Fouzia Rashid (Ph.D)

Associate Professor

Department of Clinical Biochemistry

University of Kashmir

Research interest

My lab is interested in studying the pathophysiology, treatment and management of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is one of the most prevalent endocrine and metabolic disorders affecting women of reproductive age, which negatively affects the quality of life and psychological wellbeing. PCOS is of unknown etiology. It is a polygenic and multifactorial syndromic disorder. Hyperandrogenism, chronic anovulation, and polycystic ovaries are the common features of PCOS and is associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, dyslipidemia, obesity, type2 diabetes mellitus, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, endometriosis, infertility, pre-eclampsia, and recurrent abortions. PCOS is causing a huge economic burden on the concerned families and the society as a whole. Despite progress in its diagnosis and management, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of PCOS. There are ongoing efforts in my lab to reveal the mechanisms that are associated with the features of PCOS and its underlying pathogenesis. 

The work of my lab is summarized here.

  1. Dr. Syed Douhath studied the molecular mechanism of inflammatory and pro-coagulation markers in the pathogenesis of PCOS. Markers including ICAM-1, TNF-α, MCP-1, PAI-1, and factor VIII, were studied at the gene and mRNA levels. She also ruled out the effect of drugs namely oral contraceptive pills (OCP’s) on these markers in women with PCOS.
  2. Dr. Humira Jeelani elevated the role of pro-oxidants, anti-oxidants, and pro-coagulatory mechanisms in the pathogenesis of PCOS. Markers including MDA, protein carbonyl, SOD, catalase, total antioxidant capacity, PON1 and tissue factor were studied at protein level. PON1 was studied at the gene level as well.
  3. Dr. Saika Manzoor studied the markers of insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism, and inflammation, pro-coagulation, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular disease in PCOS pathogenesis. All the markers including insulin, PT, APTT, FV, TF, D-dimer, adiponectin, IL-1β, resistin, visfatin, FV, TAT3, and TPA were studied at the protein level. She studied the effect of drugs OCP’s on these markers and on the baseline, hormonal, biochemical parameters in women with PCOS.
  4. Miss Iram Ashaq studied the role of endocrine disrupter bisphenol A (BPA) in PCOS pathogenesis. Currently she is studying the diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of miRNA-93 and mi-RNA 223 in women with PCOS.
  5. Miss Qudsia Fatima studied various other molecules of oxidative stress in PCOS pathogenesis. Markers including glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione transferase, and nitric oxide were studied at the protein level. Currently she is evaluating the quantitative expression of insulin sensitizing transcription factor PPAR-ϒ in women with PCOS. The evaluation of PPAR ϒ is being done both at the gene and protein level.
  6. Miss Faziana is working on to decipher the role of insulin metabolism gene Akt and inflammatory gene Galectin-3 in infertility, PCOS pathophysiology and pregnancy complications.
  7. Dr. Sumaira Wazir worked on evaluating the biochemical markers, hematological parameters, and the status of insulin sensitizing hormone namely adiponectin in patients with metabolic syndrome. She also studied the status of apolipoproteins apoE its isoforms apoE1, apoE2, and apoE3 at the gene level in patients with metabolic syndrome. The results showed gender bias with females more affected with MetS than men as evaluated by IDF criteria.
  8. Miss Uzma is working on to evaluate the role of inflammatory genes NLRP3 and AIM2 in infertility, PCOS and pregnancy complications.

All these studies have drawn attention that there is a strong connection of insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction and coagulation in the pathogenesis of PCOS. From our studies we analyzed several proteins and novel genetic variants that are involved in the pathogenesis of PCOS. The data obtained from the studies are published in international journals of repute such as Scientific reports, Gene reports, Obesity medicine, Meta gene, Diabetes and metabolic syndrome clinical research and reviews, Asian pacific journal of cancer prevention, etc. Besides research papers we have published several review papers and book chapters on PCOS. Techniques used to carry out the above mentioned studies in lab included DNA extraction by phenol chloroform method, DNA extraction by kit method, RNA extraction by trizol, RNA extraction by kit method, immuno-chemiluminescent assays, enzyme linked immunosorbent assays, polymerase chain reaction, polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism, reverse transcription, real time polymerase chain reaction, spectrophotometric quantification of proteins, electrophoresis, etc.

Our main collaborators are Dr. M Ashraf Ganie, (Professor, Department of Endocrinology SKIMS, Soura) Dr. Shajrul Amin (Head, Department of Biochemistry, Kashmir University) and Dr Sabiya Majid (Head, Department of Biochemistry, Government medical college Srinagar). We are working on different aspects of metabolic syndrome, PCOS, diabetes mellitus, and cancers.