In 2004, I was graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Misr International University, Egypt with a first class Honor BSc being among the top 5% in my class of approximately 400 students. After having different hands-on training courses in all the possible occupational opportunities in the pharmaceutical market, I decided to join the research sector. In 2007, I was awarded a grant from the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research & Technology to perform research at the National Research Center (NRC). In this grant, I competed top graduate students to join the highest ranked research institute in Egypt. My research studies at the NRC resulted in a research article (Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 2010) and a book (ISBN: 978-3-659-51635-1, LAMBERT Academic Publishing). My studies during this primary phase of my research career focused on the biological activities of medicinal plants through applying them on ex vivo models. I was also a research assistant in a collaborative project between the UNDP and NRC, which involved data collection and processing on the impact of socioeconomic changes on the use of medicinal therapies in rural areas of Egypt. I successfully completed a Masters degree at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cairo University in 2008.
At the same year, I was awarded the embassy-nominated Monbukagakusho scholarship (Japan) which is considered the most prestigious PhD scholarship in Japan, for a 3-year PhD scholarship in the Department of Pathogenic Biochemistry (Saiki Laboratory) at the University of Toyama. I worked on several projects focusing on molecular immunology of cancer cells and the results of two of these studies have been published in the Journal of Biol. Chem. (Suzuki et al., 2010 and Refaat et al., 2011). During this phase and afterwards, I have initiated a collaboration with the Dept. of Gastroenterology and Hematology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Toyama that led to identifying several mechanistic roles for the H. pylori bacteria in gastric cancer (Helicobacter, 2009; Biol. Pharm. Bull., 2015; Helicobacter, 2015). Following my PhD graduation, I continued as a research associate in the same laboratory, where I focused my research on apoptosis signaling in models of breast cancer (Oncol. Lett., 2013; Anticancer Res., 2014, Oncol. Lett., 2015). My work covered the effect of TRAIL-based combinatorial therapies to kill breast cancer cells.
The revolution in Egypt in January 2011 led to the establishment of the Zewail City of Science and Technology (ZCST). In 2012, I was chosen as a postdoctoral researcher among other Egyptians who studied abroad to join and establish the Center for Aging and Associated Diseases (CAAD) in ZCST. I contributed and participated in all details related to setting up the CAAD. Additionally, I obtained a grant from the Egyptian Science and Technology Development fund (STDF). The grant covered a travel phase for up to 4 months in Japan to conduct work on the role of cisplatin, a well-known anticancer drug, in causing a survival mechanism resisting the anticancer effect of the therapy (BBRC, 2015).
The fact of being involved in cancer research, particularly breast cancer, and acquainting new techniques related to cell metabolism and aging raised my interest for a new branch of research that amalgamate my previous and current experience in cancer research. I came to know Prof. Helen Griffiths and Dr. James Brown through by supervisor, Dr. Sameh Ali, who made me in direct contact with them in order to apply for several research grants of mutual interest. My current interest is to understand the effect of diet and exercise on the energy production inside cancer cells, therefore finding new strategies to tackle the progression of breast cancer. Under that theme, we were successful to get my current Newton fund grant as a part of the Researcher Links programme. Researcher Links programme provides chances to enhance and strengthen links for future collaboration, and enhance the researchers’ career opportunities.
I aim to get some promising results out of my research visit that would aid my future application for long-term research in Aston University. After my return from the current visit I will be hosted in the University of Toyama for up to one year under a grant from TAKEDA Science Foundation to undergo research in the Laboratory of Cancer Cell Biology. I will be looking forward during the coming period to secure a long-term opportunity in Aston University by next year.