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Asif Ahmed


Admin unit: 
Job title: 
Gustav Born Professor of Vascular Biology and Assistant Principal for International Post-Doctoral Training
Contact email:
+44 131 242 9217



I have led and shaped research into the pathophysiology of pregnancy-based disorders through my discoveries in the field of angiogenesis, growth factor receptor signalling and vascular protective enzymes. Having been brought up and educated in London, I graduated from King’s College London and gained a PhD at University College London, supervised by G.V.R. Born, FRS and M. Hobsley FRCS. Subsequently, I moved to the University of Cambridge to work with Professor Steven Smith, a leader in the field of gynaecological disorders, under a Wellcome Trust-funded post-doctoral fellowship. In 1993, I was appointed a Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Birmingham and focused myself to addressing the unanswered questions in the field of obstetrics by applying a vascular biologist’s approach. This led to exciting discoveries and helped me to develop a world-leading research group that is internationally acclaimed. In 1998, I was promoted to a personal chair as Professor of Reproductive Physiology. Within obstetrics, I think my work in the late nineties helped to revolutionise the field by suggesting that increase in soluble VEGFR-1 (sFlt-1) may cause preeclampsia by antagonising the beneficial effects of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), which was later proven to be the case by Dr Karumanchi. Additionally, in 2000, I showed for the first time how the enzyme heme oxygenase-1 could be used to protect placenta from cytokine-induced damage. I had always planed to go back to London, but fate had other plans and in 2010 I moved to the University of Edinburgh to take up the newly establish Gustav Born Chair of Vascular Biology, named after my mentor.


Assistant Principal for International Post-Doctoral Training

Chief Investigator - StAmP Trial

Visiting Professor Stanford University School of Medicine