Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine  Back to Main

Faculty Detail    
Campus Address BMR2 3RD Zip 6810
Phone  (205) 975-9656
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Anesthesiology   Anesthesiology Chair Office Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine 

Biographical Sketch 
Aftab Ahmad, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, received his B.S., M.S. and PhD degrees from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh in India. He completed his postdoctoral training in oxidant lung biology at National Jewish Health, Denver, CO. He later joined the ranks of faculty at National Jewish Health in 2007 and then at the University of Colorado Denver in 2012. After working there for two years he joined the Division of Molecular and Translational Biomedicine in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine in 2014.

Research/Clinical Interest
Role of extracellular RNA in Acute Lung Injury. Role of Hypoxia-inducible transcription factors in Pulmonary Hypertension.
Dr. Ahmad's interests are in understanding factors involved in lung injury, repair and development. His research focuses on understanding the role of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs) in disease and development. Hypoxia-inducible transcription factors, HIF-1a and HIF-2a, play a major role in these processes. These transcription factors bind to the same DNA response element and regulate mostly overlapping and a few unique genes. Dr. Ahmad has indentified functional differences between HIF-1a and HIF-2a in cells of the pulmonary vasculature. He has found that HIF-2a promotes endothelial proliferation independent of HIF-1a. He has also found that adenosine A2A receptor is a unique downstream target gene of HIF-2a that can also promote endothelial growth and proliferation. More importantly his work has found that expression of this receptor is increased in patients with lung cancer and also in patients with pulmonary hypertension. Using animal models, his laboratory is currently investigating the role of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors and adenosine A2Areceptor in pulmonary hypertension. The other area of Dr. Ahmadís interest is in understanding the role of extracellular RNA (exRNA) in lung injury induced by inhalation of toxic chemicals. RNA released from cells passively as a result of injury or through the active process can activate signaling pathways. It is a unique molecule that can accelerate the inflammatory pathway and also activate the coagulation cascade. He has found that exRNA inhibits anti-inflammatory pathway(s). Using a number of genetic, molecular and bioinformatics tools his laboratory is engaged in identifying the role of these exRNA species in such injuries. His lab is also testing therapies against chemical-induced toxicities in animal models.

Vascular biology, endothelial cells, pulmonary hypertension, Hypoxia-inducible transcription factors, HIF-1a, HIF-2a, Acute lung Injury, extracellular RNA.