Ayman K. Hamouda

Ayman K. Hamouda

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy
1010 W. Ave. B
Kingsville, Texas   78363

Phone: 361.221.0750

Education and Training

Harvard Medical School,
Instructor in Neurobiology, 2009-2013

Harvard Medical School,
Research Fellow in Neurobiology, 2007-2009

Texas Tech University Health Science Center,
PhD, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, 2007

College of Pharmacy,  Al-Azhar University, Palestine,
Laboratory Instructor, 1998-2002

College of Pharmacy,  Al-Azhar University, Palestine,
BPharm, 1998

Teaching Interests

  • Neuropharmacology
  • Molecular Pharmacology
  • Principles of drug actions
  • Pharmacology of drug abuse

Research Interests

  • The research in Hamouda’s laboratory primarily focuses on the structure, functions and pharmacology of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Hamouda combines radioligand-binding, in vitro electrophysiological recording, Site-directed mutagenesis, protein expression and purification, Photoaffinity labeling and computational analyses to understand how neuronal nAChR subtypes differ with regard to their pharmacology, to identify novel drug binding sites that are unique to a nAChR subtype and to develop nAChR subtype-selective ligands with potential experimental and clinical applications.
  • Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are a heterogeneous group of acetylcholine-gated ion channels that are expressed at the motor end plate of neuromuscular junction (muscle-type nAChR) and at the postsynaptic and presynaptic nerve terminals throughout the nervous system (neuronal-type nAChR). Postsynaptic nAChR mediate intracellular communication by converting a chemical signal (ACh release) from the presynaptic nerve ending into an electrical event (transmembrane ion flux) in the postsynaptic neuron or muscle fiber. Whereas presynaptic nAChRs modulate the release of neurotransmitters including GABA, glutamate and dopamine.
  • Brain nAChRs are important for neuronal survival and for maintenance of cognitive performance and learning during aging and implicated in the pathophysiology of many cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s diseases as well as in nicotine addiction (cigarette smoking). Since drugs that enhance brain cholinergic system would be very beneficial for the treatment of these conditions, selective targeting of brain nAChRs is a long-standing goal of neuropharmacology research.

Selected Publications

  • Hamouda, A. K.*, Jayakar, S. S., Chiara, D. C., and Cohen, J. B. (2013) Photoaffinity Labeling of Nicotinic Receptors: Diversity of Drug Binding Sites! Journal of Molecular Neuroscience. Epub ahead of print; PMID: 24158732. *Corresponding Author
  • Hamouda, A. K. Kim, T. and Cohen, J. B. (2013) Physostigmine and Galanthamine Bind in the Present of Agonist at the Canonical and Non-canonical Subunit Interfaces of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors. Journal of Neuroscience 33: 485-494.
  • Pandhare, A., Hamouda, A. K., Staggs, B., Aggarwal, S., Duddempudi, P. K., Lever, J.R., Lapinsky, D.J., Jansen, M., Cohen, J. B. and Blanton, M. P. (2012) Bupropion Binds at Two Sites in the Torpedo Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Transmembrane Domain: A Photoaffinity Labeling Study with Bupropion Analogue [125I]SADU3-72. Biochemistry 51: 2425-2435.
  • Hamouda, A. K., Stewart, D., Husain, S. S., and Cohen, J. B. (2011) Multiple Transmembrane Binding Sites for Trifluoromethyldiazirinyletomidate, a Photoreactive Torpedo Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Allosteric Inhibitor. Journal of Biological Chemistry 286:20466-20477.

For a complete list of publications click here PubMed

National Service and Recognition

  • Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship, United State Department of State (2003-2004)
  • Chancellor’s Scholarship, Texas Tech University (2006)
  • Travel Award, Society for Neuroscience (2006)
  • Alexander D. Kenny Graduate Student Award, Texas Tech University HSC  (2007)
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Texas Tech University HSC  (2007)
  • Convocation speaker, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences–Texas Tech University HSC  (2007)
  • Invited speaker, Center for Membrane Protein Research, Texas Tech University HSC (2011)
  • Invited speaker, XIV International Symposium on Cholinergic Mechanisms, Hangzhou, China (2013)
  • Add hoc Reviewer, Journal of Biological Chemistry , Biochemistry, Journal of Neuroscience Research