Dr. Bushra Ijaz

Associate Professor

Applied and Functional Genomics

e-mail: bijaz@cemb.edu.pk

Dr. Bushra Ijaz on completion of M.Phil in molecular biology from the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB) joined as a research officer in 2006. She received the HEC indigenous Ph.D. fellowship in 2010 and completed her Ph.D. degree in 2015. She is now leading the Applied and Functional Genomics group.

Dr. Ijaz, research efforts in genomics and therapeutics, especially in the context of infectious diseases like HCV, dengue, and SARS-CoV-2, as well as various types of cancer (liver, breast, and pancreas), are published in the internationally reputed peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Ijaz has secured six research grants from prestigious funding agencies like HEC, PHEC, and HRI-NIH. She has an impact factor of more than 200.

Her research is focused on understanding disease pathogenesis and identifying potential therapeutic targets for deadly diseases. Exploring medicinal plants and plant-based compounds for their antiviral and anticancer properties is a promising avenue of study. Nature has provided us with a rich source of bioactive compounds that have the potential to contribute significantly to the development of new treatments. By delving into the molecular mechanisms underlying these diseases and investigating how specific plant-based compounds interact with them, can potentially uncover novel therapeutic strategies. This could involve elucidating the pathways by which these compounds exert their effects, their modes of action, and their potential for targeting specific disease-related molecules or processes.

Dr. Ijaz has filed three patents for compounds identified against HCV and liver fibrosis, translating her research findings into practical solutions for these health challenges. Additionally, she has national and international collaborations with experts in pharmacology, chemistry, nanotechnology and clinical research to help bridge the gap between basic science and translational medicine, ultimately leading to the development of effective treatments for these fatal diseases.

Research Interests:

  • The research work of Dr. Ijaz is focused on: 
  • Genomics approach: to better understand diseases biology (Cancer, infectious disease) and to identify new therapeutic targets.
  • Drug prediction: computer-aided screening and pharmaco-analysis (docking, MD simulation, and protein-protein interactions)
  • Non-coding RNA Functions: Unravel the role of non-coding RNA in breast cancer and infectious disease pathobiology
  • Medicinal plant/ plant-based compounds: as alternative Therapeutic option against cancer and infectious diseases (SARS-CoV-2, dengue, cancer).
  • Drug screening model: SARS-CoV-2 individual genes cell culture system as drug screening model, and liver and breast cancer mice model
  • Mechanistic route of identification: Genomic approach to find the route of the mechanism of plant/compound action for the designing of personalized medicines both in vitro and in vivo models.
  • siRNA-based approach: Target mosquito and dengue virus using siRNA as bioinsecticide both in vitro and in vivo (mosquito).
  • Nanoparticle: as drug delivery vehicle against cancer

Selected Publications:

  • Pervaiz A, Naseem N, Saleem T, Raza SM, Shaukat I, Kanwal K, Sajjad O, Iqbal S, Shams F, Ijaz B, Berger MR. (2023). Anticancer genes (NOXA, PAR-4, TRAIL) are de-regulated in breast cancer patients and can be targeted by using a ribosomal inactivating plant protein (riproximin). Mol Biol Rep.50(6):5209-5221
  • Shams F, Azeem A, Shams A, Tawab A, Rehman S, Tariq S, Latief N, Ijaz B* (2022).  Flavonoid rich extract of Trigonella foenum-graecum leaves ameliorate liver fibrosis. Food Bioscience. 50: 102046
  • Noreen S, Hasan S, Ghumman SA, Bukhari SNA, Ijaz B, Hameed H, Iqbal H, Aslam A, Elsherif MAM, Noureen S, Ejaz H (2022). pH Responsive Abelmoschus esculentus Mucilage and Administration of Methotrexate: In-Vitro Antitumor and In-Vivo Toxicity Evaluation. Int J Mol Sci. 23(5):2725. doi: 10.3390/ijms23052725.
  • Rehman S, Nazar R, Butt AM, Ijaz B, Tasawar N, Sheikh AK, Shahid I, Shah SM, Qamar R. (2022). Phytochemical Screening and Protective Effects of Prunus persica Seeds Extract on Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Hepatic Injury in Rats. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 23(1):158-170. doi: 10.2174/1389201022666210203142138.
  • Rehman S, Ali Ashfaq U, Sufyan M, Shahid I, Ijaz B, Hussain M (2022). The Insight of In Silico and In Vitro evaluation of Beta vulgaris phytochemicals against Alzheimer’s disease targeting acetylcholinesterase. PLoS One. 17(3):e0264074. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0264074. eCollection 2022.
  • Iltaf J, Noreen S, Rehman MFU, Ghumman SA, Batool F, Mehdi M, Hasan S, Ijaz B, Akram MS, Butt H. (2021). Ficus benghalensis as Potential Inhibitor of 5α-Reductase for Hair Growth Promotion: In Vitro, In Silico, and In Vivo Evaluation. Front Pharmacol. 12:774583. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2021.774583. eCollection 2021.
  • Rehman S, Nazar R, Butt AM, Ijaz B, Tasawar N, Sheikh AK, Shahid I, Shah SM, Qamar R (2021). Phytochemical Screening and Protective Effects of Prunus persica Seeds Extract on Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Hepatic Injury in Rats. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. doi: 10.2174/1389201022666210203142138.
  • Ahmed F, Adnan M, Malik A, Tariq S, Kamal F, Ijaz B* (2021). Phytochemical analysis of Berberis lyceum methanolic extract and its antiviral activity through the restoration of MAPK signaling pathway modulated by HCV NS5A. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine 11 (3), 132
  • Tariq S, Koloko BL, Malik A, Rehman S, Ijaz B*, Shahid AA (2021). Tectona grandis leaf extract ameliorates hepatic fibrosis: Modulation of TGF- β /Smad signaling pathway and upregulating MMP3/TIMP1 ratio. J Ethnopharmacol. 272:113938
  • Khalid H, Shahid S, Tariq S, Ijaz B, Ashfaq UA, Ahmad M (2021). Discovery of Novel HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitor, 2-(3,4-dimethyl-5,5-dioxidobenzo[e]pyrazolo[4,3-c][1,2]thiazin-2(4H)-yl)-N-(2-fluorobenzyl)acetamide via molecular docking and experimental approach. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. doi: 10.1111/1440-1681.13571.