Dr Kinda Alshaikhahmed
“Being a female scientist has been challenging at times, however, understanding that positive change takes time, allowed me to focus my energy and ensure high level of accomplishments.”
Kinda is from Syria and has a BSc in Molecular Biology from Damascus University. In 2010/2011, she was awarded a Saïd Foundation Scholarship to study for an MSc in Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) one of the most prestigious research academies in UK. During her masters she achieved high research results that qualified her for a PhD studentship in 2012 in Molecular Virology. On completion of her PhD Kinda initially worked at the University of Oxford as a post-doctoral Scientist. She later worked as a Research Associate at the UCL/Cancer institute before moving to her current role as a Research Fellow at LSHTM.
During her studies and career, Kinda has focused on learning the structure of viruses on molecular levels, changing and manipulating virus genome for drug and vaccine development. Through understanding the structure of the virus, Kinda generated a synthetic vaccine that mimics the structure of the live animal virus. This virus caused several outbreaks in the Middle East (particularly in Palestine), Europe and USA with significant economic losses in the industry of dairy animals. The vaccine is safer than the live attenuated one as animals would not be infected with live virus.
Kinda also participated in the development of reverse-genetics system for the same virus as an alternative approach for vaccine production. She recently
finished a project in which she developed a novel network approach to predict human Rotavirus genome interactions. The findings will pave the way for the development of novel types of drug targets and/or for designing defective interfering particles
Much of Kinda’s work has been presented at international conferences and published in top-ranking scientific journals including:
- Valerie Odon, Jelke J Fros, Niluka Goonawardane, Isabelle Dietrich, Ahmad Ibrahim Kinda Alshaikhahmed, Dung Nguyen and Peter Simmonds. (2.19). The role of ZAP and OAS3/RNAseL pathways in the attenuation of an RNA virus with elevated frequencies of CpG and UpA dinucleotides. Nucleic Acid Research. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkz581
- AlShaikhamed, K., Leonov, G., Sung, P., Bingham, R.J., Twarock, R and Roy, P. (2018). Dynamic network approach for the modelling of genomic sub-complexes in multi- segmented viruses. Nucleic Acid Research. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gky881
- Fros, J.J., Dietrich, I., AlShaikhahmed, K., Casper Passchier, T., Evans, D.J. and Simmonds. P. (2017). CpG and UpA dinucleotides in both coding and non-coding regions of echovirus 7 inhibit replication initiation post-entry. eLife. https://elifesciences.org/articles/29112
- Fajardo Jr. T., AlShaikhahmed, K. and Roy P. (2016). Generation of infectious RNA complexes in Orbiviruses: RNA-RNA interactions of genomic segments. Oncotarget. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12496
- K. and Roy P. (2016). Generation of virus-like particles for emerging epizootic haemorrhagic. Vaccine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.12.069
Alongside her research Kinda also mentors for the young scientist programme for students aged 14-18 to provide them with the opportunity to experience the actual biomedical research and motivate the coming generation of communal and worldwide health researchers. She also mentored several graduate students during their projects and thesis writing.