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Aftab Nadeem

Research fellow at the Department of Molecular Biology investigating the role of bacterial pore-forming toxins in the pathogenesis of the host.



Works at

Research fellow at Department of Molecular Biology Section: Group Aftab Nadeem
6K och 6L, Sjukhusområdet, 6L-8 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

My current research investigates the role of bacterial pore-forming toxins in the pathogenesis of both human and environmental hosts. In 2022, I started my independent research group.

In our research group, the goal is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the interaction between different bacterial species and host cells, which will provide molecular insights into the underlying causes of infectious diseases. This will help us develop new therapeutics to treat severe infections. In addition, we use bacteria pore-forming toxins as a biotechnological tool to investigate different cellular processes including cell death mechanisms, endocytosis, autophagy, and targeting oncogenic signaling in cancer cells, which will help us explore the anticancer potential of pore-forming toxins, providing valuable insights into their use as novel therapeutics.

We use an interdisciplinary approach to tackle key questions in basic and translational research.


1) High-resolution microscopy techniques, such as confocal, transmission electron microscopy, and cryogenic electron microscopy. These techniques help us investigate the interaction of bacterial pore-forming toxins with different cell types and lipid membranes at a molecular level.

2) Biophysical and biochemical methods to explore the physiochemical properties of bacterial pore-forming toxins, interaction with the lipid membranes.

3) Cellular methods to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in bacterial pore-forming toxin-induced cell death, which will help us identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

4) High-throughput imaging and artificial intelligence tools to screen the interaction of bacterial pathogens with environmental hosts, enabling us to identify the evolution of pathogenic bacterial species upon long-term interactions with their environmental hosts.


Aftab Nadeem received his Master's degree in Biochemistry from the University of Lahore, Pakistan. He then pursued an MS degree in Molecular Biology from Skövde University, Sweden. Subsequently, he completed his Ph.D. degree from Lund University, where he conducted research on understanding the cellular processes involved in HAMLET (human α-lactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells) induced tumor cell death. Following his Ph.D., he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Umeå University where he investigated the role of bacteria pore-forming toxins and membrane vesicles in host pathogenesis. Since 2022, he leads an independent research group at the Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University.

Microbiology Spectrum, American Society for Microbiology 2024, Vol. 12, (2)
Mushtaq, Fizza; Nadeem, Aftab; Yabrag, Abdelbasset; et al.
npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, Springer Nature 2023, Vol. 9, (1)
Ahmad, Irfan; Nadeem, Aftab; Mushtaq, Fizza; et al.
Virulence, London: Taylor & Francis Group 2023, Vol. 14, (1)
Farag, Salah; Francis, Monika K.; Gurung, Jyoti M.; et al.
Journal of Innate Immunity, S. Karger 2022, Vol. 14 : 418-432
Hansen, Finja C.; Nadeem, Aftab; Browning, Kathryn L.; et al.
eLIFE, eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd 2022, Vol. 11
Nadeem, Aftab; Berg, Alexandra; Pace, Hudson; et al.
Frontiers in Pharmacology, Frontiers Media S.A. 2022, Vol. 13
Schmidtchen, Artur; Mirza, Haris; van der Plas, Mariena J. A.; et al.
Cell Death and Disease, Springer Nature 2022, Vol. 13, (12)
Toh, Eric; Baryalai, Palwasha; Nadeem, Aftab; et al.
Journal of Cell Science, The Company of Biologists 2021, Vol. 134, (5)
Corkery, Dale; Nadeem, Aftab; Aung, Kyaw Min; et al.
Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, Frontiers Media S.A. 2021, Vol. 7
Joshi, Bishnu; Singh, Bhupender; Nadeem, Aftab; et al.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects, Elsevier 2021, Vol. 1865, (7)
Myint, Si Lhyam; Zlatkov, Nikola; Aung, Kyaw Min; et al.
PLoS Pathogens, Public Library of Science 2021, Vol. 17, (3)
Nadeem, Aftab; Alam, Athar; Toh, Eric; et al.
International Journal of Cancer, John Wiley & Sons 2021, Vol. 149, (2) : 442-459
Nadeem, Aftab; Aung, Kyaw Min; Ray, Tanusree; et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 118, (47)
Nadeem, Aftab; Nagampalli, Raghavendra; Toh, Eric; et al.
FEMS Microbiology Reviews, Oxford University Press 2021, Vol. 45, (2)
Zlatkov, Nikola; Nadeem, Aftab; Uhlin, Bernt Eric; et al.
Bacterial membrane vesicles: biogenesis, functions and applications, Springer 2020 : 131-158
Nadeem, Aftab; Oscarsson, Jan; Wai, Sun Nyunt
PLOS ONE, Public Library Science 2019, Vol. 14, (1)
Ahmad, Irfan; Karah, Nabil; Nadeem, Aftab; et al.

Research groups

Head of research
Aftab Nadeem Lab