Zewail City Launches the Center for Aging and Associated Diseases

Zewail City is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Sameh Saad Ali from the University of California to head the Center for Aging and Associated Diseases (CAAD).

Dr Sameh Ali

“On behalf of the Supreme Advisory Board, I am pleased that Dr Sameh Ali has decided to join us at Zewail City of Science and Technology. His leading scientific research on aging and associated diseases, educational skill, and passion for helping his native country are qualities that shall constitute the basis for success in this National Project of Egypt,” said Zewail City Chairman, Dr Ahmed Zewail.

Ali will establish the Center for Aging and Associated Diseases under the umbrella of Zewail City’s Helmy Institute of Medical Science. This cutting-edge research center is designed to promote and facilitate basic aging research. It employs nontraditional, exceptionally informative, cellular and animal models to investigate the rate of aging. The Center’s researchers will also investigate molecular mechanisms that control the rate of aging with the ultimate goal of uncovering the mechanisms of age-associated diseases including cancer, diabetes, pulmonary hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and cognitive decline.

Ali will also be involved in graduate and undergraduate education and in Zewail City’s organized efforts to disseminate scientific knowledge to the Egyptian and Arab publics.

“During the past few decades, many Egyptian scientists were forced to leave their country due to lack of infrastructure and poor awareness of the importance of scientific research. As one of those scientists, I never stopped dreaming of a return to help my country regain its natural position among developed nations,” Ali commented.

“However,” Ali continued, “realizing this dream seemed so far until I closely followed the great efforts by Dr Ahmed Zewail to establish a state-of-the-art science and technology city. The Zewail City of Science and Technology is something that all Egyptians should be proud of and will definitely tunnel Egypt to a brighter future. Today, I’m really excited and honored to have been given this wonderful opportunity to join these historical efforts to place Egypt back on the track of true advancement. These are exciting times in Egypt. The January 25 Revolution has undoubtedly demonstrated that miracles can in fact happen.”

Professor Sameh Saad Ali graduated from Ain Shams University in 1988 with the highest class-honor and was appointed instructor and later lecturer at the same university. In 1990, he was awarded a prestigious scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education and joined the graduate program in Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan. Ali obtained his M.Sc. degree in 1994 and Ph.D. degree in 1997 studying the magnetic field effects on free radical chemistry.

From 1998 to 1999 he was invited to work as a post-doctoral fellow in the Technical University, Graz, Austria where he continued his work on magnetic control of chemical reactions. He then extended his research interest to study free radical biology and medicine during his postdoctoral work in Washington University in St. Louis during the period from 2000 to 2005.

Ali became fascinated by the elegance and complexity of the mitochondrion, the tiny powerhouse within our cells that was once free-living bacteria. He was motivated to know more about the critical role of mitochondria in the origin of eukaryotic cells as building blocks of complex life and to explore the importance of oxygen as the driving force behind this fundamental transformation of terrestrial life. Without a formal education in biology, he grasped fundamental concepts in cell biology to begin new research frontiers, including the mitochondrial theory of diseases and aging.

Ali moved to the University of California in San Diego in 2005 and was recruited as an assistant professor in the department of medicine after being awarded a highly competitive career award from the National Institute on Aging in 2007 – 2012. The award was substantial, allowing him to devise novel methodologies to detect intracellular levels and dynamics of reactive oxygen species in the context of aging studies.

He has been able to adapt and develop magnetic resonance, spectroscopic, and electrochemical techniques in combination with conventional biochemical methods to study free radical dynamics in multiple organ tissues and cellular domains.

Dr Sameh Ali published more than thirty papers in high profile journals including Science , the Journal of Neurosciences , the Neurobiology of Aging Aging Cell Brain Research ,Journal of Biological Chemistry PLoS One Free Radical Biology and Medicine ,Nanomedicine , among others. His work is highly cited and of significant impact in the field of free radical biology and medicine.


For further details, contact Zewail City Head of Communications and Development, Nadia El-Awady, at: press at zewailcity dot edu dot eg.

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