Imperial College London

Dr. Isra Marei

Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Honorary Research Fellow



isra.marei11 Website




Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr. Isra Marei is an Honorary research fellow at the vascular biology group- National Heart and Lung Institute, and a postdoctoral associate in pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar. She earned her B.S.c in Biomedical Sciences with Excellence from Qatar University in June 2008. Dr. Marei then worked as a research specialist at the Diabetes and Oxidative Stress Research Laboratory at Weill Cornell Medicine- Qatar until 2012, after which she joined the Qatar Research Leadership Program to pursuit her postgraduate studies at Imperial College London. She then obtained an MRes in biomedical research in 2013, and a PhD in clinical medicine research in 2018. Her PhD thesis focused on the biofunctionalization of materials to induce endothelization by blood progenitors.

Dr. Marei’s research focuses on the use of blood progenitor cells for diabetes and cardiovascular applications. Her research has been moving towards three directions within the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine field: (1) Gene therapy: Dr. Marei’s first postdoctoral fellowship supported by Qatar national fund (QNRF) focused on the modulation of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) to enhance endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) bioavailability and induce regeneration. Dr. Marei has also been awarded the Pickford award by the British Pharmacological Society in 2020 to further investigate the potential of this application, (2) 3D vascular models to study diabetes and cardiovascular diseases: This application will provide a better understanding of vascular biology and disease and represents an improvement of the current methods used to study and develop cardiovascular and diabetes drugs. Dr. Marei has been awarded the L'Oréal - UNESCO For Women in Science Middle East Regional Young Talents award (2020) in recognition of the potential application of these models. She has also worked towards this aim through a QNRF Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) award, focusing on the use of tissue engineering techniques for the development of 3D vascular grafts. (3) Endothelialization of vascular stents to prevent in-stent thrombosis in diabetes: This aim is an extension of the Dr. Marei’s PhD work in which she was able to establish a modified polymeric surface to attract EPCs. She has been awarded an early career research award from QNRF, to pursue this aim.



Ahmetaj-Shala B, Marei I, Kawai R, et al., 2021, Activation and contraction of human ‘vascular’ smooth muscle cells grown from circulating blood progenitors, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Vol:9, ISSN:2296-634X, Pages:1-6

Ahmetaj-Shala B, Kawai R, Marei I, et al., 2020, A bioassay system of autologous human endothelial, smooth muscle cells and leucocytes for use in drug discovery, phenotyping and tissue engineering, The Faseb Journal, Vol:34, ISSN:0892-6638, Pages:1745-1754

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