Saima Hilal, PhD

I am a post-doctoral scientific researcher with one and a half years’ of experience researching vascular and neurodegenerative pathologies underlying Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Upon completion of my medical degree and training in neurology from Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan, I went on to pursue a master’s degree in public health, with a specialization in clinical epidemiology, from the  National University of Singapore. From the same school, I undertook a PhD programme, where my research was focused on identifying novel markers of vascular and neurodegenerative pathologies in cognitive impairment and dementia using MRI and retinal imaging. Over the last three years, I was one of the pioneers in identifying a new marker of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, eg, cortical cerebral microinfarcts (CMIs) on three Tesla MRI scans. Following completion of my PhD in 2016, I was offered a post-doctoral fellowship at Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the  Netherlands. Here, I am studying plasma amyloid-beta levels as biomarkers for cerebrovascular disease, dementia and stroke. My research uses molecular, imaging, cognitive, and clinical information to further comprehend the pathophysiological mechanism behind brain vascular changes and cognitive dysfunction from normal to diseased individuals.