Ammira S. Akil

Staff Scientist - Human Genetics

Sidra Medical and Research Center, Qatar

Dr. Ammira Akil is currently employed as staff scientist at the human genetics department, translational medicine division, Sidra medical and research center, and a research fellow at the NH&MRC clinical trials center, University of Sydney, Australia. Since completing her PhD, Dr. Akil has contributed and coordinated multiple research projects in the field of myeloma cancer drug resistance research in collaboration with Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA, USA. Currently, Dr. Akil research interests mainly focused on understanding the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying complex genetic disorders with a special interest on diabetes. Dr. Akil lead and participate in several research projects focusing on Genome-wide microRNA profiling and small non-coding RNAs next generation sequencing and non-coding RNAs role in diabetes retinopathy. Moreover, Dr. Akil other expertise in Next Generation Sequencing platforms (Illumina and Miseq), High throughput PCR platforms (ViiA7 and Quant Studio 12K) with robotics for OpenArray™ (AccuFill®), Corneal confocal, clinical autoanalyzers and High cluster computing will be a valuable addition to the project. Dr. Akil recent “Omics study” funded by QNRF aims to comprehensively validate SNP, microRNA, mRNA and proteomic signature in a total of 2,050 individuals (plus 600 QBB-WGS data) via extensive genome-wide discovery analyses, in order to establish the world’s first study validating a composite molecular biomarker signature using custom made “Nanochip”. Dr. Akil has special interest and trained on performing functional analysis studies and make use of complicated data obtained by genomic and transcriptomic, such as RNA-seq and genome sequencing data. Dr. Akil research and the team in genome-wide microRNA biomarkers of disease has been funded through the Australian Research Council (ARC), the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Australia. Dr. Akil organizational and communication skills, leadership and management expertise in the field of medical research placed her as the right person to lead and manage entire studies in addition to her other roles as a scientist. Dr. Akil is the director of the Molecular Biology Training Program established by the team to specifically train individuals from the middle east (currently from Qatar and Sharjah, UAE) in microRNA biomarker and next generation sequencing technologies in Australia. Dr. Akil has several articles and conference papers published in the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting and Journal, Blood, IF 9.0600 and Haematologica, IF 5.9350. Her work has acknowledged by the American Diabetes Association “ADA” diabetes Journal, IF 8.095, the New England Journal of Medicine, IF 55.873 and the Nature reviews in endocrinology, IF 13.6. During her career, Dr. Akil was awarded the Inventor of the Year Award and filed one Australian provisional patent application with the New South Innovations, Australia, 2012. She has also received two awards from the international Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes, “ISPAD” in 2012 and 2011, respectively. Dr. Akil has been a Lead PI and Co-PI on national and international competitive research grant applications to support her research. These include funding received through the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) National Priorities Research Program (Lead PI in NPRP9-229-3-041, PI in NPRP9-241-3-043, PI in PPM1-1229-150022 and event organizer in QNRF-CWSP11-C-1031-16084), Diabetes Australia Research Trust (“DART” grant, 2015), MiSeq Pilot the Possibilities grant, 2014, Rebecca Cooper Medical Research Foundation grants, 2015, 2014, 2012, and 2011, the Australasian Pediatric Endocrine Group (APEG, 2012) research grant, the Vice Chancellor for research and graduate studies research grants, University of Sharjah, 2015, and the University of Sharjah Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology seed grant, 2015 with a career total competitive research grant funding award of 5 million USD.