Dr. Abbas is an associate professor in the microbiology department and a member of the Molecular Genetics Research Group at Howard University’s National Human Genome Center. His expertise in DNA analyses and HLA genotyping are critical to NHGC’s ongoing research program in cancer research and other health disparities. Dr. Abbas is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology in the College of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. from Howard University (HU). Dr. Abbas’s research is focused on investigating polymorphisms in genes underlying innate and acquired immune responses and their associations with health disparities. His research originated from the scientific fact that adaptation to pathogens in the environment is the primary function of the host immune system and as such a target in the evolution of genomic polymorphisms that are protective in host defense against pathogens. Dr. Abbas’s immunogenetics interests extend to immunoreactive cancers. As a leader in the HU-NHGC, he is presently reviewing and cataloging cancer specimens that display lymphocyte infiltration with the goal of analyzing expression profiles of cancers to determine neo-antigens displayed by such tumors. He is currently the Howard University-National Human Genome center (HU-NHGC) sequencing core supervisor and the Molecular genetics Biorepository director. He also acts as the Director of the HU Sickle Cell Disease Center Biorepository by coordinating the collection, handling, processing, and banking of valuable clinical and environmental samples collected under specific projects. The major goal of these efforts is to provide a centralized Biorepository infrastructure at HU that will speed the translation of basic research to treatments and cures. Dr. Abbas established collaboration with the Howard University’s Department of Psychology to investigate genetic variations in neurotransmitter receptor genes and certain behaviors such as addiction and aggressiveness. This work resulted in a pilot grant to investigate genetic variationS in the human serotonin receptor gene (5-HT7) and its association with immune response and HIV/AIDS. Currently, Dr. Abbas is a co-investigator on an R01 grant 1(R01MD005851-01A1 (P.I. Sadaatmand Forough). This grant investigates violence exposure, immune functions & HIV/AIDS risks in African Americans. The primary goal is to identify subgroups of African American young adults who may be at greater risk for exposure to HIV and should be targeted for prevention programs.