In the field of medicine, the importance of drugs and medicine cannot be neglected. A doctor can prescribe medicine but cannot treat a patient without the medicine. It has always been a pleasure to be a pharmacist.
I was in Pakistan and I had finished my graduation from a top ranked university in Pakistan, University of Lahore, and I was wondering about my future as it has been quite a competition for the pharmacists to find a suitable job after graduation. I had got a public sector job in District Headquarter Hospital in Sargodha DHQ hospital pharmacy as clinical pharmacist. One day my elder brother Dr. Muhammad Shahbaz (PhD student at Shandong University) called me and asked me to prepare my documents for application, and later I applied for the master degree in Shandong University. I never imagined that I would get Chinese government scholarship Council Scholarship (CSC) in master degree from one of the prestigious universities in the world.
The day I arrived in Shandong University, was the starting day of immense change in my life. I had the privilege to work under the supervision of Prof. Wang Fengshan, dean of Cheelo College of Medicine. He polished my skills in the basic research and guided me step by step to be excellent in the research. It was an amazing experience and honor to be the first foreign master degree student in the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
My first day at the class was unforgettable. I arrived in classroom along with my teacher. My class fellows stood up to welcome me as they welcome the professors. I was quite astonished and happy to see the honor from my fellows. Before my admission, all the presentations, classes and seminars were conducted in Chinese language, but soon after my arrival, Prof. Wang Fengshan made it necessary for all the students to speak and present their work in English. It was a good idea and an excellent opportunity for Chinese students to learn English but it was not as good for me to learn Chinese language. However later during the lab work and daily communication I started to learn Chinese and now I am glad to be able to speak Chinese in daily communication with the Chinese people.
Under the supervision of Prof. Wang Fengshan and team which includes Jiang Wenji, Li Lian, Di Wang, Huang Shengshi and I started working on my research in 2015. My research topic was "Grb2 involvement in Cancer". I conducted the experiments and sometimes it was late night when I finished my experiments. In the beginning it was tough to achieve good results. It took me more than one year and more than 3 attempts to achieve the desired results. But I must mention the support and encouragement of Prof. Wang Fengshan and my brother Dr. Muhammad Shahbaz for their continuous support throughout these years. Without their support, it would have not been possible. Thanks to my research teammates, we have successfully published more than 10 SCI papers in our department.
I had a dream to participate in some volunteer activities to help the needy, after arriving China. Fortunately, I had the chance to join the International Education Charity Organization to give free English lessons for the remote areas Chinese students. I was awarded by the Shandong Provincial Bureau for what I did. Later I had the privilege to participate in the Open Discussion of One Belt and One Road Initiative to discuss about “How the Economic Corridor CPEC Can Become a Health Corridor”. I mentioned the feasibilities and opportunities for the CPEC to make the China-Pakistan friendship bond stronger. Some of the recommendations are as follows.
Pakistan and China could develop cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry and pharmaceutical technology. Raw materials could be extracted in cooperation with Chinese companies which are sometimes costly. The chemical industry in Pakistan is not well developed and most of the chemicals are imported. The CPEC and B&R Initiative could help develop this sector. Traditional Chinese medicine is a vast area to be explored. Pakistan is an agricultural country with plenty of unique herbs. Amalgamating Pakistani and Chinese herbal medicines and techniques could revolutionize the area of herbal curative system and remedy treatments, as well as capturing a handsome share of the huge international market for herbal medicines. Almost 30,000 herbal drugs, cosmetic and health care production companies are operating in Pakistan. Pakistan and China could create a link between the herbal research centers, teaching institutes, universities, researchers, academics and experts that will ultimately aid the exchange of information required for the capacity building of Pakistan in the herbal sector. The exchange of knowledge and information would be followed by the setting up of a joint department of herbal and traditional medicine through which the public will be able to access advanced herbal treatment.
As the first foreigner master degree graduate of School of pharmaceutical sciences at Shandong University, I feel immense pleasure and pride. It was an extensive gratification for me to get awarded as the outstanding international student graduate of 2017 by Shandong University. I will strive to be the best representative of Shandong University and will remember the opportunity Shandong University gave me and all the love and care by the friends and my research team specially Wenjie Jiang. I would like to convey my special regards and thanks to Prof. Liu Zhiyu, Prof. Niu Jun, and My Professor Wang Feng Shan for their supports and guidance throughout these years. I am thankful to my parents and my loving Brothers Dr. Muhammad Shahbaz, HM Sajjad, Ali Akbar and Dr. Misbahul Ferdous for your continuous support and love.
I am lucky to have my brother as a doctor and I am a pharmacist, we will work together to serve the humanity. I have been working on Cancer Pharmacology and I will continue to work in this field to find cure for cancer. I would like to thank CSC (China Scholarship Council) and Shandong University for giving me the opportunity to get the master degree. I love Shandong University.
Written by: Muhammad Ijaz, School of pharmaceutical sciences, Shandong University; CSC recipient.
Edited by: Song Yijun