Griffith University

Bilal Zulfiqar

Name: Bilal Zulfiqar
Position: Research Fellow
Research Area: Kinetoplastid Drug Discovery
Qualifications: Pharm.D, M.Phil, PhD

Biography: Bilal graduated in 2008 from Hamdard University, Pakistan, with an academic distinction in Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D).  He completed his Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Virology and Immunology from the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan in 2011. Bilal undertook a PhD project (2014-2018) at Griffith University, Australia, to identify and biologically characterise novel pharmacologically active compounds against Leishmaniasis using high-throughput, high-content screening. Bilal joined the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) lead optimisation team as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in February 2018. These lead optimisation programs utilise an image-based high content assay to identify potential molecules against Leishmania and Trypanosoma cruzi parasites. The compounds can then be progressed into the respective drug discovery pipelines for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

Discovery Biology

Publications:

Thompson AM, O’Connor PD, Marshall AJ, Francisco AF, Kelly JM, Riley J, Read KD, Perez CJ, Cornwall S, Thompson RCA, Keenan M, White KL, Charman SA, Zulfiqar B, Sykes ML, Avery VM, Chatelain E and Denny WA. Re-evaluating pretomanid analogues for Chagas disease: hit-to-lead studies reveal both in vitro and in vivo trypanocidal efficacy. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2020 Sep 18; 207: 112849.

Pullella GA, Wdowiak AP, Sykes ML, Lucantoni L, Sukhoverkov KV, Zulfiqar B, Sobolev AN, West NP, Mylne JS, Avery VM, Piggott MJ. Total Synthesis of the Antimalarial Ascidian Natural Product Albopunctatone. Organic Letters. 2019 Jul 19; 21(14): 5519-5523.

Zulfiqar B, Jones AJ, Sykes ML, Shelper TB, Davis RA, and Avery VM. Screening a natural product-based library against kinetoplastid parasites. Molecules. 2017 Oct 12; 22(10): E1715.

Zulfiqar B, Shelper TB and Avery VM. Leishmaniasis drug discovery: recent progress and challenges in assay development. Drug Discovery Today. [Review] Oct 2017; 22(10): 1516-153.

Awards:

2020: GRIDD RICE Values Award

2019: ASP conference travel grant to attend the ASP Annual Conference, Adelaide, Australia

2018: 3rd Prize Oral Presentation, ASMR Queensland Postgraduate Student Conference, Brisbane, Australia

2017: SLAS Best Academic Poster Award, SLAS2017 International Conference and Exhibition, Washington DC, USA (Screening and Lab Automation Conference)

2017: Griffith University Representative at the International Student Research Forum (ISRF) hosted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMV), Omaha, Nebraska, USA. (Fully funded)

2017: Griffith University International Experience Incentive Scheme (IEIS) Travel Grant for an overseas program at University of Antwerp, Belgium

2017: Tony B. Academic travel award to present at the SLAS2017 International Conference and Exhibition, Washington, DC, USA (Fully funded)

2016: Eskitis-SIMM travel award to attend the Eskitis/SIMM Symposium, Shanghai, China (Fully funded)

2016: ASP student conference travel grant to attend the International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria, Brisbane, Australia

2015: Sao Paulo Research Foundation travel award to attend the Sao Paulo School of Advanced Science on Neglected Diseases Drug Discovery–focus on Kinetoplastids (SPSAS-ND3) at The Brazilian Centre for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM), Campinas- Brazil (Fully funded)

2014-2017: Griffith University International Postgraduate Research Scholarship [GUIPRS]

2014-2017: Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship [GUPRS]

Conferences:

Zulfiqar, B; Avery, V.M. ASP Annual Conference held from 8-11th July 2019 in Adelaide, Australia (Poster; July 2019)

Zulfiqar, B; Avery, V.M. Griffith University Cross Institute Infectious Diseases Symposium held on 16th November 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia (Oral; Nov 2018)

Zulfiqar, B; Shelper, T.B; Jones, A.J; Avery, V.M. ASMR Queensland Postgraduate Student Conference held on 31st May 2017 in Brisbane, Australia (Oral; June 2017)

Zulfiqar, B; Shelper, T.B; Jones, A.J; Avery, V.M. International Student Research Forum (ISRF) hosted by University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMV), Omaha Nebraska USA from 4th to 8th June 2017 (Oral; June 2017)

Zulfiqar, B; Shelper, T.B; Jones, A.J; De Rycker, M; Maes, L; Freitas-Junior, L.H Avery, V.M. 6th World Congress on Leishmaniasis held in Toledo, Spain from 16th-20th May, 2017 (Poster; May 2017)

Zulfiqar, B; Jones, A.J; Shelper, T.B; Avery, V.M. SLAS2017 6th annual international conference and exhibition from February 4-8, 2017 in Washington, DC. USA

Zulfiqar, B; Jones, A.J; Shelper, T.B; Avery, V.M. Brisbane Life Science ECR Symposium on Dec 2nd, 2016 Cube -QUT Gardens Point, Brisbane, Australia

Zulfiqar, B; Jones, A.J; Shelper, T.B; Avery, V.M. Eskitis/SIMM Symposium 2016 Shanghai, China (Oral; Nov 2016)

Zulfiqar, B; Jones, A.J; Shelper, T.B; Avery, V.M. International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria 2016, Brisbane, Australia (Oral; September 2016)

Zulfiqar, B; Jones, A.J; Shelper, T.B; Avery, V.M. Eskitis Student Symposium 2016, Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia (Oral; April 2016)

Zulfiqar, B; Jones, A.J; Shelper, T.B; Avery, V.M. Eskitis Student Symposium, Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia (Oral; March 2015)

Zulfiqar, B; Jones, A.J; Shelper, T.B; Avery, V.M. Sao Paulo School of Advanced Science on Neglected Diseases Drug Discovery–focus on Kinetoplastids (SPSAS-ND3), Brazilian Centre for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM), Campinas, Brazil (Poster; June 2015)

Other

Publications:

Asghar, K., Farooq, A., Zulfiqar, B., & Rashid, M. U. (2017). Indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase: As a potential prognostic marker and immunotherapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma. World journal of gastroenterology, 23(13), 2286.

Zulfiqar, B., Mahroo, A., Nasir, K., Farooq, R. K., Jalal, N., Rashid, M. U., & Asghar, K. (2017). Nanomedicine and cancer immunotherapy: focus on indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase inhibitors. OncoTargets and therapy, 10, 463.

Asghar, K., Ashiq, M. T., Zulfiqar, B., Mahroo, A., Nasir, K., & Murad, S. Indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase expression and activity in patients with hepatitis C virus-induced liver cirrhosis. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2014 Oct; [DOI: 10.3892/etm.2014.2146].

Qureshi AM, Nasir K, Mahrooh A, Zulfiqar, B., & Asghar K. Indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase: potential in cancer immunotherapy. A Journal of Science for Development. 2014: 33.

Zulfiqar, B., Shah,M.A.A., Asghar,K. Monospecific anti-B antibody and ABO blood group system. Lap Lambert Academic Publishing GmbH & CO. KG heinrich-bocking-str 6-8, 66121 Saarbrucken, Germany. (ISBN: 978-3-8473-7635-4)

Awards:

2009-2011: NUST/MoST Scholarship

GenBank Submissions:

Newcastle Disease virus isolate AG01 Fusion (F) protein mRNA, partial CDS, (2012) Newcastle disease virus: detection and characterization by Ghafar,A., Asif,S., Zulfiqar,B., Shah,M.A.A., Asghar,K. and Ashraf,M. (NCBI Accession # JX088638)

Newcastle Disease virus isolate AG02 Fusion (F) protein mRNA, partial CDS, (2012) Newcastle disease virus: detection and characterization by Ghafar,A., Asif,S., Zulfiqar,B., Shah,M.A.A., Asghar,K. and Ashraf,M. (NCBI Accession # JX088639)

Newcastle Disease virus isolate rwp01 Fusion (F) protein mRNA, partial CDS, (2012) Newcastle disease virus: detection and characterization by Ghafar,A., Asif,S., Zulfiqar,B., Shah,M.A.A., Asghar,K. and Ashraf,M. (NCBI Accession # JX088637)

Homo sapiens B-Specific 1-3 Galactosyl-transferase variant1 (ABO) mRNA, complete cds, (2011) Cloning & Expression of Human ABO blood group gene by Zulfiqar,B., Afzaal,H., Ehsan,N., Raza,M.I., Ashiq,T., Asghar,K., Abdullah,M.A. and Qadri,I. (NCBI Accession # JN791441)

Hepatitis B virus isolate NCVI-5314 precore/core protein (C) and core protein (C) genes, complete cds, (2011), Mutations in precore/core gene of Hepatitis B virus: A molecular study from Pakistan by Raza,A., Mehmood,K,, Begum,F., Zulfiqar,B., Qureshi,A.M., Qureshi,S. and Qadri,I. (NCBI Accession # JN132130)