Pakistan-born scientist Asifa Akhtar has become the first international female vice president of the biology and medicine section at Germany’s prestigious Max Planck Society. The Max Planck Society is Germany’s most successful research organisation. During her term of office, Ms Akhtar will be in charge of the institutes of the sections and will also be the contact person for the Max Planck Schools.
Born in Karachi, Asifa AKhtar obtained her doctorate at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, UK, in 1997.
She then moved to Germany, where she was a Postdoctoral fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and the Adolf-Butenandt-Institute in Munich from 1998 to 2001.
Ms Akhtar was awarded the Early Career European Life Science Organisation Award in 2008, EMBO membership in 2013, and the Feldberg Prize in 2017. She was also elected as a member of the National Academy of Science Leopoldina in 2019.