Mohammad K Hajihosseini

Dr

  • 1.49 Biology

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Personal profile

Administrative Posts

  • Director of Post-graduate Studies
  • Member of AWERB
  • Member of Science Faculty Postgraduate Appeals Panel
  • Organizer of Seminar Series on 'Cell, Development and Molecular Biology'

Career

  • Associate Professor in Neuroscience - University of East Anglia, Norwich (2003- present)
  • Postdoctoral fellow - University of Birmingham, UK (2001 - 2003) (The Wellcome Trust)
  • Postdoctoral fellow - Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF, now CRUK), Lincoln's Inn Fields, London (1996-2001) (ICRF and Human Frontiers fellowships)
  • Postdoctoral fellow - National Institutes of Neurological Disorders & Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH) Bethesda, USA, and Pasteur Institute, Paris, France (1994-1996) (The British Trust for Myelin Project)
  • Post-graduate certificate in Higher Education Practice (PGHEP) – University of East Anglia, Norwich
  • Ph.D. - Developmental Neurobiology - National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Mill Hill, London (1994) (Medical Research Council Studentship)
  • M.Sc. - Neurological Sciences - University College London, University of London (1990)
  • B.Sc. – Human Biology – King’s College London, University of London (1988)

External Activities

  • I have reviewed research proposals submitted to the Wellcome Trust; BBSRC; MRC; Netherland Organization for Scientific Research (NWO); Multiple Sclerosis Society; Breast Cancer Research Campaign; Yorkshire Cancer Research; BIG C, Norfolk’s local cancer charity; NC3R; European Research Council; and US National Science Foundation.

    I have also peer-reviewed manuscripts for the following journals: Birth Defects Research; Cell & Tissues Research; Clinical and Molecular Teratology; Development; Disease Models and Mechanisms; European J. Cell Biology; Frontiers in Craniofacial Biology and Physiology; J. Dental Research; J. Anatomy; J. Neurochemistry; J. of Medical Genetics; Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry; Molecular Metabolism; Neuroscience; Nature Genetics; PLoS ONE; and Stem Cells.

     EDITORIAL and GRANT REVIEW PANEL MEMBERSHIP:

    • Member of UK Multiple Sclerosis Societty's Grant Review Panel 1.
    • Developmental Neuroscience Journal
    • International Scholarly Research Network
    • Frontiers on Craniofacial biology
    • World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics

     INVITED PRESENTATIONS:

    • 2004 - University College London; Dept. of Anatomy & Developmental Biology.
    • 2005 - King’s College London; Dept of Craniofacial Development and Orthodontics.
    • 2006 - National Inst. for Medical Research, Mill Hill.
    • Lyon, France. French Connective Tissue Society meeting at the Inst. of Protein Biology and Chemistry (IBCP).
    • 2008 - Dept. Cell Morphology & Molecular Neurobiology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.
    • 2009 - Experimental Biology 2009/ FASEB - American Anatomical Society symposium: ‘FGF signaling in development and disease’, New Orleans, USA.
    • Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM), Oxford.
    • 2010 - MRC Harwell, Mammalian Genetics Unit.
    • 2011 - Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.
    • 2014 - Re-Work Technology Summit, London.
    • FGFs in Health and Disease Gordon Research Conferences, Ventura, California.
    • 2015 - FUSION Conference on FGFs in Development and Repair. Cancun, Mexico.
    • 2016 - FGFs in Health and Disease Gordon Research Conferences, Hong Kong.
    • -Winter meeting of the Anatomical Society of GB& Ireland, London.
    • 2018 - FGF Gordon Conference, Ventura, California.
    • 2019 - FUSION Conference on FGFs in Development and Repair. Bahamas.

     OUTREACH ACTIVITIES:

    • July 2008 - Teacher Scientist Network (TSN) lecture on stem cells.
    • Dec 2008 - Discussion on the importance and
    • Future of research into stem cells in; Future Radio’s Community Chest programme
    • 2009 - National Brain Awareness week – UEA campus. Presentation on neurological diseases, and showing of the film; ‘Lorenzo’s Oil’ (http://www.myelin.org) to increase awareness of myelin-associated diseases such as ALS and Multiple Sclerosis.
    • 2013 - UEA 50th anniversary Science exhibition.
    • 2014 -  Engagement of national and international media organizations regarding the discovery of tanycytes as a population of neural stem cells in the adult hypothalamus
    • http://voiceofrussia.com/us/tag_110652910/2013
    • http://www.heart.co.uk/norfolk/news/local/norwich-uea-scientists-make-weight-loss-breakthrou/
    • 2015 - Co-organizer of the first international symposium on Tanycytes, as part of Euroglia meeting, Bilbao, Spain
    • 2018 - Co-Organizer and vice-chair of Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on FGFs in Developent and Disease, Ventura, California.

Key Research Interests and Expertise

We work to genetically dissect the role/s of Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF)/ FGF receptor (FGFR) signaling system in mammalian organogenesis and adult stem cell function. In the past, we have elucidated these roles in the developing craniofacial sutures, axial skeleton, limbs, lungs, genitalia, submandibular glands and the developing nervous system. Our model organism and research tool is transgenic mice that allow lineage tracing in conjunction with loss and gain-of function in FGFs, FGFRs or FGF signaling mediator genes. In particular, we have generated and studied gain-of-FGFR1 and FGFR2 mutant mice that model two congenital craniosynostosis diseases: Pfeiffer and Apert syndromes. Currently we are interested in novel populations of slow-dividing/ quiescent stem/progenitor cells in the postnatal/adult brain, with a view to understanding their normal role in brain function and exploiting their potential to alter physiology and brain repair. In particular, a novel neurogenic niche in the postnatal and adult hypothalamus, wherein tanycytes that express FGF10 act as neural stem cells and supply the hypothalamic neural circuits with new neurons. Our in vivo studies are complimented by in vitro and ex vivo model systems to delineate the molecular role of FGF signaling in stem/ progenitor cell growth and differentiation. 

Current Research Projects

  • Investigation of the stem cells and the dynamics of neurogenesis in the adult hypothalamus
  • Cellular and molecular basis of neurological defects in Apert syndrome
  • Role of FGF signaling in the development of muscle and tendon progenitors


Life in our research group

We are based in the Biomedical Research Centre (BMRC) of the School of Biological Science, where we enjoy dynamic interactions with scientists of different background, from stem cell biologists and immunologists, to virologist and neuroscientists. BMRC provides a friendly atmosphere for sharing equipment, technical expertise and floor discussions. We also have ongoing collaborative studies with colleagues based in UK, USA, Japan, France and Finland, through which we share expertise, reagents and transgenic mice. We regularly use immunocytochemistry on tissue sections and cultured neural cells derived from the embryonic and adult rodent brain. Images generated from our work have won several prizes, including the annual Olympus competitions of 2007 and 2009 and runner up prize of ASGBI society in 2011..

Current lab Members

  • Timothy G. Goodman (BBSRC-funded Post-doc)
  • Benediktas Kaminskas (BBSRC DTP funded PhD student)
  • Stuart Nayar (BBSRC DTP funded PhD student)
  • Hannah Felstead (Anatomical Soc of GB&I funded PhD student)
  • Shaun Clare (BBSRC-funded Laboratory Assistant)
  • Estela Perez Santamarina (BBSRC DTP funded PhD student)
  • Arron Reed (MSc Student)

ALUMNI:

  • Neil Sparshott
  • Irina Djackova
  • Benita Turner Bridger
  • Alaleh Nadji-Samiei
  • Niels Haan
  • Ben Jevans
  • Theoni Ingrid Demcollari
  • Sumi Shrestha
  • Terence Neale
  • Ben Warner
  • Andrew Loveday
  • Christina M. Stratford
  • Jacob Beebe
  • Julia Mundy
  • Marta Mikolajczak 

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Teaching Interests

  • Skills for Biologists (BIO-4008Y)
  • Physiology & Chemistry for Life Sciences (BIO-4009Y)
  • Grand Challenges in Biomedicine (BIO-4012Y)
  • Human Physiology (BIO-5004A)
  • Cell Biology (BIO-5005B)
  • Blood Biomedicine (BIO-3C53)
  • Cellular Signaling (BIO-6003A)
  • Genomes, Genes and Genomics (BIO-6013A)
  • Embryo Development & Stem Cell Biology (BIO-6012A)
  • Molecular Medicine (BIO-7017A)
  • Supervision of the research projects of final year undergraduates, and summer projects funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Company of Biologists
  • External supervisor of two PhD students at the University of Giessen

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 1994

Master in Science, University College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 1990

Bachelor of Science, King's College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 1988

External positions

Chair of 2020 conference FGFs in Health and Disease, Gordon Research Conferences

Vice-Chair of 2018 conference FGFs in Health and Disease -Ventura, USA, Gordon Research Conferences

Grant review panel member, Multiple Sclerosis Society (The)

Network

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