Executive Director, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute Associate Professor, Laboratory of Chemical Biology of Neurodegeneration Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne – EPFL
Prof. Hilal A. Lashuel received his B.Sc. degree in chemistry from the City University of New York in 1994 and completed his doctoral studies at Texas A&M University and the Scripps Research Institute in 1999. After obtaining his doctoral degree, he became a research fellow at the Picower Institute for Medical Research in Long Island New York. In 2001, he moved to Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a research fellow in the Center for Neurologic Diseases and was later promoted to an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School. During his tenure (2001- 2004) at Harvard Medical School his work focused on understanding the mechanisms of protein misfolding and fibrillogenesis and the role of these processes in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. In 2005 Prof. Lashuel joined the Brain Mind Institute at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) where he directs the laboratory of molecular and chemical biology of neurodegeneration (http://lashuel-lab.epfl.ch). He is now the Executive Director of Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI).
Research efforts in the Lashuel’s laboratory cover the following topics: (1) Elucidating the structural basis of amyloid-associated toxicity in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease; (2) Understanding the role of quaternary structure in protein function and disease; (3) developing novel therapeutic strategies based on modulating protein aggregation and clearance. Research in the Lashuel lab is funded by several international funding agencies and foundations, including the Swiss National Science Foundation, European FP7 program (Marie Curie and ERC grants), Human Science Frontiers, Strauss Foundation, Michael J Fox Foundation and is supported by collaborations with biotech companies.
Dr. Lashuel contribution to promoting higher education and research in the region is exemplified by 1) his role as a co-founder and co-director of the American Association of Yemeni Scientists and Professionals (www. aaysp.org), an organization focused on promoting higher education and research in Yemen and among the Yemeni communities in the United States; 2) his active involvement as a member of the Arab Expatriate Scientists Follow up Committee appointed by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned (http://www.qf-qfirst.info/ ) and coordinator of the biomedical group of Arab Expatriate Scientists. In addition, Dr. Lashuel continues to work actively to engage international organizations, including the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the International Brain Organization, to promote higher education in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Under the auspices of the WEF, Dr. Lashuel is working with a group of Arab Expatriate Scientists selected by the WEF to engage with business leaders and policy makers from the region and formulate specific recommendations focused on promoting Education, Science and Technology as catalysts for transformation and development in the region and participated in the regional Middle East WEF meetings at the Dead Sea (2009) and Mrakesch (2010) and the Global Redesign Summit in Doha (May 2010).