Dr. Abdel R Hamad, B.V.Sc, M.V.Sc, Ph.D, is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Medicine. Dr. Hamad earned his B.V.Sc and M.V.Sc in veterinary medicine from the University of Khartoum and his Ph.D in immunology from the University of Colorado Health Science Center. He completed his postdoctoral training here at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and joined the Faculty in 2002. Dr. Hamad’s research has been continuously funded by the NIH and by private funding societies.
Dr. Hamad's research is focused on understanding pathophysiological roles of non-conventional immune lymphocytes in the regulation of autoimmunity, particularly type 1 diabetes (T1D), obesity and type 2 diabetes. He is also actively studying the role of non-conventional T cells in the regulation of immune responses to ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI).
Currently, Dr. Hamad is working along with Dr. Thomas Donner, Director of Diabetes at Johns Hopkins Hospital to translate these findings into strategies to better identify and protect individuals at risk for developing T1D. Along the way, they identified a subset of B cells that expresses Fas ligand and appears to be significantly increased in T1D patients and to cause insulitis in animal models.
In addition, Dr. Hamad is collaborating with Dr. Hamid Rabb to understand the role of a unique population of T cells that we discovered and, based our data, appear to play critical roles in the prevention of ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI), a major cause of death of kidney transplant recipients.
Dr. Hamad and his colleagues have discovered that syndecan 1 (sdc1), a heparan sulfate proteoglycan, is a specific marker of a subset of natural killer T cells (NKT) that produces IL-17 and resides exclusively in visceral adipose tissues. Deletion of sdc1 significantly reduces body fat and improves glucose tolerance in mice. Currently, Dr. Hamad and his colleagues are investigating the underlying mechanisms and finding ways to translate these findings into therapeutic for obesity.
Dr. Hamad has coauthored over 40 peer-reviewed publications and a book chapter in the fields of autoimmune diabetes, immune homeostasis and regulation. Dr. Hamad is a member of the editorial board of World Journal of Diabetes and Topic editor for Frontier in Immunology. He is also active in federal government advisory committees. He is an appointed member of HAI study section and served as ad hoc reviewer for several NIH study sections and for the European Research Council. He is also a member of American Association of Immunologists and B cell working group of the JDRF Network of Pancreatic Organ donor (nPOD) and Appointed member of NIH HAI study section.