Marie Curie Initial Training Network

Shaheda Ahmed

Recruited Fellow

Marsela Qesari

Dr Marsela Qesari

Dr Shaheda Ahmed PhD
Senior Scientific Officer
Alcyomics Limited
Haematological Sciences
Institute of Cellular Medicine
The Medical School
Newcastle University
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Dr Ahmed graduated as a molecular biologist and then continued her interest in science by successfully completing a PhD in the Department of Clinical Medical Sciences at Newcastle University in 2006. Following her interest in translational medicine, Dr Ahmed went on to secure a Research Associate position within the department of Haematological Sciences in the field of bone marrow transplant biology before making a successful transition from academia to industry. She is currently utilising her expertise at Alcyomics Ltd, a spin-out company from Newcastle University, to help provide a biologics and cellular therapeutics service, where she holds the position of senior scientific officer.

Dr Ahmed has broad research interests based around immunogenicity, allergy and skin explant biology with specific research interests in T lymphocyte stimulation and cytokine release in response to sensitizing chemicals and respiratory allergens, drugs and novel compounds. Dr Ahmed also has active interests in the development, validation and application of novel predictive test methods which aim to reduce, refine and replace the use of animals in safety assessment.

Research Network Team

Professor Anne Dickinson, Professor of Bone Marrow Transplant Technology, expertise includes- Haematopoietic stem cell transplant immunobiology, Graft versus host disease immunobiology and immunomodulation, Non-HLA immunogenetics and relevance to transplant outcome.

Recruited Fellows

Dr Marsela Qesari (Italy) Experienced Researcher.

Dr Qesari possesses technical expertise in immunohistochemistry or biochemical staining of intestinal explants, primary enteric nervous system cell cultures, immunocytochemistry, western blotting, functional assays with tritium-labeled compounds, polymerase chain reaction, DNA sequencing and High Resolution Melting. In 2009, Marsela completed a Master Degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies with a dissertation thesis titled, “Applications of High Resolution Melting as a new tool for mutational screening of colon cancer”. Following this, she obtained a Ph.D. in Pharmacological Sciences; Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapy from the Graduate School of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padua, Italy. During her Ph.D. program she focused her attention on the Gastro Intestinal Motility Disorders taking advantage of a well-established animal model which consists in the administration of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in mice, to establish a chronic infection of Enteric Nervous System. In March 2013, she presented her doctoral thesis titled “Herpes simplex virus type 1 infection of murine enteric nervous system leads to gut neuropathy”. Marsela has presented her scientific results as posters or oral presentations in several National and International meetings, such as International Neurogastroenterology and Motility Meeting (NGM) and European Congress of Pharmacology (EPHAR), in 2012. She also is co-author of two published manuscripts in the international journal of Gastroenterology.

Project Title: Comparative studies of the use of MSCs versus aptamers in GvHD responses using Skimune™, safety testing of CMV+ T cells and identification of targets by mRNA/miRNA analysis of GvH skin explants.

Marsela completed her project as a Marie Curie Fellow in April 2015. Her results will be published in due course.

Relevant References

1. Ahmed S.S , Donze.O, Holler E., Wang XN, Dickinson A . A biomarker panel associated with acute and chronic Graft versus Host Disease (Manuscript in preparation)

2. Mavin E, Ahmed S.S , O'Boyle G, Turner B, Douglass S, Collin M, Ali S, Dickinson A, Wang X-N. Regulatory T cells inhibit CD8+ T-Cell tissue invasion in hujman Graft Versus-Host Reactions. Transplantation, 456-464 (2012).

3. Ruffin N, Osorio LM, Wang XN, Jackson G, Collin MP , Ahmed S.S, Ekre H, Chiodi F, Dickinson AM. Association of Epithelial Fas Up-regulation with Cell Damage in a Human Graft-versus-Host- Disease Model .