Many of this department’s projects pertaining to cellular behavior in health and disease are supported through intramural and extramural funding, including diabetes, retinopathy, and xenotransplantation research. For diabetes research, the Department of Cell Biology has developed many techniques investigating diet-induced metabolic syndrome and diabetes in animal models, including the use of Caenorhabditis elegans for examining lipid metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction. They also study the role of Immunoglobulin A in innate immunity. The retinopathy program examines the development of diabetes retinopathy in the AKITA mouse model in which insulin receptor 1 is mutated. The xenotransplantation program is exploring the potential of using animal organs as discordant xenografts, examining heterotopic xenotransplantation from different species under various immunological conditions. This program also investigates decellularizing and then recellularizing animal hearts using neonatal cardiac myocytes and embryonic stem cells.


Research Activities 

  • To complement the National Strategic Health and Medical Research priorities in accordance with KFSHRC strategic translational and basic medical research.
  • To create a local pool of talent capable of instigating and sustaining innovative technologies in the medical field.
  • To disseminate scientific knowledge to the public and help create techno-friendly public health awareness programs.
  • To create a sustainable infrastructure for Cell Biology discipline
  • Investigate the molecular and cellular basis of human diseases with emphasis on the Saudi population.
  • Use state of the art technology and develop local comparative technologies.
  • Facilitate and increase the number of submission and approval of research proposals for intramural and extramural funding.
  • Create a competitive edge for submission and approval of research proposals.
  • Establish animal models for human disease and understand how cells behave in health and disease.
  • Create cutting edge infra/ultra-structures capable of sustaining science based medicine and moving KFSHRC research more into credible internationalism.
  • Set up competitive and ethical research addressing the medical problems seen at the KFSHRC.
  • Set up a parallel training program for clinical and basic researchers.
  • Perform cutting edge scientific research into medical problems pertaining to KFSHRC and the Kingdom.
  • Create a local pool of talent, capable of regional and international competition.
  • Publish scientific peer reviewed effective articles and translating this to make a direct impact onto public health.
  • Establish viable programs in the Cell Biology of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, Neuroscience and inter/intracellular imaging.
  • Bring and develop new technologies in Cell Biology. Protect the rights of the KFSHRC by patenting viable scientific outcomes.
  • Create a platform for studentship and fellowship programs in molecular Cell Biology.
  • Instigate and run the local and national workshop highlighting Cell Biology Techniques.



  • Diabetes Research

The Department has developed many techniques investigating diet-induced metabolic syndrome and diabetes in animal models.

  • Xenotransplantation Research

This research program studies the possibility of using animal organs as discordant xenograft in different species. The program involved heterotopic xenotrasnpantation from different species under various immunological conditions. In addition the program involves projects in which animal hearts are decellularized then recellularized using neonatal cardiac myocytes and embryonic stem cells.

  • Allergy and Medical Aerobiology Section

The section is involved in three areas of research and development:

  • Research in the field of allergies and asthma.
  • Development of a community oriented services program for the people of Saudi Arabia.
  • Production of indigenous allergy diagnostic kits and Therapeutics for Saudi Arabia and the Middle East Region.

The department Mission is to seek, search and advance the scientific knowledge of environmentally induced respiratory allergic diseases and to provide support for diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention of such diseases.

They have been monitoring and analyzing various asthma and allergy causing biological agents (allergens) in the different region of Saudi Arabia. As a result we have published many original articles on the subject and indigenous allergens. To help people take precautions and prevention, we would help them by identifying allergens in their homes and ambient environment.

In addition, we have now completed logistics and clinical trials for providing indigenous in vivo diagnostic kits for allergy and asthma. This diagnostic approached will be complemented by a therapeutic regime of immunotherapy vaccines for those identified to be positive with regional allergens.