Dr. Omar El Agnaf | Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Hamad Bin Khalifa University

FACULTY BIOGRAPHIES

Dr. Omar El Agnaf

Dr. Omar El Agnaf


Executive Director
Neurological Disorders Research Center
Management
Qatar Biomedical Research Institute QBRI

Joint Professor
College of Health and Life Sciences

Biography

Dr. Omar El-Agnaf is considered a pioneer in the field of Parkinson’s and related neurodegenerative diseases. He was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biochemistry in 1997 at Queen’s University Belfast, UK. Between 1997 to 1999, he worked as a post-doctoral scientist at the School of Biology and Biochemistry, Queen’s University Belfast. Following this, Dr. El-Agnaf undertook an additional two-year post-doctoral position at St. George’s Medical School in London. In 2001, he was awarded a Research Fellowship from the Parkinson’s Disease Society-UK to establish his research group at Lancaster University. After completing his Research Fellowship in 2004, Dr. El-Agnaf joined the College of Medicine at UAE University and was appointed to the Biochemistry Department. In September 2014, he joined Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) at Qatar Foundation (QF), and in 2016 he was appointed Acting Executive Director of Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), part of HBKU, and became the Executive Director in 2018.

As Executive Director of OBRI, Dr. El-Agnaf has successfully directed his organization’s efforts towards translational research to improve and transform healthcare through innovations in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting Qatar and the region. Under his leadership, QBRI has realized significant achievements. This has included securing extramural research funding to establishing robust alliances with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to winning the 2017 Arab Best Research Institution of the Year Award.

Since his move to the region in 2004, Dr. El-Agnaf has assembled an excellent research team that has positioned itself at the forefront of neuroscience research internationally, building a reputable portfolio in the Middle East and beyond, and has been successful in attracting an array of scientific funding from prestigious international funding agencies. Individually, his discoveries have greatly impacted the scientific research community, provided further insight into the molecular pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease, and offered new opportunities for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools for the disease. 

Dr. El-Agnaf is frequently invited as a speaker at international scientific and clinical meetings and is currently a member of the editorial boards of several international journals. Publications in high-ranking scientific journals validate Dr. El-Agnaf's track record of superior basic and translational research productivity. He has published nearly 137 refereed articles, with citations exceeding 13,350 (to date), and possesses an h-index of 61.

 


Research Interests

  • Identifying Potential Molecular Biomarkers for Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Identifying Novel Biomarkers for Type-2 Diabetes- associated Complications and Comorbidities
  • Development of Novel Diagnostic and Therapeutic Tools for Parkinson's Diseases and Related Disorders
  • Engineering Antibodies for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approaches
  • Non-viral Mediated Delivery of CRISPR/Cpf1 to the Central Nervous System for Efficient Non-Homologous Gene Correction in Neuronal Cells

Experience

As part of Dr. El-Agnaf’s academic tenure (Mentoring)

He has supervised numerous graduate and PhD students.

2001 to 2018
  • Teaching, HBKU, Postgraduate Course (Professor)

    Advanced Biochemistry

  • Teaching, HBKU, Postgraduate Course (Professor)

    Molecular and Cellular Biology of Neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Teaching, HBKU, Postgraduate Course (Professor)

    Advanced Techniques in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Selected Publications

  • Selected Patents

  • RVG Derived peptides, PCT Application No. PCT/IB2015/050846, filed 04/02/2015. Worldwide applications 2015 US WO EP. Inventor: O.M.A. El-Agnaf.

    2015
  • Compounds For Use As Imaging Agents, PCT Application No. PCT/IB2014/066041, filed 14/11/2014. Worldwide applications, 2014 WO EP US JP. Inventor: O.M.A. El-Agnaf.

    2014
  • Alpha-synuclein Antibodies and Uses Thereof. Application US14/138,347./ EP2961774A1European Patent Office; filed 03rd March 2013. Worldwide applications, 2013 US 2014 KR CN JP WO EP 2016 HK US. Inventor: O.M.A. El-Agnaf.

    2013
  • Method for diagnosis, PCT Application No. PCT/2012/004566/ filed 06th July 2011. Worldwide applications, 2011 US ES WO. Inventors: O.M.A. El-Agnaf, Lucilla Parnetti and Paolo Calabresi.

    2011
  • Early Diagnosis for Parkinson’s disease. PCT Application No. PCT/GB10/001723/ filed 16th September 2010. Inventor: O.M.A. El-Agnaf.

    2010
  • Methods and kits for diagnosing neurodegenerative disease, PCT Application PCT/CA2009/000822/ filed 16/06/2008. Worldwide applications 2009 WO. Inventors: Michael Schlossmacher, Brit Mollenhauer and Omar M.A. El-Agnaf.

    2009
  • Diagnostic agent for Parkinson's disease. PCT Application No. PCT/GB2010/001723, filed 16/09/2009. Worldwide applications, 2010 EP ES JP WO. Inventor: O.M.A. El-Agnaf.

    2010
  • Methods and kits for diagnosing neurodegenerative disease. PCT Application No WO 2009/152607/ filed 23rd Dec, 2009. Michael Schlossmacher, Brit Mollenhauer and Omar El-Agnaf.

    2009
  • Imaging Agent for detection and/or monitoring of synuclein-related diseases, PCT Application No. PCT/GB08/0022932/ filed 29th August 2008. Worldwide applications, 2007 GB 2008 EP US JP WO CA ES 2010 HK. Inventor: O.M.A. El-Agnaf.

    2008
  • Detection and/or monitoring of synuclein-related diseases. PCT Application No. PCT/GB2003/000677, filed 14th February 2002. Worldwide applications, 2003 WO DE JP. Inventor: O.M.A. El-Agnaf, S.A. Salem and D. Allsop.

    2002
  • Peptides and peptide derivatives for the treatment of α-synuclein-related diseases, PCT Application No. PCT/GB2003/003240, filed 22nd July 2002. Inventor: O.M.A. El-Agnaf and D. Allsop.

    2002
  • Selected Publications

  • H.C. Hatton, A. Reeve, N.Z. Lax, A. Blain, Y.S. Ng, OM.A. El-Agnaf, J. Attems, J.P. Taylor, D. Turnbull, D. Erskine

    Complex I reductions in the nucleus basalis of Meynert in Lewy body dementia: the role of Lewy bodies. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 8(1):103. doi: 10.1186/s40478-020-00985-8.

    2020
  • L.P. Oosterveld, T.I. Kuiper, N.K. Majbour, I.M.W. Verberk, K.D. van Dijk, J.W.R. Twisk, O.M. El-Agnaf, C.E. Teunissen, H.C. Weinstein, M. Klein, H.W. Berendse, W.D.J. van de Berg

    CSF Biomarkers Reflecting Protein Pathology and Axonal Degeneration Are Associated with Memory, Attentional, and Executive Functioning in Early-Stage Parkinson's Disease. Int J Mol Sci. 21(22):8519. doi: 10.3390/ijms21228519.

    2020
  • V. Gupta, I.P. Sudhakaran, Z. Islam, N.N. Vaikath, I. Hmila, T. Lukacsovich, P.R. Kolatkar, OMA El-Agnaf

    Expression, purification and characterization of α-synuclein fibrillar specific scFv from inclusion bodies. PLoS One;15(11):e0241773. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0241773.

    2020
  • D. Volc, W. Poewe, A. Kutzelnigg, P. Lührs, C. Thun-Hohenstein, A. Schneeberger, G. Galabova, N. Majbour, N. Vaikath, OM El-Agnaf, D. Winter, E. Mihailovska, A. Mairhofer, C. Schwenke, G. Staffler, R. Medori

    Safety and immunogenicity of the α-synuclein active immunotherapeutic PD01A in patients with Parkinson's disease: a randomised, single-blinded, phase 1 trial. Lancet Neurol. 19(7):591-600. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30136-8.

    2020
  • V Gupta, S Salim, I Hmila, NN Vaikath, IP Sudhakaran, SS Ghanem, NK Majbour, SA Abdulla, MM Emara, HB Abdesselem, T Lukacsovich, D Erskine, O.M.A. El-Agnaf

    Fibrillar form of α-synuclein-specific scFv antibody inhibits α-synuclein seeds induced aggregation and toxicity. Sci Rep. 10(1):8137. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65035-8.

    2020
  • M. Bourdenx, A. Nioche, S. Dovero, M.L. Arotcarena, S. Camus, G. Porras, M.L. Thiolat, N.P. Rougier, A. Prigent, P. Aubert, S. Bohic, C. Sandt, F. Laferrière, E. Doudnikoff, N. Kruse, B. Mollenhauer, S. Novello, M. Morari, T. Leste-Lasserre, I.T. Damas,

    M. Goillandeau, C. Perier, C. Estrada, N. Garcia-Carrillo, A. Recasens, N.N. Vaikath, O.M.A. El-Agnaf, M.T. Herrero, P. Derkinderen, M. Vila, J.A. Obeso, B. Dehay, E. Bezard (2020). Identification of distinct pathological signatures induced by patient-derived α-synuclein structures in nonhuman primates. Sci Adv. 6(20):eaaz9165. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz9165.

    2020
  • M. Fayyad, D. Erskine, N.K. Majbour, N.N. Vaikath, S.S. Ghanem, I.P. Sudhakaran, H. Abdesselem, A. Lamprokostopoulou, K. Vekrellis, C.M. Morris, J. Attems, O.M.A. El-Agnaf

    Investigating the presence of doubly phosphorylated α-synuclein at tyrosine 125 and serine 129 in idiopathic Lewy body diseases. Brain Pathol. 2020 Jul;30(4):831-843. doi: 10.1111/bpa.12845.

    2020
  • M.L. Arotcarena, S. Dovero, A. Prigent, M. Bourdenx, S. Camus, G. Porras, M.L. Thiolat, M. Tasselli, P. Aubert, N. Kruse, B. Mollenhauer, I. Trigo Damas, C. Estrada, N. Garcia-Carrillo, N.N. Vaikath, O.M.A. El-Agnaf, M.T. Herrero, M. Vila, J.A. Obeso,

    P. Derkinderen, B. Dehay, E. Bezard (2020). Bidirectional gut-to-brain and brain-to-gut propagation of synucleinopathy in non-human primates. Brain.143(5):1462-1475. doi: 10.1093/brain/awaa096.

    2020
  • N.K. Majbour, J.O. Aasly, E. Hustad, M.A. Thomas, N.N. Vaikath, N. Elkum, W.D.J. van de Berg, T. Tokuda, B. Mollenhauer, H.W. Berendse, O.M.A. El-Agnaf

    CSF total and oligomeric α-Synuclein along with TNF-α as risk biomarkers for Parkinson's disease: a study in LRRK2 mutation carriers. Transl Neurodegener. 9(1):15. doi: 10.1186/s40035-020-00192-4.

    2020
  • L.P. Oosterveld, I.M.W. Verberk, N.K. Majbour, O.M.A. El-Agnaf, H.C. Weinstein, H.W. Berendse, C.E. Teunissen, W.D.J. van de Berg

    CSF or serum neurofilament light added to α-Synuclein panel discriminates Parkinson's from controls. Mov Disord. 35(2):288-295. doi: 10.1002/mds.27897.

    2020
  • T. Taguchi, M. Ikuno, M. Hondo, L.K. Parajuli, K. Taguchi, J. Ueda, M. Sawamura, S. Okuda, E. Nakanishi, J. Hara, N. Uemura, Y. Hatanaka, T. Ayaki, S. Matsuzawa, M. Tanaka, O.M.A. El-Agnaf, M. Koike, M. Yanagisawa, M.T. Uemura, H. Yamakado, R .Takahashi

    α-Synuclein BAC transgenic mice exhibit RBD like behaviour and hyposmia: a prodromal Parkinson's disease model. Brain;143(1):249-265. doi: 10.1093/brain/awz380.

    2020
  • D. Erskine, A.K. Reeve, T. Polvikoski, A.M. Schaefer, R.W. Taylor, N.Z. Lax, O.M.A. El-Agnaf, J. Attems, G.S. Gorman, D.M. Turnbull, Y.S. Ng.

    Lewy Body Pathology Is More Prevalent in Older Individuals With Mitochondrial Disease Than Controls. Acta Neuropathol. 139(1):219-221.

    2020
  • F. Gao, A.M. Al-Qahtani, A. Khelif, F. Boussaid, S. Benchabane,Y. Cheng O.M.A. El-Agnaf and A. Bermak

    Towards Acoustic Radiation Free Lamb Wave Resonators for High-resolution Gravimetric Biosensing. IEEE Sensors Journal, (In press).

    2020
  • M. Fayyad, N.K. Majbour, N.N. Vaikath, D. Erskine, H. El-Tarawneh, I.P. Sudhakaran, Abdesselem H, O.M.A. El-Agnaf

    Generation of monoclonal antibodies against phosphorylated α-Synuclein at serine 129: Research tools for synucleinopathies. Neurosci Lett. 7;725:134899. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2020.134899.

    2020
  • M.T. Ardah, S.S. Ghanem, S.A. Abdulla, G. Lv, M.M. Emara, K.E. Paleologou, N.N. Vaikath, J.H. Lu, M. Li, K. Vekrellis, D. Eliezer, O.M.A. El-Agnaf

    Inhibition of alpha-synuclein seeded fibril formation and toxicity by herbal medicinal extracts. BMC Complement Med Ther. 6;20(1):73. doi: 10.1186/s12906-020-2849-1.

    2020