Prof. Dr. Najma Najam's Profile

Prof. Dr. Najma Najam is a Fulbright alumna who earned her Master’s and PhD degrees from Bowling Green State University, Ohio (1975-1980). She was a Senior Fulbright Fellow (1995-1996) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), Pittsburgh and a Visiting Fulbright Faculty to Wakesha College, Wisconsin in 2005.

Presently, Dr. Najam is Professor Emeritus at Institute of Applied and Clinical Psychology, Punjab University Lahore and has served as Vice-Chancellor of Karakoram International University, Gilgit (2009-2014). She is the founder – Vice-Chancellor of the first women’s University of Pakistan, Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) 1998-2007.

Dr. Najam is one of the senior most psychologists of the country and has over 43 years of teaching, research and administrative experience in public-sector universities of Pakistan. She was trained in the U.S. in brain-behavior (Neurosciences/ Psychology) and has been an active researcher and teacher at all levels in the university systems, in addition to being involved in expanding the research and teaching in behavioral neuroscience. Her special interest is capacity building of women in higher education management and key developmental issues affecting Pakistan.


Adventures on the Road Less Travelled (Neurosciences, Fulbright Grant and My Journey

The Fulbright grant was a life changing experience which impacted not just my academics, but my journey in life. Starting with interviews and tests, to receiving the award, and eventually travelling in a blizzard to arrive at a university town in the Mid-West – it was all part of my journey. I still remember, the first morning I looked out of the second-floor window, with snow piled up to the windows and said to myself, if I had the money to go back, I would! Since I did not, I stayed!

I studied in the best neurosciences program and worked with those who are now considered pioneers in neurosciences. It was tough, quite a challenge being a Pakistani woman in an all-male field. Come rain, snow, blizzards, labs classes and meeting and torturous defenses of projects; they all groomed me to face the toughest situations. For me, more important than my PhD degree was my advisor’s handshake, and his comment that this was one of the best doctoral defense he had attended.

Upon my return I introduced Behavioral Neurosciences, Psycho-Pharmacology, and Neuropsychology into curriculum, which are now being taught at all major universities. From the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, I brought in training in Neuropsych assessment and Rehabilitation, which I weaved into my teaching. The U.S. academic experience had toughened me to take on the challenge of setting up the first women’s university in Pakistan. The teaching training and administration was modelled on my U.S. university experiences.

In addition to my academics, I personally grew from a shy withdrawn young woman who flourished in the U.S. system to evolve as a scientist with strong leadership and networking skills. This was again very important when I became the first woman Vice Chancellor to set up a university - Fatima Jinnah Women University.

Prof. Dr. Najma Najam
Professor & Advisor Academics
University of the Punjab & Virtual University

Fulbright Scholar
1995-1996 & 2005-2006
University of Pittsburgh & Wakesha College, Wisconsin




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