|Dr. Afzal Siddiqui is a tenured professor of microbiology and immunology, internal medicine and pathology at the Texas Tech University (TTU) School of Medicine, where he is also director of the Center for Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He is internationally known for his research on parasite immunology, particularly in the area of developing vaccines to fight infectious diseases. Dr. Siddiqui currently has funded research support from the National Institutes of Health and other agencies totaling about $3.5 million. He received Dean’s, President’s and Chancellor’s Council research awards from the TTU School of Medicine, TTU Health Sciences Center and the TTU System, respectively. He is a recipient of a Dean’s Teaching Award for the TTU School of Medicine. Dr. Siddiqui earned degrees from Aligarh University, India and his Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He received professional training from the Centers for Disease Control and Morehouse College, both in Atlanta, Georgia; University of Illinois College of Medicine; and Harvard University School of Public Health in Massachusetts. He served as chief of parasite immunology at East Tennessee State University School of Medicine and was a research health scientist with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications and numerous book chapters and reviews.
Dr. Siddiqui’s Fulbright research project, “Immunoprophylaxis and immunodiagnostics of parasites of clinical and veterinary importance,” is aimed at developing immunoprophylactics and immunodiagnostics for amphistomiasis, a disease of ruminants causing high morbidity and mortality in tropical and subtropical countries and resulting in great economic losses, including in India.
The World Health Organization estimates that three billion people are afflicted with parasitic diseases. These parasites account for 3.5 million deaths annually. Multitudes of parasites affect livestock, contributing to malnutrition and economic hardship. There is an urgent need to develop effective vaccines as well as sensitive, reliable, specific and cost-effective diagnostic tests against parasitic diseases with the eventual aim of preventing and treating infections in billions of people and livestock worldwide.