Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Research Associate



akif.khawaja10 Website




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Dr Khawaja is a Research Associate in the Cardio-Respiratory Interface section of the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI). He obtained his PhD at University College London, where he worked between the Centre for Rheumatology and the Centre for Inflammation and Tissue Repair. His PhD examined the role of neutrophils in autoimmune rheumatic disease and the modulatory effects of endothelial-neutrophil interactions on IgG-mediated neutrophil activation.

Dr Khawaja joined the Platelet Biology Group at the NHLI in October 2017, where he investigates how HIV antiretrovirals impact endothelial function and endothelial-platelet interactions. People living with HIV have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, however the reasons for this increased risk is unclear. Dr Khawaja’s post-doctoral work aims to better understand whether off target effects of antiretroviral therapy might contribute to the observed increased cardiovascular risk among people living with HIV. This work was published in Circulation Research.

In April 2021, Dr Khawaja was awarded a Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Joint Research Committee clinical fellowship to help transition his research into a clinical setting. His fellowship project will help determine whether viral status and/or antiviral therapies alter endothelial function in ways that could increase risk of cardiovascular disease, directly in patient populations under more ‘real world’ settings.



Allaoui A, Khawaja AA, Badad O, et al., 2021, Platelet Function in Viral Immunity and SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Vol:47, ISSN:0094-6176, Pages:419-426

Khawaja AA, Taylor KA, Lovell AO, et al., 2020, HIV antivirals affect endothelial activation and endothelial-platelet crosstalk., Circulation Research, Vol:127, ISSN:0009-7330, Pages:1365-1380

Khawaja AA, Chong DLW, Sahota J, et al., 2020, Identification of a Novel HIF-1 alpha-alpha(M)beta(2) Integrin-NET Axis in Fibrotic Interstitial Lung Disease, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:11, ISSN:1664-3224


Khawaja AA, Maughan RT, Paschalaki KE, et al., 2020, Modelling endothelial function in vitro and via blood sampling to assess cardiovascular risk in people living with HIV, JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD, Pages:105-105

Khawaja A, Taylor K, Lovell A, et al., 2020, Differential effects of HIV antiretroviral drugs upon pro-inflammatory and cardioprotective properties of vascular endothelial cells, Meeting of the British-Pharmacological-Society, WILEY, Pages:2578-2579, ISSN:0007-1188

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