Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Professor Basel Al-Ramadi first encountered immunology during his undergraduate studies at Edinburgh University some 30 years ago. At that time, immunology as a medical discipline was still going through a formative process. Despite the relative immaturity of immunology, Professor Al-Ramadi was fascinated by the intricacies and potential impact of immunology on disease. He decided to pursue a postgraduate degree in the subject. It was a fortunate decision as he was then closely involved with the revolution in immunology that took place. Following his Ph.D at Temple University School of Medicine, he joined the laboratory of Professor Charles Janeway Jr. at Yale University, as a postdoctoral fellow. This shaped Professor Al-Ramadi’s career as the Department of Immuno-biology at Yale was arguably one of the most influential immunology departments in the world. For the next seven years he was fortunate to work alongside 200 immunologists and witness many exciting discoveries in the field.
After Yale, Professor Al-Ramadi’s arrival at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the United Arab Emirates University twenty years ago represented a huge challenge and an even bigger opportunity. The challenge was to continue working in a highly competitive field at a relatively young institution. The opportunity was to utilize his experience to develop immunological research in the UAE. The record shows that this has been a success. The CMHS cooperates with Tawam Hospital and other international immunologists in order to further studies in immunology. Their first breakthrough was double-blind, controlled clinical trials. They also established a strong translational cancer immunology research program in the CMHS. Along the way, partnerships have been forged with colleagues from Yale University, Harvard University, Institut Pasteur, the University of São Paulo, New York University and the University of Vermont.
Professor Al-Ramadi has received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Research; the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award and the College of Medicine’s Distinguished Performance Award. He has been a section editor for ‘Immunobiology’ and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Immunology, Clinical Immunology and Immunology Innovation.
The research focus in Professor Al-Ramadi’s laboratory is on how the immune system can be modulated to the benefit of the host in diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity and microbial infections. These investigations have received more than AED 4 million in grants, which has helped to train more than 30 MSc./Ph.D students, immunology fellows and undergraduate medical students. They have also published nearly 80 articles in top scientific journals. These include the Journal of Immunology; the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; Frontiers in Immunology; Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy; the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight; The Lancet, Frontiers in Oncology; Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology; Biology and Medicine; Nanotoxicology and Nature Genetics.
Basel is married to Maria Fernandez-Cabezudo, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the CMHS. They have one son, Khalil, who is completing his Ph.D studies in the USA. Basel enjoys reading, swimming, dining with friends and traveling.
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