Institute of Dentistry

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Dr Ahmad Waseem, BSc, MSc, MPhil, PhD (Biochemistry)


Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Telephone: +44 20 7882 2387
Room Number: Blizard Institute


Professor Ahmad Waseem obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the Department of Biochemistry, J. N. Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India in 1982. Dr Waseem then spent 4 years in the University of Chicago as a post-doctoral research fellow to work with Professors T. L. Steck and Clive Palfrey. In 1987 Professor Waseem joined Clare Hall Laboratories, Imperial Cancer Research Fund as a post-doctoral research associate with Professor Brigitte Lane, to work on keratins, a subject he has been interested in ever since. After spending a year in the University of Dundee, Scotland, Professor Waseem joined King's College (then United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas's Hospitals, UMDS) in 1992 as a Lecturer in Oral Biology on a joint appointment between the Institute of Dentistry and the Biochemistry Department of the Medical School.

Professor Waseem joined the Institute of Dentistry, Barts and the London, Queen Mary School of Medicine and Dentistry in May 2003 as a Reader in Oral Biology. He has extensive experience in teaching Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Professor Waseem has successfully co-ordinated several undergraduate courses with very high levels of student satisfaction. He collaborates with national and international research groups on both basic and clinical aspects of his research. Professor Waseem publishes his research in international journals of high impact factor, such as the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Journal of Molecular and Cell Biology, PLoS ONE, the Journal of Pathology and the American Journal of Pathology.

On the editorial board of International Journal of Dentistry

On the Editorial Board of Scientifica (Dermatology section).


Research Interests:

Professor Ahmad Waseem's research deals with the mechanisms that regulate differentiation and growth of keratinocytes in skin and oral epithelia. He is particularly interested in keratin proteins, which specifically characterize the epithelial nature of a tissue. These proteins constitute a very large family of structural proteins, which show differentiation and development-specific expression. They form a three-dimensional filamentous network inside the cytoplasm, which is vital for the structural integrity of the epithelial cells. The normal expression of keratins changes drastically in hyperproliferative/inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, lichen planus, pathological scarring and cancers. The alterations in keratin expression provide diagnostic and prognostic tools for squamous cell carcinoma of skin and oral cavity.

Although keratins are generally regarded as structural proteins, the recent data suggest that they have much more global role in the physiology of keratinocytes. They play active role(s) in growth, migration and invasion of epithelial cells. In this regard Professor Waseem has discovered a novel mechanism whereby the presence of a specific keratin protein regulates transcription of other keratin genes. This mechanism could play an important role in diseases where molecular changes cause perturbation in their expression. Professor Waseem is also interested in stem cell specific keratins such as K15 and K19, which appear to have the most unusual expression characteristics of all keratins. Decifering the mechanism of their expression and their role(s) in normal and cancer tissues remains the primary objectives of our research.

Selected Publications:

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