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Dr. Saadia Zahid
Associate Professor
Healthcare Biotechnology

National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
H-12 Sector, Islamabad, Pakistan 44000
Tel : +92-51-9085-6134

Biochemistry (Neurobiology)

PhD Biochemistry from University of Karachi, Pakistan and University of Göttingen, Germany

Dr. Saadia Zahid, currently working as Assistant Professor at ASAB holds a doctorate degree in biochemistry with research focused on differential proteome profiling and the role of altered post-translational modifications in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain; which shows her primary research interest in neurobiology coupled with advance proteomic investigations. Dr. Zahid carried out her doctoral research in the Neurochemistry Research Laboratory at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan. She also had the opportunity to carry out her partial PhD research work as a Research Fellow/Junior Scientist at the Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry Laboratory at Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Medicine Göttingen, Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany.
Grants Secured
  • Principal Investigator: ISULL-HEC Project entitled: "Strengthening of Proteomics Facility at Neurobiology Laboratory for Elucidation of Proteomic Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease and other Neurodegenerative Disorders. (PKR 2.23 million).
  • Principal Investigator: NRPU-HEC Project entitled: “Elucidation of potential effects of antidiabetics and acetylcholine esterase inhibitors: a comparative analysis for combined therapeutic strategies for type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease”. (PKR 2.45 million).
  • Principal Investigator: NRPU-HEC Project entitled: “Elucidation of the effects of Amphetamine and natural psychostimulant compounds in Alzheimer’s disease” (PKR 2.8 million).
  • Co- Principal Investigator: NRPU-HEC Project entitled: “Analyzing The Natural Anti HIV Mechanism for their Therapeutic Implications in Vaccine Development”. (PKR 2.0 million).
  • Principal Investigator: SRG-HEC Project entitled: “Proteomic identification of post-translationally modified and differentially expressed proteins in aluminium induced oxidative stress animal model for Alzheimer’s disease”. (PKR 0.5 million).

  • AOHUPO Young Scientist Travel Award from AOHUPO World Congress, May 5-7, 2012, Beijing, China.
  • Recipient of “International Research Support Initiative Program (IRSIP-HEC) Scholarship” from Higher Education Commission, Pakistan for PhD research at Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Medicine Göttingen, Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany.
  • Research Scholarship from Department of Clinical Chemistry, and worked as Junior Scientist (Stufe 1) at University Medicine Göttingen, Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany.
  • HUPO Young Scientist Award from HUPO 8th Annual World Congress, September, 25-30, 2009, Toronto, Canada. 
  • AOHUPO/KSMS Young Scientist Award presented at HUPO 6th Annual World Congress, October 6-10, 2007, Seoul, Korea
  • Research Fellowship from University of Karachi, 2006.

Supervision of Research Students

  • PhD Thesis (running projects)
  • Sanila Amber: Identification of Aberrant Post Translational Modifications via Differential Proteome Profiling in Alzheimer’s disease Brain.
  • Sumera Khan: Evaluation of protein expression in Brain Tumor.
  • Fatima Javed Mirza: Elucidation of the potential effects of the Rosmarinus officinalis extracts on synaptic regulation in Adult Hippocampal neurogenesis.

MS Thesis (Completed)

2018        Deeba Hassan: Comparative analysis of effects of metformin and donepezil on diabetes mice model. 
2017 Zujaja tul Misbah: Potential role of Rosmarinus officinalis in mice models of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
2017 Tahzeen Fatima: Potential role of Rosmarinus officinalis on brain cognition in mice model for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
2016 Aneeqa Noor: Identification of Differentially S-nitrosylated proteins in neurodegeneration associated with mice models of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.
2016 Adeena Shafique: Is Sphingosine 1-Phosphate (S1P) Produced by Sphingosine Kinase 2 (SphK2); Important for Learning and Memory?
2016 Azka Khan: Role of Protein S-Nitrosylation in Unfolded Protein Response during Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Brain.
2015 Sara Ahmed: A Study to Investigate the Potential Role of Anti Diabetic versus Classical Acetylcholine Esterase Inhibitor in Neurogenesis.
2015 Zahra Mahmood: The Unfolded Protein Response and Cellular Toxicity: Implications in Neurodegeneration. 
2014 Sheharbano Bhatti: Investigation of Protective Effects of Foeniculum vulgare Against Heavy Metal Induced Oxidative Stress in Mice.
2014 Umer Javed: Ameliorative Effects of Nigella sativa Extract on Lead (Pb) Induced Memory Degeneration and Oxidative Stress in Mice.
2014 Sanila Amber: Pharmacological effects of Syzygium aromaticum extract on AlCl3 induced oxidative stress in mice brain.

BS Thesis Projects (Completed)

2018 Anibah Khalid: Potential Effects of Psychostimulants on Inflammation in an AlCl3-induced Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model.
2018 Umme Aimen Abbasi: Potential Effects of Psychostimulants on Synaptic Gene Expression in AlCl3 Induced Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model.
2017 Mahnoor Ali: Elucidation of Neurogenic Effect of Rosmarinic Acid in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Mice Model. (Awarded Rector’s Gold Medal for Best Research Project)
2017 Sabahat Munawar: Elucidation of Therapeutic Potential of Rosmarinus officinalis on Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis in STZ induced Diabetic Mice Model.
2016 Sahar Yousuf: A Comparative Study to Elucidate the Extent of Neurodegeneration and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Diabetes Mellitus Type II Mice Model.
2016 Wajeeh Hassan Khan: The role of Activating Transcription Factor 6 (ATF6) and Amyloid Precursor Protein 770 (APP770) during Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress.
2015 Maria Majeed: Potential Effects of Antidiabetics on Protein Expression during Neurotoxicity: Leading to Neurodegenerative Disorders.
2014 Adeena Shafique: Aberrations in Mice Brain Protein Expression due to Pre- and Post-Natal Lead Exposure: Nigella Sativa- A Promising Remedy. (Awarded Rector’s Gold Medal for Best Research Project).
2014 Kinza Waqar: Pharmacological Role of Foeniculum vulgare in Cortex and Hippocampus of Lead Induced Mouse Model of Oxidative Stress.
2014 Syeda Fatma Hassan Bukhari: Therapeutic Effects of Syzygium aromaticum on Heavy Metal Induced Oxidative Stress Mouse Model: A Differential Proteomic Study.
2013 Sara Ahmed: Oxidative Stress Induced Altered Hippocampal Expression Profile in AlCl3 Mouse Model.
2013 Haleema Tariq Bhatti: Differential Expression of Cortical Proteins in AlCl3-Induced Oxidative Stress in Alzheimer’s Mouse Model.


1-     Sanila Amber, Saadia Zahid. Data integration for functional annotation of regulatory single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with Alzheimer's disease susceptibility. Gene. 672:115-125. 

2-     Umer Javed, Syed Adnan Ali Shah, Touqeer Ahmed, Saadia Zahid. Protective Effects of Nigella sativa lin Seed Extract on Lead Induced Neurotoxicity during Development and Early Life in Mice Model. Toxicol. Res. 7, 32-40. 

3-     Fatima Javed Mirza, Saadia Zahid. The role of synapsins in neurological disorders. Neurosci Bull. 34(2):349-358.

4-     Sanila Amber, Syed Adnan Ali Shah, Touqeer Ahmed, Saadia Zahid. Syzygium aromaticum ethanol extract reduces AlCl3-induced neurotoxicity in mice brain through regulation of amyloid precursor protein and oxidative stress gene expression. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 11(2): 123-130.

5-     Sheharbano Bhatti, Syed Adnan Ali Shah, Touqeer Ahmed, Saadia Zahid. Neuroprotective effects of Foeniculum vulgare on lead-induced neurotoxicity in mice brain. Drug Chem Toxicol. 9:1-9.


6-     Aneeqa Noor, Saadia Zahid. Alterations in adult hippocampal neurogenesis, aberrant protein s-nitrosylation, and associated spatial memory loss in streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus type 2 mice. Iran J Basic Med Sci; 20(10):1159-1165.

7-     Shabina Ishtiaq Ahmed, Muhammad Qasim Hayat, Saadia Zahid, Muhammad Tahir, Qaisar Mansoor, Muhammad Ismail , Kristen Keck, Robert Bates.  Isolation and identification of flavonoids from anticancer and neuroprotective extracts of Trigonella foenum graecum. Trop J Pharm Res 2017; 16(6):1391-1398.
8-     Sara Ahmed, Zahra Mahmood, Aneela Javed, Shoaib Naiyer Hashmi, Inga Zerr, Saima Zafar, Saadia Zahid. Effect of Metformin on Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis: Comparison with Donepezil and Links to Cognition. J Mol Neurosci. 62(1):88-98.

9-     Aliya Khalid, Rabia Shakeel, Saira Justin, Ghazala Iqbal, Syed Adnan Ali Shah, Saadia Zahid Touqeer Ahmed. Pharmacological effects of turmeric on learning, memory and expression of muscarinic receptor genes (M1, M3 and M5) in stress-induced mouse model. Curr Drug Targets. 18(13): 1545-1557.


10-    Aneeqa Noor, Saadia Zahid. A review of the role of synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25) in neurological disorders. Int J Neurosci. 127 (9):805-811.
11-    Touqeer Ahmed, Saadia Zahid, Aammra Mahboob, S Mahpara Farhat. Cholinergic System and Post-translational Modifications: An Insight on the Role I n Alzheimer’s disease. Curr Neuropharmacol.15 (4):480-494.


12-    Sara Ahmed, Zahra Mahmood, Saadia Zahid. Linking Insulin with Alzheimer’s Disease- Emergence as Type III Diabetes. Neurol Sci.  36(10):1763-9.


13-    Saadia Zahid, Michael Oellerich, Abdul R Asif, Nikhat Ahmed. Differential expression of proteins in brain regions of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Neurochem Res. 39(1):208-15.     

14-    Saadia Zahid, Rizma Khan, Michael Oellerich, Abdul R Asif, Nikhat Ahmed. Differential S-nitrosylation of proteins in Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroscience. 256: 126–136. 


15-    Rizma Khan, Saadia Zahid, Yu JY Wan, Jameson Forster, A-Bashar A Karim, Atta M Nawabi, Abid Azhar, Muhammad A Rahman, Nikhat Ahmed. Protein expression profiling of nuclear membrane protein reveals potential biomarker of human hepatocellular carcinoma. Clinical Proteomics. 10 (1): 6.     

16-    Afshan Zeeshan Wasti, Saadia Zahid, Nikhat Ahmed. Antipsychotic drugs induced iron deficiency anemia in schizophrenic patients. Int. J. Adv. Res. 1(10): 111-118


17-    Saadia Zahid, Michael Oellerich, Abdul R Asif , Nikhat Ahmed. “Phosphoproteome profiling of substantia nigra and cortex regions of Alzheimer’s disease patients”. J Neurochem. 121(6):954-63. (The paper highlights are also published in the inside cover “IN THIS ISSUE” of the journal).17-554
18-    Afshan Zeeshan Wasti, Saadia Zahid, Rizma Khan, Nikhat Ahmed. “Characterization of molecular responses to haloperidol and clozapine in schizophrenic patients with polymorphism in dopamine receptor gene”. ISIJ, 17:49:16/132.


19-    Saadia Zahid, Rizma Khan, Ahsana Dar, Abid Azhar and Nikhat Ahmed. Differential expression of cytosolic and membrane associated proteins in different rat brain regions. Pak. J. Biochem. Mol. Biol. 2011; 44(2): 60-63.

Dr. Saadia Zahid is involved in teaching neurobiology and nervous system disorders, clinical biochemistry to post-graduate and under-graduate classes, respectively. At present, total ten students of BS, MS and PhD are conducting their research work under her supervision/co-supervision on different projects related to neuroscience.