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Zaki A. Sherif


  • Biochemistry
  • College of Medicine
  • Director of Graduate Studies
  • HU Data Science Faculty Committee Member
    Center for Applied Data Science and Analytics


Dr. Zaki Sherif is a Tenured Full Professor at Howard University College of Medicine and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine through the Department of Oncology. He completed his undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and medical studies and training at the University of Wisconsin, Howard, Georgetown, and Stanford Universities. Dr. Sherif is a medical research scientist specializing in cancer research, translational medicine, and SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. Among his notable accomplishments are discovering novel genetic mutations in breast cancer and identifying biomarkers for early diagnosis of liver cancer. For a good synopsis of his primary research work in epigenetics, see Recently, Sherif’s research has focused on investigating health disparity and underlying causes of long COVID (i.e., post-acute sequela of SARS-CoV-2 infection). Findings from this project received broad media attention ( See and Dr. Sherif was also recently invited to present a lecture, on the latest findings of Long COVID. A recording is available on the VuMedi site (Decoding Long COVID: A Journey Into Its Pathogenesis | Exploring the Biological Underpinnings of a Modern Health Challenge | VuMedi):  His total research federal grant award including subcontracts is over $21 million. As a leader in the fields of cancer biology & molecular genetics, Dr. Sherif serves on multiple NIH steering/oversight committees, American Association for Cancer Research, National Science Foundation review panels, and several funding agencies in Canada, Europe, Qatar, and Egypt. Dr. Sherif has been involved in university-level teaching since 2002. During this period, he has taught 21 different courses to graduate, dental and medical students at various institutions, including three new medical technology courses for which he helped develop the curriculum at Georgetown University. Dr. Zaki Sherif has numerous scientific publications and book chapters. His primary research is on hepatocellular carcinoma. He sits on the editorial boards of six scientific journals and reviews over four dozen research papers annually for over twelve journal publications. He has been recognized for his scientific work with national and international awards including the Hall of Fame Society for Science and Technology, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Howard University Provost’s Distinguished Service to the Institution, Georgetown University’s Best Lecturer, the Society of Ethiopians Established in Diaspora (SSED), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), among many others. Dr. Zaki Sherif was a select committee member charged with the review and accreditation procedures of both Georgetown and Howard Universities. Dr. Sherif also serves as an unofficial ambassador and community science lecturer for AAAS on cutting-edge research topics such as cloning, genomic sequencing, genome-editing (CRISPR), microbiome, COVID-19, PASC (long COVID), etc. He has over 250 presentations at regional, national, and international scientific conferences. He has been featured on video conferencing platforms, podcasts, and radio shows for his expertise on cancer and COVID-19 on numerous occasions and received accolades, plaques, and certificates of appreciation. One recent podcast was on December 7, 2023, about Decoding Long COVID: A Journey Into Its Pathogenesis | Exploring the Biological Underpinnings of a Modern Health Challenge. Another public airing was in February of 2022 when he was featured on an international podcast (i.e., Surfing NASH) to provide his expertise in hepatocellular carcinoma and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as a cancer health disparity concern (see Dr. Zaki Sherif - The NASH Podcast - Surfing the NASH Tsunami Podcast ( Dr. Sherif has mentored and advised over five dozen MDs, PhDs, and Masters students over the last two decades; served as a United Nations visiting scholar/professor at Addis Ababa University Faculty of Medicine; submitted a blueprint proposal to the Ethiopian Government on cancer center design and strategic operation and made trips to Ethiopia on medical missions and peace negotiations. Dr. Sherif is married with three children.



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