Nafees Ahmad, PhD

Professor, Immunobiology
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Applied Biosciences, GDIP

Dr. Nafees Ahmad received his BS (Hons) in Chemistry and MS in Biochemistry from one of the prestigious central universities in India, The Aligarh Muslim University. He then joined another renowned research institute, The Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India, from where he earned his Ph.D. in 1983.  Dr. Ahmad did his Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA from 1985-1990 in the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. His research primarily focused on the regulation of HIV-1 gene expression and replication, especially the role of HIV-1 regulatory and accessory proteins in HIV-1 replication and biology.  In 1990, a group of scientists from the NIH, including Dr. Ahmad moved to J.N. Gamble Institute of Medical Research, Cincinnati, Ohio to start a new program on Molecular Virology, including his own independent research program on molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 mother-to-infant transmission. In 1994, Dr. Ahmad joined the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology (now Immunobiology). His research involves understanding the molecular mechanisms of differential HIV infection in infants and adults and vertical transmission and pathogenesis. In addition, he directs the Immunity and Infection block of the medical curriculum of the College of Medicine – Tucson. Teaching Dr. Ahmad's major teaching responsibilities include serving as the director, instructor and facilitator of the Immunity and Infection (I&I) block (MED 822, 9 units) for 110-120 second year medical students. In addition, I serve as a facilitator in several other blocks, including Prologue (MED 814, 2 units), DMH (MED-820, 14 units), Life Cycle (MED-821, 9 units), and Advanced Topics (MED-823, 9 units) of the College of Medicine – Tucson. Immunity and Infection Block covers multiple disciplines, including Immunology, Virology, Bacteriology, Mycology, Parasitology, Adult and Pediatric Infectious Disease, Pathology, Pharmacology, Nutrition, Bioethics, Bioterrorism, Humanisms and Global, National & Local Public Health and various departments such as Immunobiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Medicine, Pediatrics, Physiology, Cell Biology & Anatomy, Nutrition, Family and Community Medicine and Public Health. At the graduate level, he teachs a 3-unit Molecular Virology (IMB 580) course to graduate students. He also direct a 3-unit Graduate Medical Microbiology (IMB-510) Course as well as teach the Virology section of this course. Furthermore, he supervises medical, undergraduate and graduate students for research in his laboratory. Dr. Ahmad has received several awards and recognition for teaching at the University of Arizona. Lifetime Educator of the Year Award for Medical Education, Years I and II, College of Medicine – Tucson, University of Arizona. Member, Academy of Medical Education Scholars (AMES), College of Medicine – Tucson, University of Arizona Outstanding Teacher in a Block, 2011, Year II, Immunity and Infection, College of Medicine – Tucson, University o Dean’s List for Excellence in Teaching, 2010 – Year II Award for Immunity and Infection, College of Medicine – Tucson, University of Arizona Dean’s List for Excellence in Teaching, 2009 – Year II Award for Immunity and Infection, College of Medicine – Tucson, University of Arizona Outstanding Teacher in a Block, 2008, Year II, Immunity and Infection, College of Medicine – Tucson, University of Arizona Vernon and Virginia Furrow Award for Excellence in Basic Sciences Teaching for Medical Students, 2006, College of Medicine – Tucson, University of Arizona Dean's List for Excellence in Teaching in the Basic Sciences, 2002, College of Medicine – Tucson, University of Arizona Dean’s Teaching Scholar Award, 1998-1999, Arizona Health Sciences Center Memberships Academy of Medical Education Scholars Bio5 Institute Textbooks Sherris Medical Microbiology, 5th Edition, McGraw Hill Research  Molecular Virology The main focus of Dr. Ahmad's laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms of differential HIV-1 infection in neonatal and adult target cells as well as HIV-1 vertical transmission. Areas of investigation include: role of viral and host factors associated with a higher viral load and rapid AIDS progression in neonates/infants compared with adults; identification and characterization of host factors influencing differential HIV-1 infection and gene expression in neonatal (cord) blood mononuclear cells vs. adult cells; role of HIV-1 integration in differential HIV-1 gene expression and replication in cord vs. adult cells; mechanisms of differential HIV-1 infection in neonatal macrophages and naïve/memory T-cells vs. adult cells; molecular and biological characterization of HIV-1 involved in vertical transmission and disease progression; viral determinants, including viral heterogeneity, functional conservation/divergence of various HIV-1 genes, presence/absence of motifs in HIV-1 genes, replication efficiency, cell tropism, cytopathic effects, and coreceptor utilization associated with HIV-1 maternal-fetal transmission and pathogenesis; development and evaluation of anti-HIV-1 agents, including HIV entry inhibitors and inhibitors from natural products. Selected Publications Sundaravaradan, V., Mehta, R., Harris, D. T., Zack, J. A., and Ahmad, N. Differential expression and interaction of host factors augment HIV-1 gene expression in neonatal mononuclear cells. Virology 400:32-43, 2010. PMID: 20138641 Ahmad, N., Mehta, R., Harris, D.T. HIV-1 replication and gene expression occur at higher levels in neonatal naïve and memory T-lymphocytes compared with adult blood cells. Virology 413:39-46, 2011. PMID: 21353282 Wellensiek, B., Ramakrishnan, R., Sundaravaradan, S., Mehta, R. and Ahmad, N. Differential HIV-1 integration targets more active genes in neonatal than adult blood mononuclear cells. Virology 385: 28-38, 2009. PMID: 19100594

Recent Publications


Beatty, N. L., N. Behrens-Bradley, M. Love, F. McCants, S. Smith, J. O. Schmidt, S. A. Hamer, P. L. Dorn, N. Ahmad, and S. A. Klotz, "Rapid detection of human blood in triatomines (kissing bugs) utilizing a lateral flow immunochromatographic assay - A pilot study.", Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, vol. 114, pp. e190047, 2019. PMID: 31166422
Khan, A., A. Hayat Khan, A. Syazril Adnan, S. Azhar Syed Sulaiman, S. Mushtaq, N. Ahmad, and I. Khan, "Hypertension control among euvolemic hypertensive hemodialysis patients in Malaysia: a prospective follow-up study.", J Pharm Policy Pract, vol. 12, pp. 10, 2019. PMCID: PMC6515627  PMID: 31114693
Khan, I., N. Ahmad, S. Khan, S. Muhammad, S. Ahmad Khan, I. Ahmad, A. Khan, and M. Atif, "Evaluation of treatment outcomes and factors associated with unsuccessful outcomes in multidrug resistant tuberculosis patients in Baluchistan province of Pakistan.", J Infect Public Health, 2019 May 02. PMID: 31056438
Klotz, S. A., N. Bradley, S. Smith, and N. Ahmad, "HIV Infection-Associated Frailty: The Solution for Now Is Antiretroviral Drugs: A Perspective.", J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care, vol. 18, pp. 2325958219831045, 2019 Jan-Dec. PMID: 30803299
Atif, M., Q. Saleem, S. Asghar, I. Malik, and N. Ahmad, "Extent and Predictors of Poor Glycaemic Control among Elderly Pakistani Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Multi-Centre Cross-Sectional Study.", Medicina (Kaunas), vol. 55, issue 1, 2019 Jan 17. PMCID: PMC6358768  PMID: 30658518
Rahman, S. Ber, A. Mir, N. Ahmad, S. Husnain Haider, S. Akbar Malik, and M. Nasir, "Identification and association of recurrent ALOXE3 mutation with non-bullous congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma in two ethnically distinct Pakistani families.", Congenit Anom (Kyoto), vol. 59, issue 3, pp. 93-98, 2019 May. PMCID: PMC6309665  PMID: 29935003


Sun, M., N. Ahmad, R. Zhang, and J. Graw, "Crybb2 associates with Tmsb4X and is crucial for dendrite morphogenesis.", Biochem Biophys Res Commun, vol. 503, issue 1, pp. 123-130, 2018 09 03. PMID: 29864422
Ahmad, N., A. Hayat Khan, I. Khan, A. Khan, and M. Atif, "Doctors' Knowledge of Hypertension Guidelines Recommendations Reflected in Their Practice.", Int J Hypertens, vol. 2018, pp. 8524063, 2018. PMCID: PMC5867602  PMID: 29721335
Ahmad, N., S. D. Ahuja, O. W. Akkerman, J-W. C. Alffenaar, L. F. Anderson, P. Baghaei, D. Bang, P. M. Barry, M. L. Bastos, D. Behera, et al., "Treatment correlates of successful outcomes in pulmonary multidrug-resistant tuberculosis: an individual patient data meta-analysis.", Lancet, vol. 392, issue 10150, pp. 821-834, 2018 09 08. PMCID: PMC6463280  PMID: 30215381
Behrens, N. E., A. Wertheimer, S. A. Klotz, and N. Ahmad, "Reduction in terminally differentiated T cells in virologically controlled HIV-infected aging patients on long-term antiretroviral therapy.", PLoS One, vol. 13, issue 6, pp. e0199101, 2018. PMCID: PMC5999291  PMID: 29897981