University of Alberta
Dr. Barakat is the leader of a multidisciplinary world-class research team to develop novel immunotherapy drugs targeting the immune checkpoints' proteins. He received his PhD in biophysics from the University of Alberta in 2012 followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Professor Michael Houghton’s Lab for two years. During his career, Dr. Barakat received numerous awards including the CIHR and AIHS postdoctoral fellowships, the prestigious UofA dissertation award, the ACRI Studentship and many distinction awards throughout his undergraduate and graduate studies. Dr. Barakat is also the editor of a number of journals. Dr. Barakat's lab is supported by different funding agencies including the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology and IC-IMPACTS Centres of Excellence.
Dr. Barakat’s research stands at the multidisciplinary interface of physics, biology and computer science. His major focus is on developing and applying state-of-the-art computational drug discovery tools to discover new antiviral and immunotherapeutic small molecule drugs. Throughout his research career, Dr. Barakat has made great contributions in understanding the nature and biophysical processes underlying protein-drug interaction, protein-protein interactions, protein-DNA interactions, drug off-target interactions and predicting drug-mediated toxicity. He has recently discovered novel small molecule inhibitors for various targets including DNA repair enzymes, the HCV polymerase, the NS5A protein. Currently, Dr. Barakat is leading a world-renowned research team to discover novel immunotherapy drugs.