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 QBRI, 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.
He has supervised numerous graduate and PhD students.2001 to 2018
Molecular and Cellular Biology of Neurodegenerative diseases.
Advanced Techniques in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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
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
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
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
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. 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
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
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
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
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
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
Lewy Body Pathology Is More Prevalent in Older Individuals With Mitochondrial Disease Than Controls. Acta Neuropathol. 139(1):219-221.2020
Towards Acoustic Radiation Free Lamb Wave Resonators for High-resolution Gravimetric Biosensing. IEEE Sensors Journal, (In press).2020
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
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