The University of Jordan News Professor Areej Abu Hamad Awarded Prestigious...
  • 13 - Jun
  • 2024

Professor Areej Abu Hamad Awarded Prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship

​Professor of pharmacology at the University of Jordan (UJ), Areej Abu Hamad, has achieved a remarkable accomplishment by receiving one of Europe's most important, challenging, and competitive fellowships, with a success rate of less than 15%; the prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship, granted by the European Research Executive Agency.

Under the fellowship, Abu Hamad joins the renowned University of Bristol in England as a research fellow in its laboratories for one year. She will lead research on an important project focusing on developing new agonists targeting a class of free fatty acid receptors (FFARs), which are known targets for treating long-term COVID-19 and obesity, and are of immense importance in improving global health.

Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Prof. Rula Darwish, congratulated Abu Hamad on this achievement and noted that this research collaboration is also a valuable opportunity for UJ to enhance relationships with research institutions in the UK and Europe, and to foster future cooperation efforts with the University of Bristol, thereby raising the University's international reputation.

According to the project leaders at the University of Bristol, Prof. Christian Schafitzel from the School of Biochemistry, and Prof. Imre Berger, Director of the Max Planck Bristol Centre for Minimal Biology, Abu Hamad's leadership in this project is crucial for its continuity and success. They highlighted that her previous scientific visit to their laboratories in 2022-2023 accomplished what others tried to achieve in three years, noting that she managed to grow crystals of FFAR1 complex, which underscores her skills and dedication.

They added that Abu Hamad's expertise in structural biology and drug discovery is essential in enhancing the understanding of the biological system they are studying, especially in determining the structure of FFAR1, which laid the foundation for future research endeavors.

It is worth noting that Abu Hamad holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the prestigious University of Oxford, a master's, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Jordan, numerous awards, and research grants, and has approximately 20 peer-reviewed research papers published.