Iman Hakim, MD, PhD, MPH, dean and professor of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, has been appointed to the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission (ABRC) by Gov. Jan Brewer.
The ABRC is committed to advancing bioscience and clinical research in Arizona and provides grants to fund research projects that look into both the understanding of disease and finding treatments for diseases. The commission is funded by tobacco tax and lottery funds.
Dr. Hakim is internationally known for her translational research and work on the role of phytochemicals such as green tea and limonene in modulation of oxidative damage and prevention of chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. She has been the principal investigator of several large-scale, behavior change interventions and clinical trials. These have focused on nutrition and cancer prevention, tea consumption and coronary heart disease, nutrition and tobacco, chemoprevention of lung carcinogenesis using green tea, including dietary interventions to study the effects of tea consumption on smoking-related oxidative stress and role of citrus-cancer association in Mediterranean diet.
The wide scope and significance of her work can be seen in the range of her other academic appointments at the University of Arizona, which include the Arizona Cancer Center, the Sarver Heart Center, the College of Medicine and the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
To date, the ABRC has submitted over 66 patent requests worldwide, and has been granted nine patents within the United States in collaboration with Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. The commission also has 22 patent requests published or pending in seven different countries. Many of the granted patents are for anti-cancer compounds.
In August 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Anascorp® a scorpian anti-venom partially funded by the ABRC. This anti-venom has been shown to help children recover from life-threatening, severe reactions due to scorpion stings. The antidote is produced in Mexico and clinical trials were conducted through the University of Arizona. Anascorp® may be the next application for patent for an ABRC funded project.
Dr. Hakim will serve a three-year term.