Dr Afsar U. Ahmed, Ron Evans Cancer Research Fellow

Dr Afsar Ahmed’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), intestinal wound healing and colorectal cancer (CRC). Dr Ahmed has a special interest in myeloid cell biology, which remains to be fully characterised in both normal and pathological conditions. The main focus of Dr Ahmed’s research is to define the functions of myeloid cells and their cross-communications with other (immune and non-immune) cells during intestinal inflammation, homeostasis and cancer. Dr Ahmed’s current investigations are focused on integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and its role in myeloid cell biology for the regulation of intestinal inflammation and cancer, using recombinant mouse models and small molecule inhibitors. The primary outcome of Dr Ahmed’s research will be to provide a better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis associated with IBDs and CRC, leading to the development of novel therapeutic interventions.

Selected publications

  • Ahmed AU, Yim HCH, Alorro M, Ernst M, Williams BRG (2017) Integrin-linked kinase expression in myeloid cells promotes inflammatory signaling during experimental colitis. J Immunol 199:2128-2139.

  • Ahmed AU, Williams BRG and Hannigan GE (2015) Transcriptional activation of inflammatory genes: mechanistic insight into selectivity and diversity. Biomolecules 5:3087-3111.

  • Ahmed AU, Sarvestani ST, Gantier MP, Williams BRG and Hannigan GE (2014) Integrin-linked kinase modulates lipopolysaccharide- and Helicobacter pylori-induced NF-kB-activated tumor necrosis factor-a production via regulation of p65 serine 536 phosphorylation. J Biol Chem 289:27776-27793.

  • Moujalled DM, Cook WD, Lluis JM, Khan NR, Ahmed AU, Callus BA and Vaux DL (2012) In mouse embryonic fibroblasts, neither caspase-8 nor cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (FLIP) is necessary for TNF to activate NF-kB, but caspase-8 is required for TNF to cause cell death, and induction of FLIP by NF-kB is required to prevent it. Cell Death Differ 19:808-815.

  • Ahmed AU (2011) An overview of inflammation: mechanisms and consequences. Front Biol 6:274-281.

  • Ralph JA, Ahmed AU, Santos LL, Clark AR, McMorrow J, Murphy EP and Morand EF (2010) Identification of NURR1 as a mediator of MIF signaling during chronic arthritis: effects on glucocorticoid-induced MKP1. Am J Pathol 177:2366-2378.

  • Ahmed AU, Moulin M, Coumailleau F, Wong WW, Miasari M, Carter H, Silke J, Cohen-Tannoudji M, Vince JE and Vaux DL (2009) CARP2 deficiency does not alter induction of NF-kB by TNFα. Curr Biol 19:R15-R17.

  • Vince JE, Wong WW, Khan N, Feltham R, Chau D, Ahmed AU, Benetatos CA, Chunduru SK, Condon SM, McKinlay M, Brink R, Leverkus M, Tergaonkar V, Schneider P, Callus BA, Koentgen F, Vaux DL and Silke J (2007) IAP antagonists target cIAP1 to induce TNFa-dependent apoptosis. Cell 131:682-693.

  • Ahmed AU and Fisher PR (2009) Import of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins: a cotranslational perspective. Int Rev Cell Mol Biol 273:49-68.

  • Bokko PB, Francione L, Bandala-Sanchez E, Ahmed AU, Annesley SJ, Huang X, Khurana T, Kimmel AR and Fisher PR (2007) Diverse cytopathologies in mitochondrial disease are caused by AMP-activated protein kinase signaling. Mol Biol Cell 18:1874-1886.

  • Annesley SJ, Bandala-Sanchez E, Ahmed AU and Fisher PR (2007) Filamin repeat segments required for photosensory signalling in Dictyostelium discoideum. BMC Cell Biol 8:48.

  • Ahmed AU, Beech PL, Lay ST, Gilson PR and Fisher PR (2006) Import-associated translational inhibition: novel in vivo evidence for cotranslational protein import into Dictyostelium discoideum mitochondria. Eukaryot Cell 5:1314-1327.