Immunology Experts

Rabia Hussain

Department of Pathology and Microbiology
Aga Khan University


Professor Rabia Hussain holds a PhD in Bacteriology and Immunology from University of Western Ontario and an MRC and  FRC (Path) from the Royal College of Pathologist, UK.  She did her Fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins University, USA, where her research area was the structural and genetics basis of allergy.  Dr Hussain was a Senior Staff Fellow at National Institutes of Health. She won the Berson-Yallow award working at NIH for developing a sensitive radio-immunoassay to assess parasite specific allergic responses. Her seminal studies into natural immuno-regulation of allergic responses in parasitic diseases provided fundamental insights into the control of allergic reactivity.  Dr Hussain has been at The Aga Khan University since 1986, where she holds an Endowed Professorship and carries the title of Distinguished National Professor. She has published extensively in the area of Immune regulation in mycobacterial diseases such as leprosy and tuberculosis.

Research Interest

Professor Rabia Hussain started her academic career in Karachi, Pakistan, with a Masters degree in Microbiology (1967) subsequently proceeding to Canada for post graduation (PhD; 1973) and Post doctoral training Johns Hopkins University and National Institutes of Health in USA. Her research focus was the fundamental understanding of immune-regulation in relation to disease outcome in infectious diseases. In her early career she won the Berson-Yallow award for developing a sensitive assay to assess parasite specific allergic responses. Her seminal studies provided fundamental insights into the control of allergic reactivity and now form the basis of monitoring desensitization regimens in allergic disease. In 1985, Dr Hussain returned to Karachi, Pakistan to join The Aga Khan University and set up a State-of-the-Art Immunology Research Laboratory in the field of infectious diseases, Here her focus shifted to Immuno- regulation in leprosy and tuberculosis.  She has published widely on the role of B and T cells in immunopathogenesis of mycobacterial diseases and recently she has been looking at immune biomarkers associated with disease severity and disease progression in tuberculosis.

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