Thursday, March 04, 2021

Dr. Moaz ur Rahman,

MSc, MPhil, PhD (Leeds), PostDoc (Harvard Medical School)
Principal Scientist, Fulbright Alumnus
Drug Discovery & Structural Biology Group

Work Phone: 92 41 9201316-20 Ext 319, 242
Fax Phone: +92 41 9201322
Dr. Moaz ur Rahman

Qualifications and Background:

  • M.Sc. 1998. (Chemistry) University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
  • M.Phil. 2001. (Biotechnology) University of Quaid-i-Azam, Islamabad/NIBGE Faisalabad.
  • Ph.D. 2007. (Biochemistry: Molecular/Membrane & Systems Biology) University of Leeds, UK.
  • PostDoc 2012-13. (Electron/X-ray protein crystallography), Harvard University.
  • Scientific officer, 1999; Senior Scientist, 2004; Principal Scientist 2012.


Research awards:

  • Pakistan Academy of Sciences (Prof. ZKS) - Gold Medal (Biotechnology)
  • Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Gold Medal 2014
  • Fulbright Post-doctoral award 2011 at Harvard Medical School, Boston
  • IDB excellent research performance award 2009
  • Islamic Development Bank (IDB) scholarship for PhD studies


Team Members:


  • Dr.AamirShehzad (Senior Scientist); Email:
  • Ms. Sadia Mahboob(Senior Scientist);
  • Ms. Fouzia Ismat (Senior Researcher)
  • Mr. Raheemullah (PhD student); Email:
  • Mr. Majid Ali Shah (PhD student); Email:
  • Ms. Maryam Zafar (PhD student); Email:
  • Mr. SobanTufail (PhD student); Email:
  • Ms. Anam Tariq (PhD student); Email:
  • Ms. Mahim Khan (PhD student);
  • Mr. Junaid Ali Meran (MPhil student);
  • Mr. Muhammad Farooq (Lab Incharge); Email:
  • Mr. Irfan jamil(Lab-Tech); Email:



Past lab members:

  • Dr. Muhammad Imran (Assistant Professor, HEC); Email:
  • Dr. Muhammad Tariq (Assistant Professor, HEC); Email:
  • Dr. Muhammad AkramAnver (Assistant Professor, HEC);
  • Ms. Faiza Aziz (Senior Scientist); Email:
  • Dr. ImranRiaz Malik (PhD student);
  • Dr. Muhammad Salahuddin (PhD student); Email:
  • Dr.Muhammad Salman (PhD student); Email:
  • Dr. Abdul Ghaffar (PhD student); Email:
  • Dr. Aqsa Shaheen (PhD student); Email:
  • Dr. Nida Iram (PhD student);
  • Mr. Noor Akbar (PhD student); Email:
  • Ms. Maryam Sana (MPhil/PhD student); Email:
  • Mr. Ibrahim Shufaat (MPhil student); Email:
  • Mr. Waqar Afridi (MPhil student); Email:
  • Ms. Iqra Jawad (MPhil student);
  • Ms. Zahra Naz (MPhil student);


Research Interests:

Molecular mechanisms of membrane transport proteins, Structure and function of viral proteins


Membrane transport proteins

Our major research focus is to structurally and functionally characterize physiologically and pharmaceutically important human membrane transport proteins and their homologues present in bacteria and yeast with perspective of finding new drug targets. Currently we are working on proteins from the dicarboxylate amino acid - cation symporter family, the cation diffusion facilitator family and multidrug resistance efflux pumps from Gram negative bacteria such as Salmonella serovar Typhi. Molecular mechanisms underlying transport of various solutes in above mentioned proteins are being studied through the use of following techniques and methods.


  • Cloning and high level expression of membrane proteins and their soluble domains in E. coli, Pichia pastoris and Sacchromyces cerevisiae.
  • Purification of recombinant proteins by affinity, ion exchange and size exclusion chromatography.
  • Structure-function studies using homology models, site directed mutagenesis and biochemical and biophysical techniques such as transport assays using radio or fluorescent labelled probes, Fourier transform infrared, circular dichroism spectroscopy.
  • Three dimensional structure determination by X-ray crystallography.


Structure and function of viral proteins

We are also studying structure-function of proteins of Newcastle disease virus (NDV), Fowl adenovirus (FAV) and Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) which are among the major threats to poultry industry worldwide including Pakistan. The objective of this research is to provide feedback for the development of recombinant vaccine and to find antiviral drug targets for the treatment of NDV, FAV and IBDV.



  1. Maryam Zafar, Majid Ali Shah, Aamir Shehzad, Anam Tariq, Mudasser Habib, Muhammad Muddassar, Muhammad Salahuddin Shah, Mazhar Iqbal, Farhid Hemmatzadeh and Moazur Rahman (2020) Characterization of the highly immunogenic VP2 protrusion domain as a diagnostic antigen for members of Birnaviridae family. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 
  2. Raheem Ullah, Aamir Shehzad, Majid Ali Shah, Matteo De March, Fouzia Ismat, Mazhar Iqbal, Silvia Onesti, Moazur Rahman* and Michael J. McPherson* (2020) C-terminal domain of the human zinc transporter hznt8 is structurally indistinguishable from its disease risk variant (R325W). International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21:926  (*Joint corresponding author)  
  3. Faiza Aziz?, Soban Tufail?, Majid Ali Shah, Muhammad Salahuddin Shah, Mudasser Habib, Osman Mirza, Mazhar Iqbal and Moazur Rahman (2019) In silico epitope prediction and immunogenic analysis of epitope-based penton base vaccine against hydropericardium syndrome in chicken, Virus Research, 
  4. Anam Tariq, Maryam Sana, Aqsa Shaheen, Fouzia Ismat, Sadia Mahboob, Waqar Rauf, Osman Mirza, Mazhar Iqbal, and Moazur Rahman (2019) Restraining the multidrug efflux transporter STY4874 of Salmonella Typhi by reserpine and plant extracts, Letters in Applied Microbiology, 69:161-167.
  5. ShaheenA, Afridi WA, Mahboob S, Sana M, Zeeshan N, Ismat F , Mirza O, Iqbal M, and Rahman M. 2019. Reserpine is the new addition into the repertoire of AcrB efflux pump inhibitor, Molecular Biology, 53 (4) 676-684.
  6. Muhammad Imran, Fazal-e- Habib, SaimaMajeed, Abdul Tawab, Waqar Rauf, Moazur Rahman, Muhammad Umer&Mazhar Iqbal (2018) LC-MS/MS based determination of chloramphenicol, thiamphenicol, florfenicol and florfenicol amine in poultry meat from the Punjab-Pakistan, Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, 35(8):1530-1542
  7. SaimaMajeed, Marthe De Boevre, Sarah De Saeger, Waqar Rauf, Abdul Tawab, Fazal-e- Habib, Moazur Rahman, Mazhar Iqbal. 2018. Multiple Mycotoxins in Rice: Occurrence and Health Risk Assessment in Children and Adults of Punjab, Toxins 10(2), 77
  8. Prabhala, B.K., Aduri, N.G., Sharma, N., Shaheen, A., Sharma, A.,Iqbal, M., Hansen, P.R., Brasen, C., Gajhede, M., Rahman, M. and Mirza, O.  2018. Chloramphenicol Uptake by the Bacterial Proton Coupled Oligopeptide Transporter YdgR, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293:1007-1017
  9. Imran, M., Fazal-e-Habib, A. Tawab, W. Rauf, M. Rahman, Q. M. KHAN, M. R. Asi, and M. Iqbal. 2017. LC-MS/MS based method development for the analysis of florfenicol and its application to estimate relative distribution in various tissues of broiler chicken. Journal of Chromatography B 1063:163-173.
  10. Salman, M., F. St.Michael, A. Ali, A. Jabbar, C. Cairns, A. C. Hayes, M. Rahman, M. Iqbal, A. Haque, and A. D. Cox. 2017. First characterization of immunogenic conjugates of Vi negative Salmonella Typhi O-specific polysaccharides with rEPA protein for vaccine development. Journal of Immunological Methods 450, 27-33
  11. Shah M.A., Raheemullah, , De March M.,Shah, M. S., Ismat F., Habib M., Iqbal M. Onesti S. and Rahman M (2017) Overexpression and characterization of the 100K protein of Fowl adenovirus-4 as an antiviral target . Virus Research. 238: 218-225
  12. Shah, M. S., Ashraf A., Khan M. I., Rahman M., Habib M., Chughtai M. I., and Qureshi J. A. (2017). Fowl adenovirus: history, emergence, biology and development of a vaccine against hydropericardium syndrome. Archives of Virology 162:1833-1843
  13. Prabhala, B.K., Aduri, N.G., Iqbal, M., Rahman, M.,Gajhede M. and MirzaO. (2017) Several hPepT1 transported drugs are substrates of E. coli proton coupled oligopeptide transporter YdgR, Research in Microbiology,168:443-449
  14. Nawaz, H., Rashid, N., Bilal, M., Saleem, M., Amin, I., Iqbal, M., Rahman, M., Knief, P., Byrne, H. J., Baig, S. M., Ahmed, M. (2017) Prediction of viral loads for diagnosis of Hepatitis C infection in human plasma samples using Raman spectroscopy coupled with Partial Least Squares Regression analysis, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, DOI:10.1002/jrs.5108.
  15. Rahman, M., F. Ismat, L. Jiao, J. M. Baldwin, D. J. Sharples, S. A. Baldwin, and S. G. Patching. (2017) Characterisation of the DAACS Family Escherichia coli Glutamate/Aspartate-Proton Symporter GltP Using Computational, Chemical, Biochemical and Biophysical Methods. The Journal of Membrane Biology. 250 (2) 145-162 (Impact factor 1.7)
  16. Raheemullah, Shah M.A., Tufail S., Ismat F., Imran M., Iqbal M. and Rahman M. (2016)Exploring the activity of human rhinovirus 3C protease in various buffers, additives and detergents solutions. Plos One 11 (4) e0153436
  17. Shah M.S., Ashraf A., Khan M.I., Rahman M., Habib M., Qureshi J.A. (2016) Molecular cloning, expression and characterization of 100K gene of fowl adenovirus-4 for prevention and control of hydropericardiumsyndrome, Biologicals,44, 19-23
  18. Salman M., Ali A., Jabbar A., Sarwar Y., Rahman M., Iqbal M., Haque A. (2105) Simplest identification, o-specific polysaccharide purification and antigenic evaluation of Salmonellaentericaserovar Typhi vi negative isolate, Experimental and Clinical Sciences Journal, 14: 1708-1084.
  19. Shaheen A., Ismat F., Iqbal M., DeZorzi R., Haque A., Mirza O., Walz T. and Rahman M. (2015) Ccharacterization of putative multidrug resistance transporters of the major facilitator-superfamily expressed in Salmonella Typhi. Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy, 21:357-362 (Impact factor 1.5).
  20. M. Sana, H. Jameel, W. Rauf, M. Iqbal and M. Rahman (2015) Miracle Remedy: Inhibition of Bacterial Efflux Pumps by Natural Products. J Infectious Diseasesand Therapy 3 (2015) 2332-0877.
  21. Ghaffar, A., Rahman M., Malik N.A., Malik I.R., Shah M.S., and Qureshi J. A. (2014) Isolation and characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain: Construction of recombinant fusion protein for control of tuberculosis, African Journal of Microbiology Research, 8 (44) 3716-3725.
  22. Kramer M., Halleran D., Rahman M., Iqbal M., Anwar M.I., Sabet S., Ackad E. and Yousef M. 2014. Comparative molecular dynamics simulation of Hepatitis C virus NS3/4A protease (Genotypes 1b, 3a and 4a) predicts conformational instability of the catalytic triad in drug resistant strains, Plos One 9 e104425 (Impact factor 3.23)
  23. Umer M., Qureshi S., Hashmi Z., Raza A., Ahmad J., Rahman M. and Iqbal M. 2014. Promoter hypermethylation of Wnt pathway inhibitors in hepatitis C virus - induced multistep hepatocarcinogenesis. Virology Journal 11:117 (Impact factor 2.2)
  24. PrabhalaB.K., Aduri NG., Jensen JM., Ernst HA., Iram N., Rahman M. and Mirza O. 2014. New insights into the substrate specificities of proton-coupled oligopeptide transporters from E. coli by a pH Sensitive Assay, FEBS Letters 588:560-565. (Impact factor 3.2)
  25. Iram N., Shah, M.S., Ismat, F., Habib, M. Iqbal, M., Hasnain, S.S. and Rahman M. (2014) Heterologous expression, characterization and evaluation of the matrix protein from Newcastle disease virus as a target for antiviral therapies, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 98:1691-1701. (Impact factor 3.33)
  26. Anwar M., Rahman M., Hassan M. and Iqbal M., 2013. Prevalence of active hepatitis C virus infections among general public of Lahore, Pakistan. Virology Journal 10:351. (Impact factor 2.2)
  27. Anwer MI., Iqbal M., Yousef M. and Rahman M (2013) Over-expression and characterization of NS3 and NS5A from Hepatitis C virus genotype 3a. Microbial Cell Factories 12:111. (Impact factor 4.22)
  28. Naveed R., Hussain I., Tawab A., Tariq M., Rahman M., Hameed S., Mahmood M., Siddique A. and Iqbal M. (2013) Antimicrobial activity of the bioactive components of essential oils from Pakistani spices against Salmonella and other multi-drug resistant bacteria. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 13:265. (Impact factor 2.02)
  29. Jensen J.M., Ismat F., Szakony G., Rahman M. and Mirza, O. (2012) Probing the putative active site of YjdL: An unusual proton-coupled oligopeptide transporter from E. coli. Plos One7, e47780. (Impact factor 3.23)
  30. Shah M.S., Ashraf A., Rahman M., Khan, M. I., and Qureshi, J. A. (2012) A subunit vaccine against hydropericardium syndrome using adenovirus penton capsid protein. Vaccine30, 7153-7156. (Impact factor 3.63)
  31. Jensen J. M., ErnstH.A., Wang X., Hald H., Ditta A.C., Ismat F., Rahman M., Mirza O. (2012) Functional investigation of conserved membrane-embedded glutamate residues in the proton-coupledpeptide transporter YjdL, Protein and Peptide Letter 3, 282-287. (Impact factor 1.068)
  32. Malik I.R., Chen A., Brass A.,Ahlén G., Rahman M., Sällberg M., Frelin L., and Qureshi J.A. (2012) A bi-functional hepatitis B virus core antigen (HBcAg) chimera activates HBcAg-specific T cells and preS1-specific antibodies. Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 44, 55-59. (Impact factor 1.5)
  33. Shah M.S., Ashraf, A., Khan M. I., Rahman M., Habib M., Babapoor S., Ghaffar, A., Malik I. and Khannum SA. (2011). Molecular characterization of fowl adenoviruses associated with hydro-pericardium syndrome in broilers. African Journal of Microbiology Research. 30, 5407-5414.
  34. Ernst HA., Pham A., Hald H., Kastrup JS., Rahman M., Mirza O. (2009) Ligand binding analyses of the putative peptide transporter YjdL from E. coli display a significant selectivity towards dipeptides. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 389, 112-116. (Impact factor 2.3)
  35. Rahman, M., Hoorani H.R., McPherson, M.J., Baldwin, S.A. and Hasnain, S. (2009). Effort for structural biology of membrane proteins in a SESAME member country: Pakistan: Abstract of talk presented in 25th European Crystallography Meeting, held in Turkey, ActaCrystallographica Section A65, s 118. (Impact factor 2.3)
  36. Rehman M., Anwar M.A., Iqbal M., Akhtar K., Khalid M.A. and Ghauri M.A. (2009) Bioleaching of high grade Pb-Zn ore by mesophilic and moderately thermophilic iron and sulphur oxidizers. Hydrometallurgy 97, 1-7. (Impact factor 1.93)
  37. Rahman M., Patching S. G., Ismat F., Henderson P.J.F., Herbert R.B., Baldwin S.A. and McPherson, M.J. (2008) Probing metal-ion binding to transport proteins in biological membranes by solid state NMR spectroscopy: application to the bacterial zinc exporter ZitB. Molecular Membrane Biology25, 683-690. (Impact factor 1.7)
  38. Xia X., Postis V.L.G., Rahman M., Wright G., Roach P.C.J., Deacon S.E., Ingram J.C., Findley J.C., Phillip S. McPherson M.J. and Baldwin S. A. (2008). Investigation of the structure and function of a Shewanellaoneidensis arsenical-resistance family transporter.Molecular Membrane Biology25, 691-701. (Impact factor 1.7)
  39. Rahman M., Ismat F., McPherson M. J., and Baldwin S. A. (2007) Topology-informed strategies for the overexpression and purification of membrane proteins. Molecular Membrane Biology24, 407-418. (Impact factor 1.7)
  40. Rauf S., Ihsan A., Akhtar K., Ghauri M. A., Rahman M., Anwar M. A., and Khalid A. M. (2006) Glucose oxidase immobilization on a novel cellulose acetate-polymethylmethacrylate membrane. Journal of Biotechnology121, 351-360. (Impact factor 2.9)
  41. Akbar T., Akhtar K., Ghauri M. A., Anwar M. A., Rehman M., Rehman M., Zafar Y., and Khalid A. M. (2005) Relationship among acidophilic bacteria from diverse environments as determined by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis (RAPD). World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology21, 645-648. (Impact factor 1.8)
  42. Rauf S., Gooding, J.J., Akhtar K., Ghauri M. A., Rahman M., Anwar M.A., and Khalid, A. M. (2005) Electrochemical approach of anticancer drugs - DNA interaction. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis37, 205-217. (Impact factor 3.0)
  43. Anwar M.A., Iqbal M., Qamar M., Rehman, M., Khalid, A.M. (2000). Determination of cuprous ions in bacterial leachates and for environmental monitoring. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology16: 135-138. (Impact factor 1.8)
  44. Ahmad Z., Ghauri M.A, Anwar, M.A., Iqbal M., Rehman M., Akhtar K. and Khalid A. M. (2002) Transformation of Plasmids of AcidithiobacillusferrooxidansEncoding Ampicillin Resistance to Escherichia coli Strain DH5-α for Detecting Copper Tolerance Genes on Such Plasmids. Resource and Environmental Biotechnology, 3:185-191.



Research grants:


  1. US$ 25000 ‘‘Development of immuno and on-site lateral flow strip assay kit for diagnosis of infectious bursal disease virus (antigen) in poultry’’ from ALP-PARC (as PI) (2019-2022)
  2. US$ 100000 ‘‘Structural and functional characterization of PlpE protein of Pasteurella multocida as vaccine candidate’’ from Higher Education Commission Pakistan (as PI) (2018-2022)
  3. US$ 100000 ‘‘Development of lateral flow strip and dipstick to detect anti-infectious bursal disease virus antibodies in chicken for disease diagnosis and monitoring of post-vaccination immune response (Antibody detection)’’ from Higher Education Commission Pakistan under Technology Development Programme  (as PI) (2019-2021)
  4. US$ 15000 ‘‘Biochemical, structural and functional characterization of proteins from Cobra (Najanaja) and Russellâ viper venoms’’ from Higher Education Commission Pakistan (as Co-PI) (2020-2023)
  5. Euro 45000 ‘‘Development of recombinant vaccine to combat inclusion-body hepatitis hydropericardium syndrome in poultry’’ from International Centre for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Italy (as PI) (2018-2020)
  6. Euro 220000 ‘‘Facility Development for the Diagnosis of Transboudary Animal Diseases and Vaccine Production  from IAEA Vienna (as Co-PI)’’ (2015-2018)
  7. US$ 67000 ‘’Development of NS3/4A protease inhibitors against hepatitis C virus genotype 3a’’ from Higher Education Commission Pakistan (as Co-PI) (2015-2018)
  8. US$ 45000 ‘‘Discovery and development of anti-dengue therapeutics by targeting the virus-specific protease’’ from Higher Education Commission of Paksitan (as Co-PI) (2017-2019)
  9. US$ 52000 ‘‘Structural and functional characterization of the Matrix protein of Newcastle disease virus’’ from Higher Education Commission Pakistan (as PI) (2012-2016)
  10. US$ 40000 ‘‘Drug discovery of cyclopentenones, the potential small molecule anti-viral agents to treat hepatitis c disease’’ from Higher Education Commission of Paksitan (as Co-PI) (2012-2014)
  11. US$ 53000 ‘‘Establishment of expression system for human and yeast peptide transporters with perspective of their importance in drug delivery’’ from Higher Education Commission Pakistan (as PI) (2012-2014)
  12. Euro 42000 ‘‘Structural and functional studies of c-terminal hydrophilic tail of the human zinc transporter, hZnT8’’ from International Centre for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Italy (as PI) (2011-2013)
  13. US$ 52000 ‘‘Structural and functional characterization of MDR efflux pumps in Salmonellaentericaserovar Typhi with perspective of drug target identification’’ from Higher Education Commission Pakistan (as PI) (2010-2013)


Funding agencies:


  • Higher Education Commission, Pakistan
  • International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Trieste Italy
  • Pakistan Science Foundation
  • International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
  • Third WorldAcademy of Sciences
  • ALP-Pakistan Agriculture Research Council


International counterparts:


  • Dr. Osman Mirza, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Professor Samar Hasnain, University of Liverpool
  • Professor Thomas Walz, Harvard Medical School, Boston
  • Dr.FarhidHemmatzadeh, School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Dr. Silvia Onesti, Head Structural Biology, Elettra Synchrotron, Italy
  • Dr. Paola Storici, Head Protein Facility, Elettra Synchrotron facility, Italy
  • Dr. Rita De Zorzi, University of Trieste, Italy
  • Mohammad S. Yousef, Southern Illinois University, USA 
  • Dr. Muhammad Saeed, School of Science and Engineering, LUMS 
  • Dr.ZaheerulHaqQasmi, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, Karachi 



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