Meet the PI

Dr Faisal Khan

Dr Khan is a graduate of the University of Oxford, where he completed his doctoral studies at the intersection of Cell Biology and Systems Biology as a member of the Oxford Protein Informatics Group. His project involved integrating biological data and using ML techniques to predict gene function. His thesis identified 26 previously uncharacterised genes in Drosophila with a putative role in mitosis.

Founder, Averos Life Sciences

Peshawar, Pakistan


Averos is a synthetic biology company that is focused on ‘biologizing’ the Pakistani industry by engineering living systems, including yeast and bacteria, for industrial applications. Averos also works in systems biology where it uses artificial intelligence to better predict 1) drug candidates and 2) patient outcomes in infectious diseases and cancer.


Co-Founder, Basecamp Peshawar

Peshawar, Pakistan

Sep 13- Feb 19 

Basecamp is one of the first co-working spaces for startups, freelancers, techies and the creative folk in Pakistan. We rented out about 12000 ft2. in an unfinished building and turned it into one of the most creative workspaces available in Pakistan.


Founder, Sphericos Biotechnologies

Peshawar, Pakistan


Sphericos is an award-winning biotech startup that aims to target disease vectors like mosquitoes using bio-insecticides. Through its novel platform it produces cheaper and 'greener' bio-insecticides. Sphericos won two awards in 2011, including the top prize for Technology at the CUE Grand Finale in Cambridge.


Lead Consultant, Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable

Oxford/London, UK

 Feb 12-Jun 12 

I lead a team of Oxford consultants as part of an OBR Immersion project. We did an extended market intelligence analysis for an international biotechnology company. This included an analysis of four key emerging technologies in the life sciences sector followed by recommendations on where to expand to based on the existing product portfolio and R&D capacity of the company.


Cofounder and CEO, Peshawar 2.0

Peshawar, Pakistan

 July 13 - Present  

Peshawar 2.0 is a social enterprise that aims to engineer and foster a local startup ecosystem in Peshawar. My role after conception has been team-building, evangelising the concept of entrepreneurship in a knowledge-based economy, mobilising different stake holders academia (13 universities at the executive, faculty and student level), relevant government departments, provincial law-makers and the private sector, organising flagship events and overseeing the overall branding including our PR and marketing strategy.


International Officer, The Oxford Union

Oxford, UK

 Apr 13 - Sep 13 

The Oxford Union is the world's most prestigious debating society, with a reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. It has been established for 189 years, aiming to promote debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe. As member of the Trinity term 2013 committee, I helped organize two of the most electric debates of the term - 'This house believes Drone Warfare are ethical and effective' and 'This house believes Islam is a Religion of Peace'. 


Vice President, University of Exeter Islamic Society

Exeter, UK

 Dec 10 - May 11 

During my research visit to the University of Exeter, I was elected as Vice President of the Islamic Society (ISoc) for the new academic year. In close collaboration with the President, I have helped in a revamp of the society – from its internal policy to its marketing strategy. As VP, I also looked after the organisation of all events and have helped make ISoc one of the most active societies on campus.


Founder, Biotech Science Circle

Peshawar, Pakistan

 Mar 06 - Dec 07

BSC is the first biotechnology student society in Pakistan; aims at promoting research awareness amongst students and bringing in the trend of undergraduate research. Being the founding general secretary, organized numerous seminars, several guest lectures, launched BIOEXPLORER, the official newsletter, mentored and supervised ten undergraduate science projects which terminated into the first ever Biotech Science Fair organised on one of the oldest campuses of the country.

Assistant Professor

Institute of Integrative Biosciences

Aug, 2014 - Present


I am leading a research group focused on 1) using multi-omics analyses and cell biology to study cancer and 2) synthetic biology to engineer living systems for industrial applications. I am the PI of two main grants:

  • SynBioKP: Propagation of Synthetic Biology, PKR 12.5 million, granted by the Directorate of Science and Technology, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
  • Precision Medicine Lab, PKR 53.5 million, granted by the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan with an additional PKR 22 million from RMI and CECOS.




Joint Centre for Bioeconomy, IMSciences

Aug 14 - Present

Peshawar, Pakistan

I am the founding director of JCB, a joint interdisciplinary centre established under a partnership between the Institute of Management Sciences and the Institute of Integrative Biosciences (CECOS University). JCB is Pakistan’s first research and policy institute that focuses specifically on the biotechnology industry and its economic and ecological implications on the country.


Lead Faculty, Biology

National STEM School Lahore

Dec 16 - Present

Lahore, Pakistan

PIF has been organizing the National STEM School every year since 2016 gathering the best 30 high schoolers in the country under one roof at LUMS. The 10-day residential winter camp has 5 tracks, including Synthetic Biology which I lead.



Institute of Integrative Biosciences

Aug’ 14- Apr’ 18

Peshawar, Pakistan

As the founding Director of the Institute I was responsible for both the academic and the administrative components of the project. I designed and developed different components of the new Institute from the overall strategy, administrative processes, recruitment of senior and junior faculty and staff members, curriculum development to the design, construction and procurement of faculty offices, the research and teaching laboratories, developing the branding strategy and the annual marketing plans.


Visiting Faculty

University of Peshawar

Nov 13 - Mar 15 

Peshawar, Pakistan

As a visiting Assistant Professor at the Centre of Biotechnology and Microbiology, I teach Bio-Entrepreneurship to final year undergraduates. I have also taught the Bioinformatics-I module to third-year undergraduates and Systems Biology 101 to MPhil and PhD students. 



Edwardes College Peshawar

May 13 - Sep 13 

Peshawar, Pakistan

I worked with the Advancing Sciences team and leading the Biology stream of the new BSc Natural Sciences degree programme. The project includes, designing and developing the curriculum for the 4-year course, hiring faculty and establishing science laboratories for the new degree programme.


Research Assistant


June 07 - Nov 07 

Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Worked at the AMC Department of Biochemistry on two Human molecular genetics projects funded by the Federal government of Pakistan, i.e. the study of gene polymorphisms in Warfarin metabolism and the molecular characterization of Wilson’s disease in Pakistani patients.

DPhil (PhD) in Systems Biology

St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford

Jan 10 - Sep 13

I was a member of the Oxford Protein Informatics Group led by Professor Charlotte Deane. My cross-disciplinary work focuses on developing integrated protein interaction networks for mitotic MAP proteins and training prediction models to identify novel ones that might have a role in cell division. I experimentally tested my findings using different methods from genetics, biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology in fruit flies. My doctoral thesis proposed a new integrated network-based method to predict protein function and also uncovered new proteins with a potential role in cell division.

Master’s in Biology (Integrative Biosciences)

University of Oxford

Oct 08 - Sep 09

  • Spring Project: Mitotic Microtubule Associated Proteins (MAPs) in Drosophila: assessing a bioinformatics analysis using functional screening
  • Summer Project: Studying the interactions of PH-domains with PIP molecules in lipid bilayers using coarse-grained molecular dynamics
Bachelor's in Biotechnology (Hons.)

Centre of Biotechnology, University of Peshawar

Jan 04 - Dec 07

Major: Biotechnology, Grade A  
Higher Secondary School Certificate

Pakistan International School, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

May 01-Jul 03

Biology (A), Chemistry (A), Physics (A)

  • Appeared in and interviewed by numerous local and international print and electronic outlets to speak on Biotechnology, Science, Technology, Innovation, Startups, Education, Higher Education, Youth, including:
    • Pashto: AVT Khyber TV, Khyber News TV, VOA Pashto, Deewa Radio, Radio KP, Mashriq TV
    • Urdu: BBC Urdu, VOA Urdu, DawnNews TV, daily Aaj, daily Mashriq, daily Express, Samaa TV, ARY News, GEO News, Jang Urdu, Nai Baat, Channel 24, Express News
    • English: Nature, MIT Technology Review Pakistan, Express Tribune (NYTimes), the daily Dawn, The News, PTV World, Frontier Post
  • I run a podcast (online audio channel) by the name of Faisal and Shafeeq in Pashto language, focusing on all things related to Education and the Economy from national, regional and international perceptive. Available on Soundcloud and Apple Podcasts.
  • Member of the Global Future Council on Synthetic Biology, World Economic Forum 2020-21
  • Young Global Leader 2019, World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland
  • Reception and Commendation Award by Dr Shahzad Khan Bangash, Additional Chief Secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Nov 2017
  • SATHA Innovation Award, IRP Summit, City University Peshawar 2017
  • Rajeev Circle Fellowship 2017, Palo Alto, California
  • Acumen Pakistan Regional Fellowship 2016, Karachi
  • SATHA Innovation Award, IRP Summit, UET Peshawar 2016
  • Invited to Meeting of Distinguished Scientists, Office of the Additional Secretary Office, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Nov 2016
  • Reception and Commendation Award by Muhammad Azam Khan, Additional Chief Secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Nov 2016
  • Young Development Leader Award 2016, Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan
  • Pakistan HEC Overseas Scholarship for Masters and PhD, 2008-13
  • IWBDA Scholarship 2013
  • St. Anne's College Research Grant 2013
  • BSCB Honor Fell Award 2012
  • Pakistan Future Leaders Conference 2012 – nominated to represent the Education committee in the final joint session at the Oxford Union and presented the resolution.
  • St. Anne’s College Domus Award 2011
  • ISMB/ECCB Travel Fellowship 2011
  • Cambridge University Entrepreneurs £5k Challenge 2011 – won the largest business plan competition at the University of Cambridge. Sphericos Biotechnologies won the 1st prize in the Technology Stream at the Grand Finale organized at the Cambridge Union Society (Cambridge, UK).
  • Pakistan Young Leaders Conference 2011 – Best Delegate Award for Foreign Policy at the annual conference gathering over 250 Pakistani students and alumni from universities across the UK (Oxford, UK).
  • BSCB Honor Fell Award 2009 
  • Oxford University-Noon Foundation Award during Masters 2009
  • St. Anne's College Graduate Conference Grant 2009
  • Novartis Biotechnology Leadership Camp 2009 - amongst top 40 ‘young biotech leaders of the future’ from around Europe (Basel, Switzerland).
  • Peshawar University Merit Scholarship 2004-07
  • 1st Meeting of Nobel Laureates with Top Pakistani Students 2006 – amongst top 100 graduates in Pakistan (Islamabad, Pakistan).


University Startup Competitions

  • Winner and Runner-up with two separate plans in the £1k Challenge 2011 organized by Cambridge University Entrepreneurs, with a proposal for Khadija’s Business Park, a social enterprise for women and a novel biotech start-up that aims to produce ‘greener’ bio-insecticides.
  • Semi-finalist, McKinsey Venture Academy 2013, for Inscite and educational social enterprise.
  • Semi-finalist, Idea Idol 2013, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford for Aurora, a design consultancy for the next generation of lab equipment.
  • Semi-finalist, TATA Idea Idol 2011, University of Oxford, for Khadija’s Business Park, a social enterprise that addresses the problems of women unemployment and post-flood rehab in Pakistan.
  • Semi-finalist, Idea Idol 2009, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford - proposed a biotech start-up which would produce safer and more efficient bio-insecticides using a novel production strategy.


University Quiz Competitions

  • 1st Positions in Peshawar University Inter-Departmental Quiz Competition (2005 & 2006).
  • Finalist, Provincial Inter-University Quiz, Pakistan TV, Peshawar Centre.
  • Finalist, National Inter-University Science Quiz Competition, Pakistan Naval Academy.
  • Startup Weekend Peshawar SynBio 2017
  • Biotech Young Leaders Conference, Peshawar, 2017
  • The Future Is Now! RoundTable Conference, Peshawar, 2017
  • Startup Weekend Peshawar 2017
  • IEEE International Conference on Emerging Sciences 2016, CECOS-Sarhad Peshawar
  • ArtTech Festival 2015, Peshawar, Pakistan
  • UNDP Social Good Summit 2015, Peshawar, Pakistan
  • Digital Youth Summit 2015, Peshawar, Pakistan
  • Digital Youth Summit 2014, Peshawar, Pakistan
  • Peshawar Civic Hackathon, UET Peshawar 2014
  • Startup Weekend Peshawar 2013, UET Peshawar
  • TEDxPeshawar 2013, UET Peshawar
  • 4th International Oxford RNAi Conference ‘RNAi2009’ at St. Anne's College, Oxford, UK
  • Joint University-Industry Workshop on the role of Nanomaterials in Drug Delivery and Cancer Treatment 2008, LUMS School of Science and Engineering, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Biotech Science Fair 2007, University of Peshawar, Pakistan