The research program at Applied and Functional Genomics is focused on the understanding of the molecular basis of cancer and infectious diseases (HCV, dengue, SARS-COV-2). The group is aimed at finding disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets. These molecular studies seek to define novel interactions between viral proteins and cellular targets and address basic mechanisms such as viral persistence and antiviral resistance.

The other major goal of the group is to find medicinal plants with antiviral and anticancer activity that can help treat these deadly diseases. We are not only screening the plants but also studying their molecular route of action (both at coding and non-coding RNA levels) so that it can be effectively proposed as a potential drug. The discovery of alternative and complementary regimens for the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer is a need of time from clinical as well as economic points of view. The cost-effective bioactive natural compounds production, high biochemical diversity, and inexistent/ milder side effects contribute to the new alternative therapies.

Key areas

Functional Genomics, Biomarker identification, Expression studies, HCV, Dengue, SARS-CoV-2, Breast cancer, Liver cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Phytomedicine, Prophylactic implications, In silico drug prediction, In vitro and in vivo models


  • PI HEC NRPU (Investigation of hepatoprotective role of flavonoids and Saponins mediated pathways in liver fibrosis and cirrhosis) amount of 4.2 million Rupees
  • PI PHEC (Generation of SARS-COV-2 spike and protease cell culture system: screening of medicinal plants, plant-based compounds and molecular basis of interaction with host) amount of 8.00 million Rupees
  • PI NIH-HRI (RNAi as molecular scissors against dengue virus and Aedes aegypti mosquito: strategy to kill two birds with one stone) amount 2.7 million Rupees
  • Co-PI HEC NRPU (Regenerative Medicine (RM) in combination with Ayurvedic plants for the treatment of injury induced arthritis) amount 6.321 million Rupees
  • HEC SRGP (Screening of Cyclopeptides as anti-HCV therapy) amount of 0.325 million rupees
  • HEC SRGP (Role of IncRNA in metastatic ability of Invasive Breast Cancer) Amount of 0.49 million rupees


  • Chemistry Department University of Sargodha
  • Bioinformatics Department GC University Faisalabad
  • Department of Entomology, Agriculture University Faisalabad
  • Biosciences Department COMSATS, Islamabad
  • Punjab University College of Pharmacy
  • Shaukat Khanum memorial Cancer hospital, Lahore
  • University of Veterinary and animal Sciences Lahore
  • University of Health Sciences
  • Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB) Basel Switzerland

Group Picture

Group Composition

Dr. Bushra Ijaz           

Doctorate Students:

Ayesha Malik   
Mariam Naveed
Aleeza Nawaz 
Huda Barkullah

MPhil Students:

Muhammad Safdar
Zohaib Fayyaz 
Ukasha Khalid 
Hamza Shaahbaz