Dr. Muhammad Afzal


Dr. Muhammad Afzal

Assistant Professor


Dr. Muhammad Afzal joined Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (PAF-IAST) as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in March 2024. He is a graduate of the University of Health Sciences in Medical Laboratory Sciences and worked at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in the Department of Pathology, as a Sr. Medical Technologist. Later on,  he joined Riphah International University as a Scientific Officer and pursued his Ph.D. Biochemistry in Basic Medical Sciences under the scholarship program of the same university. He got the award of scholarship under the International Research Support Initiative Program (IRSIP) from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan for the University of Minnesota USA where he worked on the prostate cancer cell lines and discovered novel information on the mechanism of cell death in prostate cancer. Noteworthy, his novel observations on cellular Ca2+ dynamics in response to alterations in protein kinase CK2 which is a “master regulator” of cell survival and death. He described for the first time that on inhibition of CK2 activity (which induces cell death), there were very early changes in Ca2+ levels in the intracellular compartments including cytosol, endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria which ultimately triggered the events activating the apoptotic machinery. Moreover, he has won 03 university-funded grants and published more than 25 research articles in national and international peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, he has supervised 04 and co-supervised 04 M. Phil. students in Basic Medical Sciences.

Professional Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, PAF-IAST, 2024 – Present
  • Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Islamic International Medical College of Riphah International University, Islamabad, 2021 – 20224
  • Scientific Officer, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Islamic International Medical College of Riphah International University, Islamabad, 2013 – 2021


  • Ph.D. Basic Medical Sciences (Biochemistry), Riphah International University, 2020
  • M. Phil., Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan, 2014
  • B.Sc., Medical Laboratory Technology, University of Health Sciences Lahore, 2008


  1. A basis for prenatal diagnosis of Haemophilia-A in Pakistani patients. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 2022. https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.38.8.6524
  2. Noninvasive prenatal testing of beta-thalassemia for common Pakistani mutations: a comparative study using cell-free fetal DNA from maternal plasma and chorionic villus sampling. Hematology (Amsterdam, Netherlands). , 2022. https://doi.org/10.1080/16078454.2022.2045052
  3. Protein kinase CK2 – diverse roles in cancer cell biology and therapeutic promise. Molecular and cellular biochemistry, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11010-022-04558-2
  4. Differential expression of cancer associated plasma miRNAs in the ordnance factory workers, exposed to 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene. Pakistan journal of medical sciences, 2022. https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.38.3.4928
  5. Protein kinase CK2 impact on intracellular calcium homeostasis in prostate cancer. Molecular and cellular biochemistry, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11010-020-03752-4.  


  1. Non-invasive Prenatal Diagnosis of Beta-thalassemia for Common Mutations in Pakistan: A Comparative Diagnosis using Cell-free Fetal DNA from Maternal plasma and Chorionic Villus Sampling. ORIC research grant/Riphah International University. Co-PI. 2020-2021.
  2. Development of Non-invasive Prenatal Aneuploidy testing in Pakistan Using Cell-free Fetal DNA from Maternal Plasma ” Project No: Riphah-ORIC-21-22/FHMS-31. ORIC Research Grant Award/Riphah International University. Role as PI. 2021-22
  3. “PCR-based Screening for Genetic Variants of BRCA1/2 Genes Susceptible to Breast Cancer”. ORIC research grant/Riphah International University. Role as PI. 2023 -2024.

Awards & Prizes

2018, Award of scholarship under International Research Support Initiative Program, Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan.
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