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Department of Microbiology and Immunology


The College of Medicine and Health Sciences is the premier biomedical research institution in the United Arab Emirates, attracting more national and international peer-reviewed research funding than any other medical sciences faculty in the country. The mission of the Department of Medical Microbiology is to contribute to the strategic development of the College in three main areas: research, education and hospital laboratory service.

In research, the Department continues to build a strong research program in the areas of microbial pathogenesis and immune regulation in autoimmune diseases and cancer. The departmental research focus areas provide support for the postgraduate research programs, both at the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels. Since its founding, the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology has successfully built a research program of high international standard supported by strong intramural and extramural funding.

In the area of education, the Department is the main contributor to the teaching of medical microbiology and immunology and microbial pathogenesis to the undergraduate medical curriculum. Additionally, the Department is responsible for postgraduate student education in both the PhD and M.Sc. programs.


The Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology at the CMHS is globally recognized for its academic excellence and expertise in various disciplines, namely bacteriology, immunology, and virology. The department is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, including flow cytometry and cell sorter, real time PCR, cell and tissue culture, biochemical analysis of gene expression, molecular and cellular phenotyping, and whole animal study capabilities and bioluminescent imaging. These technologies are routinely used to conduct scientific research in a broad range of areas including cancer immunotherapy, virus-induced malignancies, antibiotic resistance among bacterial pathogens, regulation of autoimmune diseases and development of retroviral vectors for gene therapy.


The department contributes both to Undergraduate and Graduate level teaching. The Masters programme in Microbiology & Immunology is administered by the department.

Undergraduate Teaching

Basic Medical Science Course: The molecular and cell biology of infectious agents of medical importance. Principles of host-parasite relationship and pathogenesis of viral, bacterial and parasitic infectons. Toxonomy and classification of pathogenic microorganisms and laboratory identification of those microorganisms. The structural and molecular basis of immune system. Principles of immune reactivity and its applications for detection and follow-up of infection.

Organ Systems Course: Fundamentals of etiology, pathogenesis and laboratory diagnosis of bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal infections in different organ systems. The basic mechanisms of immune reactivity to tumor and graft and general characteristics of immunodeficiencies and hypersensitivity reaction. Pathogenesis, immunodiagnosis and immunotherapy of organ specific and systemic immune mediated disease.

Clinical Sciences Course: Problem solving based teaching of clinical laboratory medicine (in close collaboration with the Department of Pathology and clinical departments). Substantial contribution to the clinical clerkships in multi-disciplinary seminars.

Postgraduate Teaching

The MSc and PhD programs in Microbiology and Immunology provide students with core knowledge at the respective levels in cellular and molecular immunology, virology and bacteriology. Special strengths within the Department include host-pathogen interactions, molecular epidemiology of bacterial pathogens, retroviral vectors for gene therapy, virus-associated malignancies, cancer immunotherapy and immune system-mediated diseases. The Department has strong collaborations with different departments in CMHS and the UAEU, hospitals and research institutions within the UAE, and with internationally reputed universities.


  1. (2019). "Therapeutic and preventive properties of honey and its bioactive compounds in cancer: An evidence-based review." Co-Authors:S. Afrin, S.M. Haneefa, M.J. Fernández-Cabezudo, F. Giampieri, B.K. al-Ramadi* and M. Battino* . Nutrition Research Review.
  2. (2019). "Mortality, morbidity, and hospitalisations due to influenza lower respiratory tract infections, 2017: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017." Co-Authors:Troeger CE, Blacker BF, Khalil IA// Khan G et al. Lancet Respir Med. 69.
  3. (2019). "Involvement of acetylcholine receptors in cholinergic pathway-mediated protection against autoimmune diabetes." Co-Authors:M.J. Fernández-Cabezudo; J.A. George; G. Bashir; Y.A. Mohamed; A. Al-Mansori; M.M. Qureshi; D.E. Lorke; G. Petroianu; B.K. al-Ramadi . Frontiers in Immunology.
  4. (2019). "Inhibition of tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT3 in human breast and lung cancer cells by Manuka honey is mediated by selective antagonism of the IL-6 receptor." Co-Authors:P. Aryappalli, K. Shabbiri, R.J. Masad, R.H. Al-Marri, S.M. Haneefa, Y.A. Mohamed, K. Arafat, S. Attoub, O. Cabral-Marques, K.B. Ramadi, M.J. Fernández -Cabezudo*, and B.K. al-Ramadi* . International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
  5. (2019). "Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and mortality of HIV from 1980 to 2017 and forecasts to 2030, for 195 countries and territories: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2017." Co-Authors:Frank TD, Carter A, Jahagirdar D//Khan G et al. Lancet HIV.
  6. (2019). "Epstein-Barr Virus and miRNAs: Partners in Crime in the Pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis?." Co-Authors:Asma Hassani;Gulfaraz Khan. Front Immunol. 10, 695.
  7. (2019). "CD40 ligand deficiency: treatment strategies and novel therapeutic perspectives.." Co-Authors:França TT, Barreiros LA, Al-Ramadi BK, Ochs HD, Cabral-Marques O, Condino-Neto A.. Expert Review of Clinical Immunology .
  8. (2018). "Tracking EBV-encoded RNAs (EBERs) from the nucleus to the excreted exosomes of B-lymphocytes." Co-Authors:Ahmed W; Tariq S; Khan G. Scientific Reports. 8,
  9. (2018). "The bifurcated stem loop 4 (SL4) is crucial for efficient packaging of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) genomic RNA. ." Co-Authors:2. Mustafa, F., Vivet-Boudou, V., Jabeen, A., Ali, L. M., Kalloush, R. M., Marquet, R., Rizvi, T. A. . RNA Biology. 8,
  10. (2018). "Induction of hypergammaglobulinemia and autoantibodies by Salmonella infection in MyD88-deficient mice." Co-Authors:Issac, J.M., Y.A. Mohamed, G. Bashir, A. Al-Sbiei, W. Conca, T.A. Khan, A. Iqbal, G. Riemekasten, K. Bieber, R.J. Ludwig, O. Cabral-Marques, M.J. Fernandez-Cabezudo, and B.K. al-Ramadi . Frontiers in Immunology.
  11. (2018). "GPCR-specific autoantibody signatures are associated with physiological and pathological immune homeostasis." Co-Authors:Otavio Cabral-Marques, Alexandre Marques, Lasse M.Giil,....... Basel K. al-Ramadi, Peter Lamprecht, Antje Mueller, Harald Heidecke & Gabriela Riemekasten . Nature Communications. 9,
  12. (2018). "Global, Regional, and National Cancer Incidence, Mortality, Years of Life Lost, Years Lived With Disability, and Disability-Adjusted Life-Years for 29 Cancer Groups, 1990 to 2016: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study." Co-Authors:Fitzmaurice C; Akinyemiju TF; Al Lami FH// Khan G et al.. JAMA Oncol.
  13. (2018). "Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific mortality and life expectancy, 1950–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017." Co-Authors:Dicker D; Nguyen G; Abate D; // Khan G et al. Lancet. 392, 1684.
  14. (2018). "Fullman N, Yearwood J, Abay SM//Khan G." Co-Authors:Fullman N; Yearwood J; Abay SM//Khan G; et al . Lancet. 391,
  15. (2018). "Epstein-Barr virus is present in the brain of most cases of multiple sclerosis and may engage more than just B cells." Co-Authors:Hassani A, Corboy JR, Al-Salam S, Khan G. PLoS One. 13,
  16. (2018). "Cholinergic activation enhances resistance to oral Salmonella infection by modulating innate immune defense mechanisms at the intestinal barrier." Co-Authors:Al-Barazie, R.; G. Bashir; M.M. Qureshi; Y.A. Mohamed; A. Al-Sbiei; S.Tariq; W. Lammers; B.K. al-Ramadi; and Maria J. Fernandez-Cabezudo . Frontiers in Immunology.
  17. (2018). "CD40 ligand deficiency causes functional defects of peripheral neutrophils that are improved by exogenous IFN-gamma." Co-Authors:Cabral-Marques, O; França, TT; Al-Sbiei, A; ........ al-Ramadi, BK; Ochs, HD; Condino-Neto, A . The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
  18. (2018). "Burden of Breast Cancer in the Arab World: Findings from Global Burden of Disease, 2016." Co-Authors:Hashim MJ; Al-Shamsi FA; Al-Marzooqi NA; Al-Qasemi SS; Mokdad AH; Khan G.. J Epidemiol Glob Health.
  19. (2018). "Attenuated Bacteria as Immunotherapeutic Tools for Cancer Treatment." Co-Authors:Suneesh Kaimala, Ashraf Al Sbiei, Otavio Cabral-Marques, Maria J. Fernandez-Cabezudo and Basel K al-Ramadi . Frontiers in Oncology. 8,
  20. (2018). "A cis-acting element downstream of the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) major splice donor critical for RNA elongation and stability.." Co-Authors:Akhlaq, S., Panicker, N. G., Phillip, P. S., Ali, L. M., Dudley, J. P., Rizvi, T. A., Mustafa, F. A . Journal of Molecular Biology. 430,
  21. (2017). "No evidence for the presence of Epstein-Barr virus in squamous cell carcinoma of the mobile tongue." Co-Authors:Wilms T; Khan G; Coates PJ et al.. PLoS One. 12,
  22. (2017). "Excercise protects against insulin-dependent diabetes-induced osteoarthritis in rats: A scanning electron microscopy study." Co-Authors:Al-Hashem F.; El Karib A.O.; Bin Jaliah I.; Dallak M.; Sakr H.F.; Eid R.; Zaki M.S.; Haidara M.; and Al Ani B.;. Ultrastructural Pathology. 3, 5.
  23. (2017). "Clinical, Immunological and Genetic Spectrum of 696 Patients with Combined Immunodeficiency." Co-Authors:Abolhassani, H; Chou J; Bainter W; Platt C;......... al-Ramadi BK; Picard C; Parvaneh N; Rezaei N; Chatila T; Massaad MJ; Keles S; Hammarström L; Geha RS; Aghamohammadi A . The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology .
  24. (2015). "Label-free capacitance-based identification of viruses." Co-Authors:Al Ahmad, M. ; Mustafa, F.; Ali, L. M.; Karakkat, J. V. . Sci. Rep. 5, 9809, 6.
  25. (2015). "Bioenergetics of the spinal cord in experimental autoimmune encephalitis of rats." Co-Authors:Shahin A., Ibrahim M.G., Tareq S., Souid AK., and Mensah-Brown EPK.,. BMC Neuroscience. 16,
  26. (2014). "Virus detection and quantification using electrical parameters. ." Co-Authors:Al Ahmad, M.; Mustafa, F.; Ali, L. M. . Sci. Rep. 4,6831, 8.
  27. (2014). "The cytotoxicity of aflatoxin b1 in human lymphocytes." Co-Authors:Al Hammadi S., Al Marzouqi F., Al Mansouri A., Shahin A., Al Shamsi M., Mensah Brown E., and Souid A.K.,. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. 14,
  28. (2014). "Structural basis of genomic RNA (gRNA) dimerization and packaging determinants of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV).." Co-Authors:Aktar, S. J.; Vivet-Boudou, V.; Ali, L. M.; Jabeen, A.; Kalloush, R. M.; Richer, D.; Mustafa, F.; Marquet, R. . Retrovirology. 11:96, 21.
  29. (2013). "SHAPE analysis of the 5' end of the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (MPMV) genomic RNA reveals structural elements required for genome dimerization.." Co-Authors:Aktar, S. J.; Jabeen, A.; Ali, L. M.; Vivet-Boudou, V.; Marquet, R.. RNA. 19:1648-1658, 11.
  30. (2013). "Pam3CK(4) enhanced beta cell loss and diabetogenesis: the roles of IFN-gamma and IL-17." Co-Authors:Shahin A., Iwakura Y., Lukic ML., Mensah-Brown EP.,. Clinical Immunology. 149,
  31. (2013). "Derangements of liver tissue bioenergetics in Concanavalin A-induced hepatitis." Co-Authors:Shahin A., Mensah-Brown EPK., Souid AK.. BMC Gastroenterology. 13,
  32. (2012). "Sequences within both the 5' UTR and Gag are required for optimal in vivo packaging and propagation of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) genomic RNA.." Co-Authors:Mustafa, F.; Al Amri, D.; Al Ali, F.; Al Sari, N.; Al Suwaidi, S.; Jayanth, P.; Phillip, P. S . PLoS One. 7(10), 15.
  33. (2012). "IFN-gamma deficiency exacerbates experimental autoimmune neuritis in mice despite a mitigated systemic Th1 immune response." Co-Authors:Zhang H.; Asimullah S.; Zheng X.; Wang X.; Amir N.; Mensah-Brown E.; Shahin A.; Press R.; Zhu J.; Adem A.. J. Neuroimmunol.. Ahead of print,
  34. (2011). "SHAPE analysis of the FIV leader RNA reveals a structural switch potentially controlling viral packaging and genome dimerization." Co-Authors:Kenyon, J. C., Tanner, S., Legiewicz, M., Phillip, P. S., Rizvi, T. A., LeGrice, S., and Lever A. M. L. . Nucleic Acids Res. 15:6692-6704, 13.
  35. (2011). "Reciprocal cross-packaging of primate lentiviral (HIV-1 and SIV) RNAs by heterologous non-lentiviral MPMV proteins." Co-Authors:Al Shamsi, I. R.; Al Dhaheri, N. S.; Phillip, P. S.; Mustafa, F. . Virus Research. 155:352–357, 6.
  36. (2011). "Early influx of macrophages determines susceptibility to experimental allergic encephalomeyelitis in Dark Agouti (DA) rats.." Co-Authors:Mensah-Brown E.; Shahin A.; Lukic M.. J. Neuroimmunol.. 232, 6.
  37. (2011). "Commensal microbiota and myelin autoantigen cooperate to trigger autoimmune demyelination." Co-Authors:Berer K, Mues M, Koutrolos M, Rasbi ZA, Boziki M, Johner C, Wekerle H, Krishnamoorthy G. Nature.
  38. (2010). "Optimal packaging of FIV genomic RNA depends upon a conserved long-range interaction and a palindromic sequence within gag.." Co-Authors:Kenyon, J. C.; Ali, J.; Aktar S. J.; Phillip, P. S.; Ghazawi, A.; Mustafa F.; Lever A. M. L. . Journal of Molecular Biology. 403:103-119, 17.
  39. (2010). "Measurement of oxygen consumption by murine tissues in vitro." Co-Authors:Al-Samri. M.; Al-Salam S.; Marzouqi F.; Al Mansouri A.; Al-Hammadi S.; Balhaj G.; Al Dawwar S.; Al Hanjeri R.; Benedict S.; Sudhaevi M.; Conca W.; Penefsky H.; Souid A.;. J pharmacol. Toxicol. Methods.. 63, 8.
  40. (2010). "Functional autoantibodies against Serpin E2 in Rheumatoid arthtitis." Co-Authors:Rodrigues-Maciejewska H.; Hemmatazad H.; Ospelt C.; Bouton M.; Jager D.; Cope A.; Charles P.; Plant D.; Distler J., Gay R.; Michel B.; Knuth A.; Neidhart M.; Gay S.; Jungel A.. Arhritis Rherum.. 62, 11.
  41. (2010). "Biocompatibility study of mesoporous silicate particles with cellular bioenergetics in murine tissues." Co-Authors:Al-Samri M.; Al-Salam S.; Conca W.; Benedict S.; Sudhadevi M.; Biradar A.; Asefa T.; Souid A.;. Chem. Res. Toxicol.. 11, 9.

  1. Khan G, Sheek-Hussein M. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV): An emerging virus of global threat. In: Emerging and Re-emerging Viral Pathogens. (Edited by Moulay M Ennaji), Elsevier, 2020, Vol 1, Chapter 8, 151-167. ISBN: 9780128149669
  2. Khan G, Hassani A. Epstein-Barr Virus in Multiple Sclerosis. In: Multiple Sclerosis. (Edited by Stavros J. Baloyannis). InTech 2019.DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.85222
  3. Khan G, Ahmed W, Philip PS. Exosomes and their role in viral infections. In: Novel Implications of Exosomes in Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer (Edited by Jin Wang, ISBN 978-953-51-3336-0), InTech 2017; 76-95.
  4. Khan G, Philip PS. Functional analysis of exosomes derived from EBV-infected cells. In: Epstein-Barr Virus (Edited by Janos Minarovits and Hans Helmut Niller, ISBN 978-1-4939-6653-0), Springer, 2017; 1532:159-167.
  5. Khan G, Ahmed W. Isolation and characterization of exosomes released by EBV immortalized cells. In: Epstein-Barr Virus (Edited by Janos Minarovits and Hans Helmut Niller, ISBN 978-1-4939-6653-0), Springer, 2017; 1532:147-158.

  1. Al-Ramadi B, Issac J, El-Ojali S, Mohamed Y, Al-Ketbi M, Fernandez-Cabezudo MJ. (2013). Differential regulation of immune responses in MyD88-deficient mice by cytokine-expressing Salmonella typhimurium. J Immunol, 2013, 190.
  2. Fernandez-Cabezudo MJ, Al-Barazie R, al-Ramadi B. (2013). Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase regulates the anti-microbial immune response. J Immunol, 2013;190.
  3. Khan G, Philip PS, Ahmed W. (2013). Creation of Epstein-Barr virus encoded small RNA (EBER) mutants and analysis of their function. 16th Annunal Meeting of the Euopean Society of Clinical Virology. Virologie, 17:S118.
  4. Khaled YS, Ammori BJ, Elkord E. (2013). Increased levels of myeloid derived suppressor cells in pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients. Immunology, 14 (Suppl. 1):67.


Note: If calling from outside the UAEU organization, dial (+971 3 713) before the extension.

Name Position Email Extension
Prof. Basel Ramadi Professor and Chair 7529
Prof. Gulfaraz Khan Professor 7482
Prof. Tahir A. Rizvi Professor 7514
Dr. Mariam B. Bakhit Al Shamisi Associate Professor 7711
Dr. Ahmed H. Al Qahtani Assistant Professor 7489
Dr. Mushtaq Khan Assistant Professor 7480
Dr. Farah Ibrahim Al-Marzooq Assistant Professor 7481
Dr. Zakeya N. AL Rasbi Assistant Professor 7515


Note: If calling from outside the UAEU organization, dial (+971 3 713) before the extension.

Name Position Email Extension
Ms. Akela A. Ghazawi Medical Research Specialist I 7648
Ms. Ghada B. Mohamed Medical Research Technician 7453
Ms. Sumaya Hasan KH Zoughbor Medical Research Specialist I 7510
Ms. Pretty S. Philip Medical Research Specialist I 7646
Mr. Yassir A. Mohamed Medical Research Specialist I 7751

General Enquiries

Thank you for your interest in the Microbiology & Immunology Department. We welcome your query and encourage you to contact us using the information below:

United Arab Emirates University,
College of Medicine and Health Sciences
P.O.Box: 17666, Al Ain, UAE

Phone: +971 3 7137 482



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Feb 1, 2023