Dr Afsar Ahmed is a Research Scientist working within the Cancer and Innate Immunity Group at the Centre for Cancer Research of Hudson Institute of Medical Research. Dr Afsar Ahmed’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), intestinal wound healing and colorectal cancer (CRC). In his current role, Dr Ahmed identified integrin-linked kinase (ILK) as a pro-inflammatory molecule regulating p65 Ser536 phosphorylation via an alternative NF-kappaB signalling pathway (JBC 2014) and myeloid-ILK as an essential regulator of colitis-associated intestinal inflammation (J Immunol 2017). The main focus of Dr Ahmed’s current research is to understand the potential of ILK as a novel therapeutic target for intestinal inflammation and CRC, using recombinant mouse models, small molecule inhibitors, in vitro drug screening and molecular cell signalling via the CRISPR/Cas-9 system.

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.