I am a Group Leader and MRC Career Development Fellow. I am interested in investigating mechanisms of blood-brain barrier (dys)function in neurodegenerative diseases using patient-derived stem cells, gene editing (CRISPR-Cas 9) and organ-on-a-chip technologies.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Pharmacy with Honours (BPharm(Hons)) from the University of Mosul, I studied for Masters and Doctoral degrees at Sheffield Hallam University, investigating the mechanisms of brain water transport where I discovered a novel pharmacological framework for developing drugs to treat traumatic brain injuries and stroke.
I held my postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital where I spent 3 years. During this time, I developed 3D in vitro models to investigate mechanisms involved in improving the effectiveness of therapeutic antibodies for Alzheimer’s disease in collaboration with Biogen.
I moved to Oxford and joined DPAG in late 2020, working on CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering of human iPSC-derived neurons from Parkinson’s patients to investigate molecular disease mechanisms in collaboration with GSK. In 2021, I was awarded the Leverhulme Research Fellowship that enabled me to start my independent work and I became a Departmental Research Lecturer.
In 2023, I launched my research group at DPAG and Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery, which is funded through my MRC Career Development Fellowship.
Our group aims to investigate mechanisms of blood-brain barrier (dys)function in neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries using patient-derived stem cells. We design and build innovative dynamic 3D multicellular in vitro model to accurately recapitulate the brain and BBB function under neuroinflammation and other neurodegenerative-relevant conditions.