I graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University with BPharm (Hons.) in 2004. After working for one year as a licensed Pharmacist, I realised that my career interest is beyond pharmacy practice. Since I was intrigued by the drug discovery and development topics during my undergrad studies, I decided to start my career in the Medicinal Chemistry field. I was offered a Research Assistant position at the Department of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the National Research Centre (NRC) in Cairo. There, I worked on the design and synthesis of amino acid derived GABA analogues as anti-convulsant agents with Prof. Nabil Aboul Enein, a pioneer of the field in Egypt. During my stay at the NRC, I completed postgraduate courses in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the Faculty of Pharmacy at Cairo University.
To pursue my research ambition, I decided to do a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. I successfully secured a three years postgraduate scholarship from the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s University of Belfast to start a PhD programme with Prof. Brian Walker. My PhD focused on the design and synthesis of modified peptide analogues and peptidomimetics for targeting key protein-protein complexes implicated in cancer resistance towards intrinsic apoptosis.
After finishing my PhD, I was granted a short term fellowship “Programme De Courts Séjours Scientifique” by the French Institute in Cairo jointly with Campus France for a research visit at the CNRS funded Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologie, University of Bordeaux. My fellowship was hosted by Dr. Ivan Huc’s lab, a world leading group in peptide foldamers, where I developed new solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) strategies for the synthesis of aliphatic/aromatic oligoamide foldamers with helical conformations.
In 2014, I was privileged to join the prestigious Polymers and Peptides Research Group (PPG) as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester (led by Prof. Alberto Saiani and Prof. Aline Miller). In Manchester, I worked on the design and development of self-assembling β-sheet forming peptide nanofibers that entangle into networks forming hydrogels. I have used these hydrogels as drug delivery vehicles for controlling the release kinetics of drug cargos and as 3-D scaffolds for hMSCs to trigger osteogenic differentiation for regenerative medicine applications. Also, in collaboration with NorthWest Centre for Advanced Drug Delivery (NoWCADD) and AstraZeneca, I tailored hydrogel vehicles for the controlled release of nanoparticles by manipulating the vehicle-cargo electrostatic interactions.
In 2017, I moved to the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to take a Lecturer position in Pharmaceutics. In UCLan, I proceeded with my research work towards developing De novo synthetic short peptides that self-assemble into nanofibers capable of forming hydrogels, microcapsules and nanoparticles. These biomaterials will be exploited for various Biomedical and Pharmaceutical applications, ranging from drug delivery vehicles and therapeutic materials to cellular microencapsulation for cell delivery and tissue engineering. I am also currently a visitor academic at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology reinforcing my academic collaborations with my colleagues there through joint research projects.