Professor Said Ismail of UJ’s Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital chaired the 1st Oxford Symposium on Aptamers which was held 24-25 March 2014. This symposium was one of the first international meetings at Oxford that brought together the aptamer community from both academia and industry, and laid the foundations for an annual gathering that would witness the aptamer technology coming of age.
Aptamers are a new class of molecules with a great potential to rival monoclonal antibodies in therapeutic, diagnostic, analytical as well as basic research applications. They take 3D complex forms capable of binding other molecules, compounds and proteins and target them with high accuracy.
As Head of the Molecular Diagnostics Lab at UJ, Dr. Ismail's research focuses on the usage of these molecules as they bind with cancer cells with high affinity and specificity. This helps in delivering cancer drugs to the abnormal cells which increases the efficiency of cancer drugs and reduces the side effects of these drugs.
Prof. Ismail is a faculty member at the Department of Biochemistry at UJ and has several publications and contributions in this field. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford, M.Sc. from the University College London, and a B.Sc. from The University of Jordan.