Dr. Mariam Al-Muftah

 Assistant Professor (Qatar University)
Dr. Mariam Al-Muftah received her BSc in Medical Genetics (Honors) from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom in 2005 and pursued her post graduated education to complete a Master of Research (MRes) in Biological Sciences in 2007 and a PhD of Medicine (cancer immunotherapy) as a joint project between the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute and the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. Her PhD project was focused on the use of a fully autologous mouse model to study immune regulation towards 5T4 targeted immunotherapies. Furthermore, she focused on the generation of novel chimeric antigen receptors against the tumor associated antigen 5T4.

After completing her doctoral degree in 2011, she became a lecturer of Biology at Qatar University and was later promoted to the rank of Assistant Professor. In February 2012, she was seconded to Qatar Biomedical Research Institute as a scientist to pursue her research interest. Recently, she completed an executive master program in Strategic Business Unit Management from HEC Paris University in Qatar. Dr. Mariam has taught several courses in general biology and molecular biology at the department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.
Dr. Al-Muftah research focuses on the exploitation of immune cells as therapeutic agents to target and eradicate cancer, particularly to design and arm T-lymphocytes with chimeric antigen receptors to specifically target a tumor associated antigen. Furthermore, she is interested in understanding how endogenous expression of the target antigen impacts the efficacy of this type of immunotherapy, particularly the effect of immunosuppressive cells (T-regulatory cells and MDSCs) and cytokines upon cancer therapy, with the aim of mimicking what really happens in patients.

Dr Al-Muftah is also interested and involved other projects focusing on the identification of specific cancer biomarkers, particularly microRNAs, long non coding RNAs and cancer testis antigens with the aim of elucidating the complexity of cancer pathogenesis and identifying potential candidates for cancer immunotherapy.
Elucidating the mechanisms modulating triple negative breast cancer aggressiveness by dissecting intertumoral and intratumoral heterogeneity at the cellular and molecular levels, including immunophenotyping of the tumor microenvironment and identifying potential targets for the design of cancer immunotherapies.

The role of cancer testis antigens in triple negative breast cancer and their potential as effective targets for T-cell based immunotherapy (a collaborative project with Dr. Julie Decock)

Dr. Al-Muftah is also leading a project in collaboration with Dr. Lotfi Chouchane and Dr. Konduru Sastry from Weil Cornel Medical College in Qatar to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of prostate cancer into the castration-resistant state, with the aim of identify key pro- and anti-apoptotic molecules and microRNAs that render prostate cancer cells at advanced stage resistant to therapy.
Collaborator Name Institute Research Area
Dr. Lotfi Chouchane WCM-Q Prostate Cancer
Dr. Konduru Sastry WCM-Q/SMRC Prostate/Breast Cancer
Dr. Julie Decock QBRI Breast Cancer
Dr. Said Dermime NCCCR - HMC Cancer
Dr. Nader AL-Dewik HMC Hematological malignancies
Dr. Shahinaz Bedri WCMCQ Breast Cancer
Name Institution Period
Summer Student Program (BSc level) Qatar University/Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar May 2016 – July 2016
PhD Student Hamad Bin Khalifa University 2016-
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