in Pakistan.

Speaking at the concluding session of the three-week biostatical summer research camp on ‘Developing Research Plan and Proposal’ on UVAS campus, he said the academia and institutional linkages would be strengthened between the two countries. He said as many as 14 US varsities were collaborating with Pakistani universities in the initiative.

Mr Talluto said the Pakistan was the third country where US science and technology programme would be introduced. He urged the participants to envisage new research projects with innovative solution so that future challenges could be met.

Dr Anwar Ahmad said the training comprised experimental designs, data collection and analysis methodologies, statistical software training, interpretation of results, manuscript development and grant writing. He said that almost seven research papers were ready for publication in international journals.

He also announced the names of three academics who would participate in the six-month training abroad -- director external linkages Dr Imtiaz Rabbani, Associate Prof Dr Sadaf Aslam and Dr Jabbran Hussain.