King Saud University, Prince Naif Center for Immunology Research (PNCIR) Asthma Research Chair; College of Medicine Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Halwani obtained a PhD in virology and immunology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada where he was studying HIV viral assembly and viral cellular interaction. He then did a postdoctoral fellowship at the CHUM research center with Dr. Rafick Sekaly where he was trained as an immunologist studying qualitative and quantitative immune correlates of protection against viral infection especially HIV. Dr. Halwani developed extensive expertise in both molecular biology and cellular immunology including the development of assays to measure T cell survival and persistence in non-humans primates. He was also among the first to successfully implement the use of phosFLow technology, which allows measuring phosphorylated molecules by flow cytometry to monitor T cell activation ex vivo, on samples from non-human primates
Dr. Halwani is interested in studying the molecular mechanisms involved in lung tissue remodeling during Asthma. Airway tissue remodeling is the key physiological feature underlying asthma pathogenesis. It refers to the modification of the normal composition and structural organization of lung tissue which usually occurs in response to inflammatory responses associated with asthma and COPD. This involves a wide pattern of pathophysiological mechanisms. Dr. Halwani investigates the molecular mechanisms involved in these processes from several angles in the aim to discover novel drug targets that would help control asthma pathogenesis.