Dr Ossama Khalaf joins CNRM fight to solve PTSD, Alzheimer’s
Dr Ossama Khalaf is an experienced scientist, skilled in behavioural and molecular neuroscience, microscopy, cell biology, and protein expression.
With an international career spanning Egypt, America, a world-leading university in Switzerland and now Australia, Dr Khalaf holds great passion for science communication, and medical/scientific writing.
He was recruited to the CNRM by Professor Bryce Vissel to advance the Centre’s investigation into disorders of memory, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as mental health, including PTSD.
Dr Khalaf said his scientific curiosity was driven by many things but, first and foremost, he is motivated to make a difference. “I hope to be able to help the CNRM solve as many mysteries of the brain as possible. Science is not a nine-to-five job to me.”
Dr Khalaf describes himself as “a pharmacist who got side-tracked by his curiosity towards neuroscience” which is ultimately what led him to join Professor Vissel’s award-winning team of scientists at the CNRM.
He said, “I decided to start a quest looking for answers to the many unaddressed questions in the field.
“Denzel Washington once said ‘Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship’. That’s why I seek to take on scientific challenges that make me feel I'm providing more help to people, and at the same time keeps the flame of my passion kindled. Since I'm a person who loves asking questions, I figured research is the best arena for me.”
Dr Khalaf has achieved many milestones in his career. While in Dallas, Texas, he worked on deciphering how brain cells communicate with each other, using fruit flies as a model. Afterwards, in Switzerland, he managed to unravel some of the mysteries revolving around traumatic memories. His work was published in a renowned Science journal, as well as Frontiers.
Dr Khalaf said, “The thing I am the most proud of thus far is being privileged to mentor many brilliant young minds, and managing to get them fascinated and excited about science.
“Some of them decided to pursue a career in research because of the great experience they had working under my tutelage. A couple are currently wrapping up their PhDs at Harvard and MIT with a promising future ahead.”
Dr Khalaf added that one of the reasons he chose University of Technology Sydney was because Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is a UTS alumnus.
Professor Vissel said he and his colleagues were excited to welcome Dr Khalaf aboard. “My team at the CNRM is moving ever-closer toward cures and better treatments for Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury and mental health disorders. With support, we will achieve the breakthroughs needed to reduce human suffering and save lives.”
The Centre for Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) is a UTS research hub dedicated to solving spinal cord injury and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and dementia. For more information on our work, visit our home page.