Irfan obtained his B.Sc. (Hons.) and M.Sc. (Hons.) degrees in plant breeding and genetics from Pir Mehar Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. His master’s research focused on discovering and characterizing SUMOylation machinery genes in the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) genome. After completing his masters, he worked as a research fellow at the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC), Islamabad, Pakistan.
After coming to Canada, he completed his Ph.D. in Plant Science at McGill University. During his Ph.D. training, Irfan characterized the germination associated thaumatin-like proteins in barley through the exploitation of bioinformatics, molecular biology, proteomics, and chemical biology related tools. His research interests include gene discovery, protein engineering and expression and gene editing for crop improvement.
At GIFS, Irfan joined the OPAL platform with Dr. Andrew Sharpe to establish genomic resources of alfalfa for the development of drought and salt-tolerant germplasm.