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Dr. Touqeer Ahmed
Assistant Professor
Healthcare Biotechnology

National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
H-12 Sector Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel : +92 51 9085 6141

Pharmacology and Neuroscience

Post-Doc: RIKEN, Brain Science Institute, Japan:: Post-Doc: KIST, Seoul, South Korea:: PhD, Pharmacology (2005-2009), Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan:: B. Pharmacy (2000-2004), Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan

“HEC (Higher Education Commission) of Pakistan” approved supervisor: Pharmacology

Brief Summary of Research Contributions
1. International journal papers published: 37
2. Book chapter(s): 01
3. Conference publications: 7
4. Cumulative citations of all publications: 740 (until May 2018, as per Google scholar) 
5. Invited/Oral talks delivered: 17
6. IBRO-APRC Schools (International Neuroscience Workshops) organized in the ASAB - NUST, Islamabad = 02 (First one in 2013 and the second one in 2016)
7. Conference publications: 6
8. Number of PhD Students supervised and completed: 01
9. M.Phil/MS Students as produced as primary supervisor: 16
10. Final year BS Thesis/projects supervised and completed: 10

Honors, Fellowships and Awards
1.    “Gold Medal Certificate” for securing first position in B. Pharmacy (Session 2000-2004) in the Faculty of Pharmacy, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, KPK, Pakistan.
2.    “Best Graduate Certificate” for securing highest marks percentage in the history of pharmacy up to the session 2004 in the Faculty of Pharmacy, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, KPK, Pakistan.
3.    “Vice Chancellor Shield” for being the the best student of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, KPK, Pakistan, during Session 2000-2004.
4.    Faculty of health sciences “PhD Assistantship (2005-2009)” at the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.
5.    Fellowship to participate in “Sixth IBRO Associate School” and “First Neuroscience Orientation Summer Program Tehran, Iran” (Aug 26-Sept 21, 2006).
6.    Fellowship to participate in “IBRO Neuroscience School Hangzhou, China (24th Oct – 28th Oct, 2007).
7.    Iranian society for physiology and pharmacology (ISPP) Fellowship 2008-09.  
8.    IBRO Exchange Fellowship to visit Lab for the Neural Circuitry of the Memory, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Japan. (year 2014)

Workshops Organized
1. Organizing Secretary / Organizer in Chief.  IBRO-APRC Associate School of Neuroscience “From Basic Neuroscience to Advanced Applications” Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad (September 30 - October 4, 2013).

2. Organizing Secretary / Organizer in Chief.  IBRO-APRC Associate School of Neuroscience “Molecualr Basis of Behaviour”. Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad (March 14 – 18, 2016).

Our lab is involved in investigating the molecular mechanism of memory impairment in metal neurotoxicities. We use animal models (especially rodents) for different behavioral studies. In an attempt to understand the molecular mechanism of metals neurotoxicity, neurotransmitter levels, molecular gene expression and other biochemical tests are performed. We are also interested to study the effect of different drugs on cholinergic system.

Current Lab Members: 

PhD students:
1. Habiba Rashid: Role of cholinergic receptors in memory retrieval
2. Ghazala Iqbal: To identify risk factors and biomarkers for mild cognitive impairment
3. Mian Imran Amjad: Effect of exercise on mild cognitively impaired patients
4. Abida Zulfiqar: Meatal neurotoxicities and their treatment options


PhD Graduates:
1. Syeda Mahpara Farhat (2012-2017): Evaluation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in learning and memory using mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

MS/M.phil Graduates:
1. Maryam Zahoor (2015-2017): Neuropharmacological evaluation of Daidzin in Traumatic Brain Injury Rat Model 
2. Momina Shahid (2015-2017): Neuropharmacological evaluation of Paenoflorin in Traumatic Brain Injury Mouse Model
3. Nafeesa Ishaq (2015-2017): Neuropharmacological evaluation of Paenoflorin in Traumatic Brain Injury Mice Model
4. Rabia Hashim (2015-2017): Neuropharmacological evaluation of Umbelliferone in Traumatic Brain Injury Mice Model
5. Ameema Tariq (2014-2016): Effects of curcumin on cognition in young overstimulated mice.
6. Sana Javaid (2014-2016): Effects of Curcumin on cognitive deficits in young audiovisually overstimulated mice.
7.Maryam Masood (2013-2015): Elucidating the effect of turmeric in scopolamine induced cognitive impairment in mouse.
8. Syeda Ayesha Ali (2013-2015): Effect of turmeric on scopolamine induced cholinergic hypo-function in mice. 
9. Rabia Shakeel (2012-2014): Pharmacological effect of turmeric on cholinergic systems in scopolamine induced amnesia.
10. Saira Justin (2012-2014): Pharmacological effect of turmeric on cognitive impairment induced by scopolamine in mice.
11. Aliya Khalid (2012-2014): Effect of turmeric on learning and memory in stress and scopolamine induced amnesia.
12. Anum Jamil (2011-2013): Therapeutic effect of Ibuprofen on neurodegeneration and inflammation in AlCl3 induced mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.
13. Aamra Mahboob (2011-2013): Effect of Alpha Lipoic Acid in alcl3 induced mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
14. Ghazal Iqbal (2011-2013): Pharmacological effects of Black pepper extract on AlCl3 induced neurotoxicity in animal model.
15. Aisha Nasir Hashmi (2011-2013): Pharmacological role of Ibuprofen in AlCl3 induced mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.
16. Huma Syed (2011-2013): Comparative study of therapeutic effects of Cyclooxygenase I and II in AlCl3 induced mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Lab Achievements 
1. Rabia Shakeel (BS Student): Rector’s gold medal for best research project at BS Level. (Batch 2008 to 2012)
2. Syeda Mehpara Farhat (PhD Scholar): Fellowship to participate in IBRO-APRC School of Neuroscience and 17th Thai Neuroscience society conference in Bangkok, Thailand. 29th Jul 2013 to 3rd Aug 2013.
3. Ghazala Iqbal (MS Student): 2nd best poster prize in the "1st International Conference on Drug Development - Natural and Synthetic (DrugDev – 2013), COMSATS, Abbottabad. August 25-27, 2013". 25th Aug 2013 to 27th Aug 2013.
4. Rabia Shakeel (MS Student): Fellow ship to participate in 3rd Tehran IBRO School of Neuroscience in Iran. Oct 26th - Nov 7th, 2013
5. Rabia Shakeel (MS Student): Awarded with NUST high achievers award for presenting NUST abroad. Apr 2014
6. Imran Amjad (PhD Scholar): Fellowship to participate in “4th IBRO Associate School” Basic Approaches in Neurological Diseases, Tehran, Iran. Oct 17th- Oct 28th, 2014
7. Ameema Tariq (MS Student): Fellowship to participate in 3rd IBRO-APRC Advanced School of Neuroscience, Selangor, Malaysia. 1st Nov - 30th Nov 2016.
8. Sana Javed (MS Student): Fellowship to participate in 3rd IBRO-APRC Advanced School of Neuroscience, Selangor, Malaysia. 1st Nov - 30th Nov 2016.
9. Dr. Touqeer Ahmed received Best Teacher Award 2017. Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and Technology.  
10. Dr. Touqeer Ahmed received outstanding review award from four Elsevier journals in 2017 (Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, Brain Research Bulletin, Food and chemical toxicology and Pharmacological Research)   



Peer-reviewed International Journal Papers

* = Corresponding Author

1. Rashid H and Ahmed T*. Gender Dependent Contribution of Muscarinic Receptors in Memory Retrieval under Sub-Chronic Stress. Neuroscience Letters. 2018. August. (681): 6–11. (Impact Factor = 2.18)

2. Bhatti S, Shah SA, Ahmed T & Zahid S. Neuroprotective effects of Foeniculum vulgare seeds extract on lead-induced neurotoxicity in mice brain. Drug and Chemical Toxicology. 2018. May 9. DOI: 10.1080/01480545.2018.1459669. [Epub ahead of print] (Impact Factor = 1.73)

3. Iqbal G, Zada W, Mannan A, Ahmed T*. Elevated heavy metals levels in cognitively impaired patients from Pakistan. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2018. April 16; 60:100-109.  (Impact Factor = 2.3)

4. Amber S, Ali Shah SA, Ahmed T, Zahid S. Syzygium aromaticum ethanol extract reduces AlCl3-induced neurotoxicity in mice brain through regulation of amyloid precursor protein and oxidative stress gene expression. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2018. Feb 16;11 (2):123-30. (Impact Factor = 0.92)

5. Nabavi SF, Sureda A, Dehpour AR, Shirooie S, Silva AS, Devi KP, Ahmed T*, Ishaq N, Hashim R, Sobarzo-Sánchez E, Daglia M, Braidy N*, Volpicella M, Vacca RA, Nabavi SM*. Regulation of autophagy by polyphenols: Paving the road for treatment of neurodegeneration. Biotechnology Advances. 2017, Dec 5. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2017.12.001. [Epub ahead of print]. (Impact Factor = 10.59)

6. Butt UJ, Shah SAA, Ahmed T, Zahid S. Protective Effects of Nigella sativa lin Seed Extract on Lead Induced Neurotoxicity during Development and Early Life in Mice Model. Toxicology Research. 2018. 7:32-40. (Impact Factor = 1.96)

7. Rashid H, Mahboob A, Ahmed T*. Role of Cholinergic Receptors in Memory Retrieval Depends on Gender and Age of Memory. Behavioural Brain Research. 2017 Jul 28;331:233-240. (Impact Factor = 3.00)

8. Arslan J, Ahmed T and Gilani AH. Soaked Almonds Exhibit Vitamin E-dependent Memory Protective Effect in Rodent Models. International Journal of Pharmacology. 2017 June. 13(5):448-456. (Impact Factor = 0.75)

9. Braidy N, Behzad S, Habtemariam S, Ahmed T, Daglia M, Nabavi SM, Sanchez ES, Nabavi SF. Neuroprotective Effects of Citrus Fruit-Derived Flavonoids, Nobiletin and Tangeretin in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson`s disease. CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets. 2017;16(4):387-397.  (Impact Factor = 2.50)

10. Khalid A, Shakeel R, Justin S, Iqbal G, Shah SA, Zahid S, Ahmed T*. Pharmacological effects of turmeric on learning, memory and expression of muscarinic receptor genes (M1, M3 and M5) in stress-induced mouse model. Current Drug Targets. 2017;18(13):1545-1557. (Impact Factor = 3.23)

11. Farhat SM, Mahboob A, Ahmed T*. Cortex- and Amygdala-Dependent Learning and Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Gene Expression is Severely Impaired in Mice Orally Treated with AlCl3. Biological Trace Element Research. 2017 Sep;179(1):91-101. (Impact Factor = 2.39)

12. Khan A, Khan A and Ahmed T. Anticonvulsant, anxiolytic and sedative activities of Verbena officinalis. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2016 Dec 21;7:499. (Impact Factor = 4.40)

13. Ozawa T, Ycu EA, Kumar A, Yeh LF, Ahmed T, Koivumaa J and Johansen JP. A feedback neural circuit for calibrating aversive memory strength. Nature Neuroscience. 2017 Jan;20(1):90-97. (Impact Factor = 17.83)

14. Ahmed T*, S Javed S, Tariq A, Budzy B, Onofrio GD, Daglia M, Nabavi SF, Nabavi SM.  Daidzein And Its Effects On Brain. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2017;24(4):365-375. (Impact Factor = 3.24)

15. Farhat SM and Ahmed T*. Neuroprotective and Neurotoxic Implications of a7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor and Aß Interaction: Therapeutic Options in Alzheimer's Disease. Current Drug Targets. 2017;18(13):1537-1544. (Impact Factor = 3.23)

16. Farhat SM, Mahboob A, Iqbal G, Ahmed T*. Aluminum Induced Cholinergic Deficits in Different Brain Parts and Its Implications on Sociability and Cognitive Functions in Mouse. Biological Trace Element Research. 2017 May;177(1):115-121. (Impact Factor = 2.39)

17. Javed S, Tariq A, Ahmed T*, Budzynska B, Tejada S, Daglia M, Nabavi SF, Sobarzo-Sánchez E, Nabavi SM. Tanshinones and mental diseases: from chemistry to medicine. Reviews in the Neuroscience. 2016 Dec 1;27(8):777-791. (Impact Factor = 2.54)

18. Iqbal G, Iqbal A, Mahboob A, Farhat SM, Ahmed T*. Memory Enhancing Effect of Black Pepper in the AlCl3-Induced Neurotoxicity Mouse Model is Mediated Through its Active Component Chavicine. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. 2016;17(11):962-73. (Impact Factor = 2.45)

19. Ahmed T, Raza SH, Maryam A, Setzer WN, Braidy N, Nabavi SF, de Oliveira MR, Nabavi SM. Ginsenoside Rb1 as a neuroprotective agent: A review. Brain Research Bulletin. 2016 Apr 6;125:30-43. (Impact Factor = 3.03)

20. Ahmed T*, Zahid S, Mahboob A, Farhat SM. Cholinergic System and Post-translational Modifications: An Insight on the Role in Alzheimer's Disease. Current Neuropharmacology. 2017;15(4):480-494. (Impact Factor = 3.36)

21. Ahmed T*, Javed S, Javed S, Tariq A, Šamec D, Tejada S, Nabavi SF, Braidy N, Nabavi SM. Resveratrol and Alzheimer's Disease: Mechanistic Insights. Molecular Neurobiology. 2017 May;54(4):2622-2635. (Impact Factor = 6.19)

22. Rizwan S, Idrees A, Ashraf M, Ahmed T*. Memory-enhancing effect of aspirin is mediated through opioid system modulation in an AlCl3-induced neurotoxicity mouse model. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2016; 11(5): 1961-1970. (Impact Factor = 1.26)

23. Mahboob A, Farhat SM, Iqbal G, Babar MM, Zaidi N-u-SS, Nabavi SM, Ahmed T*. Alpha-lipoic acid-mediated activation of muscarinic receptors improves hippocampus- and amygdala-dependent memory. Brain Research Bulletin. 2016. April: 122C: 19–28. (Impact Factor = 3.03)

24. Ahmed T, Setzer WN, Nabavi SF, Orhan IE, Braidy N, Sobarzo-Sanchez E, Nabavi SM. Insights into effects of ellagic acid on the nervous system: A Mini Review. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2016;22(10):1350-60. (Impact Factor = 2.61)

25. Jamil A, Mahboob A and Ahmed T*. Ibuprofen targets neuronal pentraxins expresion and improves cognitive function in mouse model of AlCl3-induced neurotoxicity. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2016. 11(2): 601-606. (Impact Factor = 1.26)

26. de Oliveira MR, Nabavi SM, Braidy N, Setzer WN, Ahmed T, Nabavi SF. Quercetin and the mitochondria: A mechanistic view. Biotechnology Advances. 2016 Sep-Oct;34(5):532-549. (Impact Factor = 10.59)

27. Syed H, Ikram MF, Yaqinuddin A, Ahmed T*. Cyclooxygenase I and II inhibitors distinctly enhance hippocampal- and cortex-dependent cognitive functions in mice. Molecular medicine Reports. 2015 Nov; 12(5):7649-56. (Impact Factor = 1.69) 

28. Nabavi SF, Habtemariam S, Ahmed T, Sureda A, Daglia, M, Sobarzo-Sánchez E, Nabavi SM. Polyphenolic Composition of Crataegus monogyna Jacq.: From Chemistry to Medical Applications. Nutrients. 2015, 7, 7708-7728. (Impact Factor = 3.55) 

29. Ahmed T, Gilani AH, Abdollahi M, Daglia M, Nabavi SF, Nabavi SM. Berberine and neurodegeneration: A review of literature. Pharmacological Reports. 2015 Oct; 67(5):970-9. (Impact Factor = 2.58) 

30. Hashmi AN, Yaqinuddin A, Ahmed T*. Pharmacological effects of Ibuprofen on learning and memory, Muscarinic receptors gene expression and APP isoforms level in Pre-frontal cortex of AlCl3-induced toxicity mouse model. International Journal of Neuroscience. 2015 Apr; 125(4):277-87. (Impact Factor = 1.75)

31. Ahmed T and Gilani AH. Therapetuic potential of Turmeric in Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin or curcuminiods?  Phytotherapy Research. 2014 (4):517-25. (Impact Factor = 3.09)

32. Lee S, Ahmed T,  Lee S, Kim H, Choi S, Kim DS, Kim SJ,  Cho J & Shin HS.   Bidirectional modulation of fear extinction by mediodorsal thalamic firing in mice. Nature Neuroscience. 2012; (15)308-314. (Impact Factor = 17.83)

33. Ahmed T and Gilani AH. A comparative study to measure the effect of curcuminoids on inflammatory and apoptotic gene expression in Aß plus ibotenic acid-infused rat model of Alzheimer’s disease. Brain Research. 2011. Jul 11; 1400:1-18. (Impact Factor = 2.74)

34. Ahmed T, Gilani AH, Hosseinmardi N, Semnanian S, Enam SA, and Fathollahi Y. Curcuminoids rescue long term potentiation impaired by amyloid peptide in rat hippocampal slices. Synapse. 2011; 65(7):572-82. (Impact Factor = 2.13)

35. Ahmed T, Enam SA, and Gilani AH. Curcuminoids enhance memory in an amyloid-infused rat model of Alzheimer's disease. Neuroscience 2010; 169 (3): 1296-1306. (Impact Factor = 3.27 Citations = 93)

36. Ahmed T and Gilani AH. Inhibitory effect of curcuminoids on acetylcholinesterase activity and attenuation of scopolamine-induced amnesia may explain medicinal use of turmeric in Alzheimer’s disease. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 2009; 91(4):554-9. (Impact Factor = 2.74 Citations = 192)
(This paper was ranked 11th amongst journal’s top 25 hottest articles. A Survey report by the ScienceDirect “Jan-March, 2009”).

37. Ghayur MN, Gilani AH, Ahmed T, Khalid A, Nawaz SA, Agbedahunsi JM, Choudhary MI and Houghton PJ. Muscarinic, Ca++ antagonist and specific butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of dried ginger extract might explain its use in dementia. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2008; 60(10):1375-83. (Impact Factor = 2.40)

Book chapters

* = Corresponding Author

1. Ahmed T*, Javed S, Tariq A, Gilani AH. Potential use of curcuminoids for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. “Neuroprotective effects of phytochemicals in neurological disorders”. 2017. 463-487. (Editors: Tahira Farooqui and Akhlaq A. Farooqui). Willley-Blackwell, USA. 
Published Online: 2 JAN 2017. Published Print: 28 FEB 2017. 
ISBN: 978-1-119-15514-0

Teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the department of Healthcare Biotechnology

Undergraduate Courses:
Biopharmaceuticals and basic pharmacokinetics

Postgraduate (MS/PhD) Courses:
Molecular Pharmacology
Behavioural Neuroscience