profile imgAssociate Professor

Research and Clinical Interests
Lung Injury and Repair

PubMed
Lab

Dr. Ahmad's interests are in understanding factors involved in lung injury, repair and development. His research focuses on understanding the role of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs) in disease and development. Hypoxia-inducible transcription factors, HIF-1a and HIF-2a, play a major role in these processes. These transcription factors bind to the same DNA response element and regulate mostly overlapping and a few unique genes. Dr. Ahmad has indentified functional differences between HIF-1a and HIF-2a in cells of the pulmonary vasculature. He has found that HIF-2a promotes endothelial proliferation independent of HIF-1a. He has also found that adenosine A2A receptor is a unique downstream target gene of HIF-2a that can also promote endothelial growth and proliferation. More importantly his work has found that expression of this receptor is increased in patients with lung cancer and also in patients with pulmonary hypertension. Using animal models, his laboratory is currently investigating the role of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors and adenosine A2Areceptor in pulmonary hypertension.

The other area of Dr. Ahmad’s interest is in understanding the role of extracellular RNA (exRNA) in lung injury induced by inhalation of toxic chemicals. RNA released from cells passively as a result of injury or through the active process can activate signaling pathways. It is a unique molecule that can accelerate the inflammatory pathway and also activate the coagulation cascade.  He has found that exRNA inhibits anti-inflammatory pathway(s). Using a number of genetic, molecular and bioinformatics tools his laboratory is engaged in identifying the role of these exRNA species in such injuries. His lab is also testing therapies against chemical-induced toxicities in animal models.

Awards and Honors

Honors in Chemistry, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India, 1986
Recipient of Postgraduate Merit Scholarship, 1987-88 and 1988-89.
Recipient of the National Eligibility Test (NET) fellowship award, in Life Sciences of the University Grants Commission/Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (India) in 1989.
Qualified the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE-89), Indian Institute of Technology, India, percentile score 94.25.
Qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET), Indian Agricultural Research Services in Biotechnology (Plant Sciences), India, October 1993.
Qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET), Indian Agricultural Research Services in Biotechnology(Animal Sciences), India, October 1994.
Young Scientist Program Fellowship award, International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, XVIth Congress, New Delhi, India, 1994.
Recipient of the Florence Myers Goldhamer Fellowship in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, Colorado in the academic session 2002-2003.

Education

Aligarh Muslim University, M. Sc. (Biotechnology)
Aligarh Muslim University, M. Phil. (Biotechnology)
Aligarh Muslim University, Ph.D. (Biotechnology)

Contact

Office Location
BMR II, 312

Email
aftabahmad@uabmc.edu

Phone
205-975-9656