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Dr. Touqeer Ahmed
Associate Professor
Healthcare Biotechnology

National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
H-12 Sector Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel : +92 51 9085 6141

Pharmacology and Neuroscience

Post-Doc: RIKEN, Brain Science Institute, Japan:: Post-Doc: KIST, Seoul, South Korea:: PhD, Pharmacology (2005-2009), Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan:: B. Pharmacy (2000-2004), Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan

Dr. Touqeer Ahmed completed his doctoral degree from the Aga Khan University, Karachi in the year 2009. He pursued his post-doctoral career from Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Seoul, South Korea in 2010. He joined NUST in 2011 as an Assistant Professor and completed his second Post-doc from RIKEN, Brain Science Institute, Japan in 2014. He is currently Associate Professor and Head of Department of Healthcare Biotechnology. His work is focused on investigating the molecular mechanism of memory impairment in metal neurotoxicities by using animal models (especially rodents) for different behavioural studies.To better understand the molecular mechanism of metals neurotoxicity, neurotransmitter levels, molecular gene expression and other biochemical studies are also part of his work. His research also includes the effect of different drugs on cholinergic system. He has the honour to receive best graduate certificate at his undergraduate level (B.Pharmacy). He also received the Best Teacher Award for the year 2017 at NUST.​​
Dr. Touqeer Ahmed has published 45 peer reviewed international journal papers and has 7 conference publications. He has cumulative impact factor of around 175 and more than 950 citations. He has given 19 invited oral talks at national and international level. He has organized 02 IBRO-APRC Schools (International Neuroscience Workshops) in the ASAB - NUST, Islamabad. He has produced 3 PhD graduates and 17 MS/M.Phil graduates. 

PhD students supervised and completed

  • Syeda Mahpara Farhat (2012-2017): Evaluation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in learning and memory using mouse model of Alzheimer's disease
  • Habiba Rashid (2012-2018): Role of cholinergic receptors in memory retrieval
  • Mian Imran Amjad (2014-2019): Effect of exercise electroencephalogram parameters and cognitive functions in mild cognitively impairment patients

Neuroscience Workshops Organised 

  • IBRO-APRC Associate School of Neuroscience “From Basic Neuroscience to Advanced Applications” Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad (September 30 - October 4, 2013).

  • IBRO-APRC Associate School of Neuroscience “Molecualr Basis of Behaviour”. Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad (March 14 – 18, 2016).

Lab Achievements and Honours

  • Rabia Shakeel (BS Student): Rector’s gold medal for best research project at BS Level. (2012)
  • Syeda Mehpara Farhat (PhD Scholar): Fellowship to participate in IBRO-APRC School of Neuroscience and 17th Thai Neuroscience society conference in Bangkok, Thailand. 29th Jul 2013 to 3rd Aug 2013.
  • Ghazala Iqbal (MS Student): 2nd best poster prize in the "1st International Conference on Drug Development - Natural and Synthetic (DrugDev – 2013), COMSATS, Abbottabad. August 25-27, 2013". 25th Aug 2013 to 27th Aug 2013.
  • Rabia Shakeel (MS Student): Fellow ship to participate in 3rd Tehran IBRO School of Neuroscience in Iran. Oct 26th - Nov 7th, 2013
  • Rabia Shakeel (MS Student): Awarded with NUST high achievers award for presenting NUST abroad. Apr 2014
  • Imran Amjad (PhD Scholar): Fellowship to participate in “4th IBRO Associate School” Basic Approaches in Neurological Diseases, Tehran, Iran. Oct 17th- Oct 28th, 2014
  • Ameema Tariq (MS Student): Fellowship to participate in 3rd IBRO-APRC Advanced School of Neuroscience, Selangor, Malaysia. 1st Nov - 30th Nov 2016.
  • Sana Javed (MS Student): Fellowship to participate in 3rd IBRO-APRC Advanced School of Neuroscience, Selangor, Malaysia. 1st Nov - 30th Nov 2016.

Peer-reviewed International Journal Papers

* = Corresponding Author

  1. Farhat SM, Mahboob A, Ahmed T*. Oral Exposure to Aluminum Leads to Reduced Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Gene Expression, Severe Neurodegeneration and Impaired Hippocampus Dependent Learning in Mice. Drug and chemical toxicology.March, 2019. DOI:10.1080/01480545.2019.1587452 (Impact Factor = 1.53)
  2. ​Iqbal G and Ahmed T*. Co-exposure of metals and high fat diet causes aging like neuropathological changes in non-aged mice brain. Brain Research Bulletin. April 2019. 147 (2019) 148–158. (Impact Factor = 3.44)
  3. Nabavi SF, Sureda A, Sanches-Silva A, Devi KP, Ahmed T, Shahid M, Sobarzo-Sanchez E, Da Crema M, Daglia M, Braidy N, Vacca RA, Berindan-Neagoe I, Gulei D, Barreca D, Banach M, Nabavi SM, Dehpour AR and Shirooie S. Novel therapeutic strategies for stroke: The role of autophagy. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences. February 2019. Doi: 10.1080/10408363.2019.1575333 [Epub ahead of print]. (Impact Factor = 6.48)
  4. Rashid H and Ahmed T*.  Muscarinic activity in hippocampus and entorhinal cortex is crucial for spatial and fear memory retrieval. Pharmacological reports. February 8, 2019. Doi:10.1016/j.pharep.2019.02.004. 1551894 [Epub ahead of print]. (Impact Factor = 2.78)
  5. Nabavi SM, Ahmed T, Nawaz M, Devi KP, Balan DJ, Pittalà V, Argüelles-Castilla S, Testai L, Khan H, Sureda A, de Oliveira MR, Vacca RA, Xu S, Yousefi B, Curti V, Daglia M, Sobarzo-Sánchez E, Filosa R, Nabavi SF, Majidinia M, Dehpour AR, Shirooie S. Targeting STATs in neuroinflammation: the Road Less Traveled. Pharmacological Research. 2018 Dec 11. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2018.12.004. [Epub ahead of print]. (Impact Factor = 4.48)
  6. Amjad I, Toor H, Niazi IK, Afzal H, Jochumsen M, Shafique M, Allen K, Haavik H, Ahmed T*. Therapeutic effects of aerobic exercise on EEG parameters and higher cognitive functions in mild cognitive impairment patients. International Journal of Neuroscience. 03 Dec 2018. Doi: 10.1080/00207454.2018.1551894 [Epub ahead of print]. (Impact Factor = 1.84)
  7. Amjad I, Toor H, Niazi IK, Pervaiz S, Jochumsen M, Shafique M, Haavik H, Ahmed T*. Xbox 360 Kinect Cognitive Games Improve Slowness, Complexity of EEG, and Cognitive Functions in Subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Control Trial. Games for Health Journal. 2018 Sep 21. doi: 10.1089/g4h.2018.0029. [Epub ahead of print]. (Impact Factor = 1.87)
  8. Farhat SM and Ahmed T*. Aluminum Suppresses Effect of Nicotine on Gamma Oscillations (20-40 Hz) in Mouse Hippocampal Slices. CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets. 2018. 17(6): 404-411 (Impact Factor = 2.08)
  9. Rashid H and Ahmed T*. Gender Dependent Contribution of Muscarinic Receptors in Memory Retrieval under Sub-Chronic Stress. Neuroscience Letters. 2018. August. (681): 6–11. (Impact Factor = 2.18)
  10. Bhatti S, Shah SA, Ahmed T & Zahid S. Neuroprotective effects of Foeniculum vulgare seeds extract on lead-induced neurotoxicity in mice brain. Drug and Chemical Toxicology. 2018. May 9. DOI: 10.1080/01480545.2018.1459669. [Epub ahead of print] (Impact Factor = 1.73)
  11. Iqbal G, Zada W, Mannan A, Ahmed T*. Elevated heavy metals levels in cognitively impaired patients from Pakistan. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2018. April 16; 60:100-109.  (Impact Factor = 2.3)
  12. Amber S, Ali Shah SA, Ahmed T, Zahid S. Syzygium aromaticum ethanol extract reduces AlCl3-induced neurotoxicity in mice brain through regulation of amyloid precursor protein and oxidative stress gene expression. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2018. Feb 16;11 (2):123-30. (Impact Factor = 0.92)
  13. Nabavi SF, Sureda A, Dehpour AR, Shirooie S, Silva AS, Devi KP, Ahmed T*, Ishaq N, Hashim R, Sobarzo-Sánchez E, Daglia M, Braidy N*, Volpicella M, Vacca RA, Nabavi SM*. Regulation of autophagy by polyphenols: Paving the road for treatment of neurodegeneration. Biotechnology Advances. 2017, Dec 5. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2017.12.001. [Epub ahead of print]. (Impact Factor = 10.59)
  14. Butt UJ, Shah SAA, Ahmed T, Zahid S. Protective Effects of Nigella sativa lin Seed Extract on Lead Induced Neurotoxicity during Development and Early Life in Mice Model. Toxicology Research. 2018. 7:32-40. (Impact Factor = 1.96)
  15. Rashid H, Mahboob A, Ahmed T*. Role of Cholinergic Receptors in Memory Retrieval Depends on Gender and Age of Memory. Behavioural Brain Research. 2017 Jul 28;331:233-240. (Impact Factor = 3.00)
  16. Arslan J, Ahmed T and Gilani AH. Soaked Almonds Exhibit Vitamin E-dependent Memory Protective Effect in Rodent Models. International Journal of Pharmacology. 2017 June. 13(5):448-456. (Impact Factor = 0.75)
  17. Braidy N, Behzad S, Habtemariam S, Ahmed T, Daglia M, Nabavi SM, Sanchez ES, Nabavi SF. Neuroprotective Effects of Citrus Fruit-Derived Flavonoids, Nobiletin and Tangeretin in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson`s disease. CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets. 2017;16(4):387-397.  (Impact Factor = 2.50)
  18. Khalid A, Shakeel R, Justin S, Iqbal G, Shah SA, Zahid S, Ahmed T*. Pharmacological effects of turmeric on learning, memory and expression of muscarinic receptor genes (M1, M3 and M5) in stress-induced mouse model. Current Drug Targets. 2017;18(13):1545-1557. (Impact Factor = 3.23)
  19. Farhat SM, Mahboob A, Ahmed T*. Cortex- and Amygdala-Dependent Learning and Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Gene Expression is Severely Impaired in Mice Orally Treated with AlCl3. Biological Trace Element Research. 2017 Sep;179(1):91-101. (Impact Factor = 2.39)
  20. Khan A, Khan A and Ahmed T. Anticonvulsant, anxiolytic and sedative activities of Verbena officinalis. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2016 Dec 21;7:499. (Impact Factor = 4.40)
  21. Ozawa T, Ycu EA, Kumar A, Yeh LF, Ahmed T, Koivumaa J and Johansen JP. A feedback neural circuit for calibrating aversive memory strength. Nature Neuroscience. 2017 Jan;20(1):90-97. (Impact Factor = 17.83)
  22. Ahmed T*, S Javed S, Tariq A, Budzy B, Onofrio GD, Daglia M, Nabavi SF, Nabavi SM.  Daidzein And Its Effects On Brain. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2017;24(4):365-375. (Impact Factor = 3.24)
  23. Farhat SM and Ahmed T*. Neuroprotective and Neurotoxic Implications of a7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor and Aß Interaction: Therapeutic Options in Alzheimer's Disease. Current Drug Targets. 2017;18(13):1537-1544. (Impact Factor = 3.23)
  24. Farhat SM, Mahboob A, Iqbal G, Ahmed T*. Aluminum Induced Cholinergic Deficits in Different Brain Parts and Its Implications on Sociability and Cognitive Functions in Mouse. Biological Trace Element Research. 2017 May;177(1):115-121. (Impact Factor = 2.39)
  25. Javed S, Tariq A, Ahmed T*, Budzynska B, Tejada S, Daglia M, Nabavi SF, Sobarzo-Sánchez E, Nabavi SM. Tanshinones and mental diseases: from chemistry to medicine. Reviews in the Neuroscience. 2016 Dec 1;27(8):777-791. (Impact Factor = 2.54)
  26. Iqbal G, Iqbal A, Mahboob A, Farhat SM, Ahmed T*. Memory Enhancing Effect of Black Pepper in the AlCl3-Induced Neurotoxicity Mouse Model is Mediated Through its Active Component Chavicine. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. 2016;17(11):962-73. (Impact Factor = 2.45)
  27. Ahmed T, Raza SH, Maryam A, Setzer WN, Braidy N, Nabavi SF, de Oliveira MR, Nabavi SM. Ginsenoside Rb1 as a neuroprotective agent: A review. Brain Research Bulletin. 2016 Apr 6;125:30-43. (Impact Factor = 3.03)
  28. Ahmed T*, Zahid S, Mahboob A, Farhat SM. Cholinergic System and Post-translational Modifications: An Insight on the Role in Alzheimer's Disease. Current Neuropharmacology. 2017;15(4):480-494. (Impact Factor = 3.36)
  29. Ahmed T*, Javed S, Javed S, Tariq A, Šamec D, Tejada S, Nabavi SF, Braidy N, Nabavi SM. Resveratrol and Alzheimer's Disease: Mechanistic Insights. Molecular Neurobiology. 2017 May;54(4):2622-2635. (Impact Factor = 6.19)
  30. Rizwan S, Idrees A, Ashraf M, Ahmed T*. Memory-enhancing effect of aspirin is mediated through opioid system modulation in an AlCl3-induced neurotoxicity mouse model. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2016; 11(5): 1961-1970. (Impact Factor = 1.26)
  31. Mahboob A, Farhat SM, Iqbal G, Babar MM, Zaidi N-u-SS, Nabavi SM, Ahmed T*. Alpha-lipoic acid-mediated activation of muscarinic receptors improves hippocampus- and amygdala-dependent memory. Brain Research Bulletin. 2016. April: 122C: 19–28. (Impact Factor = 3.03)
  32. Ahmed T, Setzer WN, Nabavi SF, Orhan IE, Braidy N, Sobarzo-Sanchez E, Nabavi SM. Insights into effects of ellagic acid on the nervous system: A Mini Review. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2016;22(10):1350-60. (Impact Factor = 2.61)
  33. Jamil A, Mahboob A and Ahmed T*. Ibuprofen targets neuronal pentraxins expresion and improves cognitive function in mouse model of AlCl3-induced neurotoxicity. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2016. 11(2): 601-606. (Impact Factor = 1.26)
  34. de Oliveira MR, Nabavi SM, Braidy N, Setzer WN, Ahmed T, Nabavi SF. Quercetin and the mitochondria: A mechanistic view. Biotechnology Advances. 2016 Sep-Oct;34(5):532-549. (Impact Factor = 10.59)
  35. Syed H, Ikram MF, Yaqinuddin A, Ahmed T*. Cyclooxygenase I and II inhibitors distinctly enhance hippocampal- and cortex-dependent cognitive functions in mice. Molecular medicine Reports. 2015 Nov; 12(5):7649-56. (Impact Factor = 1.69) 
  36. Nabavi SF, Habtemariam S, Ahmed T, Sureda A, Daglia, M, Sobarzo-Sánchez E, Nabavi SM. Polyphenolic Composition of Crataegus monogyna Jacq.: From Chemistry to Medical Applications. Nutrients. 2015, 7, 7708-7728. (Impact Factor = 3.55) 
  37. Ahmed T, Gilani AH, Abdollahi M, Daglia M, Nabavi SF, Nabavi SM. Berberine and neurodegeneration: A review of literature. Pharmacological Reports. 2015 Oct; 67(5):970-9. (Impact Factor = 2.58) 
  38. Hashmi AN, Yaqinuddin A, Ahmed T*. Pharmacological effects of Ibuprofen on learning and memory, Muscarinic receptors gene expression and APP isoforms level in Pre-frontal cortex of AlCl3-induced toxicity mouse model. International Journal of Neuroscience. 2015 Apr; 125(4):277-87. (Impact Factor = 1.75)
  39. Ahmed T and Gilani AH. Therapetuic potential of Turmeric in Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin or curcuminiods?  Phytotherapy Research. 2014 (4):517-25. (Impact Factor = 3.09)
  40. Lee S, Ahmed T,  Lee S, Kim H, Choi S, Kim DS, Kim SJ,  Cho J & Shin HS.   Bidirectional modulation of fear extinction by mediodorsal thalamic firing in mice. Nature Neuroscience. 2012; (15)308-314. (Impact Factor = 17.83)
  41. Ahmed T and Gilani AH. A comparative study to measure the effect of curcuminoids on inflammatory and apoptotic gene expression in Aß plus ibotenic acid-infused rat model of Alzheimer’s disease. Brain Research. 2011. Jul 11; 1400:1-18. (Impact Factor = 2.74)
  42. Ahmed T, Gilani AH, Hosseinmardi N, Semnanian S, Enam SA, and Fathollahi Y. Curcuminoids rescue long term potentiation impaired by amyloid peptide in rat hippocampal slices. Synapse. 2011; 65(7):572-82. (Impact Factor = 2.13)
  43. Ahmed T, Enam SA, and Gilani AH. Curcuminoids enhance memory in an amyloid-infused rat model of Alzheimer's disease. Neuroscience 2010; 169 (3): 1296-1306. (Impact Factor = 3.27 Citations = 93)
  44. Ahmed T and Gilani AH. Inhibitory effect of curcuminoids on acetylcholinesterase activity and attenuation of scopolamine-induced amnesia may explain medicinal use of turmeric in Alzheimer’s disease. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 2009; 91(4):554-9. (Impact Factor = 2.74 Citations = 192). (This paper was ranked 11th amongst journal’s top 25 hottest articles. A Survey report by the ScienceDirect “Jan-March, 2009”).
  45. Ghayur MN, Gilani AH, Ahmed T, Khalid A, Nawaz SA, Agbedahunsi JM, Choudhary MI and Houghton PJ. Muscarinic, Ca++ antagonist and specific butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of dried ginger extract might explain its use in dementia. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2008; 60(10):1375-83. (Impact Factor = 2.40)

Book chapters

* = Corresponding Author

1. Ahmed T*, Javed S, Tariq A, Gilani AH. Potential use of curcuminoids for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. “Neuroprotective effects of phytochemicals in neurological disorders”. 2017. 463-487. (Editors: Tahira Farooqui and Akhlaq A. Farooqui). Willley-Blackwell, USA. 
Published Online: 2 JAN 2017. Published Print: 28 FEB 2017. 
ISBN: 978-1-119-15514-0

2. Ahmed T*, Nawaz M, Iqbal W. Pharmacological effects of curcuminoids in neurological disorders. “Curcumin for Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders: Neurochemical and Pharmacological Properties”. 2019. 
(Editors: Tahira Farooqui and Akhlaq A. Farooqui). Elsevier, USA.
eBook ISBN: 9780128154625 
Paperback ISBN: 9780128154618 
Published Date: 19th March 2019  

Teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the department of Healthcare Biotechnology

Undergraduate Courses:
Biopharmaceuticals and basic pharmacokinetics

Postgraduate (MS/PhD) Courses:
Molecular Pharmacology
Behavioural Neuroscience

Sep-Nov 2004​: ​Internship as trainee pharmacist, Glaxosmithkline (GSK) Karachi.