Dr. Fouzia Haneef Khan is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Faculty of Medicine (FoM) within Imperial College London. She teaches on the MSc Genes, Drugs, and Stem Cells-Novel therapies programme within the National Heart and Lung Institute, where she is responsible for planning and organising the MSc programme as well as developing innovative teaching methods.
Fouzia studied BSc Pharmacology and Toxicology at UCL, where she obtained 1st Class honours degree. During her undergraduate studies, she worked for Glaxo Smithkline Beechams in the Development Pharmacology department. Following her BSc, she began a three-year PhD programme in Neuropharmacology at UCL, where she was supervised by Professor Mike Simmonds. Her PhD research focused on the effects of cholesterol on GABAa receptors in the CNS.
Prior to joining Imperial College in 2019, she taught on the MSc Drug Discovery and MPharm programmes at UCL. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in University Learning and Teaching (ULT, Imperial College London) after completing her PGDip and PGCert in ULT.
Fouzia is particularly interested in Pharmacology Education. She is an active member of the BPS (British Pharmacological Society) Education and Training Committee, as well as a member of the IUPHAR (International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology) Education project, which aims to bring together Pharmacology educators from around the world to mutually define core concepts in pharmacology. Fouzia is a postgraduate tutor and enjoys developing and implementing authentic assessments to improve student learning through collaboration with students. In addition, Fouzia is also a member of the EDI committee.
Outside of work, Fouzia serves on the executive committee of PAGE (Pakistan Alliance for Girls' Education), an education charity that inspires young girls from low-income families to pursue education in Pakistan.
Fouzia's PhD research explored the “Influence of membrane cholesterol on Neuro-steroid modulation of Benzodiazepine/ GABAA receptor”. Cholesterol is necessary for optimal brain function. Any fluctuations in circulating cholesterol within the CNS disrupt neuronal functions. Fouzia’s research involved in-vitro experiments in native receptors cerebral cortex as well as in recombinant GABAA receptors expressed in fibroblast cells. Enriching or depleting cholesterol membrane by liposomes or cholesterol complexing agents, markedly affected the modulatory action of neuro-steroids, benzodiazepines, and propofol on the GABAA receptor as determined by radio-ligand binding experiments. Additionally, the incorporation of different sterols other than cholesterol into the membranes suggested a specific site of action for cholesterol on the GABAA receptor. Her research concluded that membrane cholesterol manipulation could significantly influence the functional properties of the GABAA receptor.