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Tarek Samad, PhD

Pfizer Investigator, Head of Neuroinflammation Research

Tarek Samad, PhD, is a Pfizer Investigator and the Head of the Neuroinflammation Research Group at Pfizer’s Neuroscience Research Unit. The group investigates emerging scientific concepts, and identifies and validates therapeutic targets for innovative medicines in neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. Over the past ten years, Dr. Samad’s work in academic and pharmaceutical arenas has focused on studying adaptive and maladaptive inflammatory and neuroimmune interactions and their implications in neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Samad received his Master’s and PhD degrees in molecular and cellular neurobiology with a focus on dopaminergic pathways in neurodegenerative diseases, from Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France. He also holds a Master’s degree in Genetic Engineering. He joined Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and became a faculty. During his tenure at Harvard, Dr. Samad’s group investigated and shed light on novel molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuroimmune modulation and their contribution to brain pathologies. Dr. Samad also studied Bone Morphogenetic Protein signaling in the nervous system and identified a novel family of Bone Morphogenetic Protein co-receptors with members modulating neuronal regeneration after nerve injury, and iron homeostasis. His work contributed to the founding of Ferrumax Pharmaceuticals in which Dr. Samad is an unaffiliated co-founder.

He is the recipient of several awards including the Pfizer Investigator Tenure Award recognizing and enabling scientific leaders. In his present position, Dr. Samad leads and participates in multiple preclinical and clinical programs at Pfizer and manages multi-site and multi-disciplinary teams focused on bringing novel chemical and biological entities to the clinic. He has published over 45 articles, with publications in prominent scientific journals such as Nature, Science, Neuron and Journal of Clinical Investigation.