Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nefertiti Adly Hassan El-Nikhely

Associate Professor
Department of Molecular Biotechnology


After finishing Pharmacy studies, Nefertiti El-Nikhely got a diploma and a master’s in biotechnology from Alexandria University. Then she pursuit her PhD at Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Germany. Once returned back to Egypt, she took a diploma in Bioinformatics and started working at the department of Biotechnology. Currently, she is an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Institute for Graduate Studies and Research, Alexandria University and Alamein International University. There, she started establishing a research line on the use of natural products with a focus on cancer using different animal and cell culture models.

Research Interests

Her work focuses mainly on molecular signalling in cancer especially inflammation and epigenetic regulation of cancer. Testing novel therapeutic but naturally derived compounds took a considerable focus in her group. In this scope, she works on the identification of novel biomarkers to assist early diagnosis and improve prognosis of cancer. For this, bioinformatic tools are being very fruitful and promising. In addition, being a member of the department of biotechnology, a growing research interest is the development of therapeutically important proteins.

  • Since August 2023: Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Alamain International University.
  • Since December 2023: Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Institute of Graduate Studies and Research, Alexandria University
  • Quality unit coordinator in biotechnology department

Undergraduate courses

  • Cell biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical biochemistry

Master courses

  • Basics of biotechnology
  • Basics of bio-informatics
  • Biochemistry for Biotechnology
  • Bio-statistics
  • Scientific writing

PhD courses

  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Multidisciplinary translational research
  • Advanced therapy medicinal products

1. Ibrahim AlZaim, Nefertiti El-Nikhely, Aya Al-Saidi, Nahed Mougharbil, Nadine Darwiche, Wassim Abou-Kheir, Ahmed F. El-Yazbi, Periprostatic adipose tissue thromboinflammation triggers prostatic neoplasia in early metabolic impairment: Interruption by rivaroxaban, Life Sciences, Volume 334, 2023
2. Abdullah NA, Mahmoud HE, El-Nikhely NA, Hussein AA, El-Khordagui LK. Carbon dots labeled Lactiplantibacillus plantarum: a fluorescent multifunctional biocarrier for anticancer drug delivery. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2023 May 25;11:1166094. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2023.1166094.
3. Ghobrial DK, El-Nikhely N, Sheta E, Ragab HM, Rostom SAF, Saeed H, Wahid A. The Role of Pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine-Based Kinase Inhibitors in The Attenuation of CCl4-Induced Liver Fibrosis in Rats. Antioxidants (Basel). 2023 Mar 3;12(3):637. doi: 10.3390/antiox12030637
4. Asmaa O. Manaa, Hoda H. Baghdadi, Nefertiti A. El‐Nikhely, Lamia A. Heikal, Lobna S. El-Hosseiny. Oregano oil-nanoemulsions: Formulation and evaluation of antibacterial and anticancer potentials, Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, Volume 78, Dec 2022,
5. Sarah Obuya, Amr Elkholy, Nagavardhini Avuthu, Michael Behring, Prachi Bajpai, Sumit Agarwal, Hyung-Gyoon Kim, Nefertiti El-Nikhely, Pamela Akinyi, James Orwa, Farrukh Afaq, Mohammed Abdalla, Anwar Michael, Mohamed Farouk, Lori Brand Bateman, Mona Fouad, Mansoor Saleh, Chittibabu Guda, Upender Manne, Waleed Arafat. A signature of Prevotella copri and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii depletion, and a link with bacterial glutamate degradation in the Kenyan colorectal cancer patients. J Gastrointest Oncol 2022 |
6. Elsehly WM, Mourad GM, Mehanna RA, Kholief MA, El-Nikhely NA, Awaad AK, Attia MH. The potential implications of estrogenic and antioxidant-dependent activities of high doses of methyl paraben on MCF7 breast cancer cells. J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2022 May;36(5):e23012. doi: 10.1002/jbt.23012. Epub 2022 Feb 17.
7. Saeed H, Elsawy E, Shalaby M, Abdel-Fattah M, Hemida A, Eldoksh A, Ataya FS, Nematalla H, Elkewedi M, Labrou NN, El-Nikhely N. L-asparaginase from Dickeya chrysanthemi: expression, purification and cytotoxicity assessment. Prep Biochem Biotechnol. 2021 Oct 6:1-13. doi: 10.1080/10826068.2021.1983831.
8. Safa M Shams Eldin, Eman Shawky, Shaimaa M Sallam, Nefertiti El-Nikhely, Samah M El Sohafy. Metabolomics approach provides new insights into the immunomodulatory discriminatory biomarkers of the herbs and roots of Echinacea species. Industrial crops and products 168, 2021: 113611. doi: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2021.113611
9. Saeed H, Hemida A, Abdel-Fattah M, Eldoksh A, Shalaby M, Nematalla H, El-Nikhely N. Pseudomonas aeruginosa recombinant L-asparaginase: large scale production, purification, and cytotoxicity on THP-1, MDA-MB-231, A549, Caco2 and HCT-116 cell lines. Protein Expr Purif. 2021 Jan 10:105820. doi: 10.1016/j.pep.2021.105820.
10. Soudan H, Saeed H, Eldemellawy M, Shalaby M, Hassan M, Elkewedi M, El-Nikhely N. Heat shock protein 90α inhibitor, PU-H71 in combination with DHEA promoting apoptosis in triple-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. Acta Biochim Pol. 2020 Dec 15;67(4):561-570. doi: 10.18388/abp.2020_5418.
11. El-Wakil MH, Khattab SN, El-Yazbi AF, El-Nikhely N, Soffar A, Khalil HH. New chalcone-tethered 1,3,5-triazines potentiate the anticancer effect of cisplatin against human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells by enhancing DNA damage and cell apoptosis. Bioorg Chem. 2020 Oct 20;105:104393.
12. El-Nikhely N, Karger A, Sarode P, Singh I, Weigert A, Wietelmann A, Stiewe T, Dammann R, Fink L, Grimminger F, Barreto G, Seeger W, Pullamsetti SS, Rapp UR, Savai R. Metastasis-Associated Protein 2 Represses NF-κB to Reduce Lung Tumor Growth and Inflammation. Cancer Res. 2020 Oct 1;80(19):4199-4211.
13. Saeed H, Hemida A, El-Nikhely N, Abdel-Fattah M, Shalaby M, Hussein A, Eldoksh A, Ataya F, Aly N, Labrou N, Nematalla H. Highly efficient Pyrococcus furiosus recombinant L-asparaginase with no glutaminase activity: Expression, purification, functional characterization, and cytotoxicity on THP-1, A549 and Caco-2 cell lines. Int J Biol Macromol. 2020 Apr 17. pii: S0141-8130(20)32936-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.04.080
14. Pullamsetti SS, Kojonazarov B, Storn S, Gall H, Salazar Y, Wolf J, Weigert A, El-Nikhely N, Ghofrani HA, Krombach GA, Fink L, Gattenlöhner S, Rapp UR, Schermuly RT, Grimminger F, Seeger W, Savai R. Lung cancer-associated pulmonary hypertension: Role of microenvironmental inflammation based on tumor cell-immune cell cross-talk. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Nov 15;9(416):eaai9048.
15. Kiehl S, Herkt SC, Richter AM, Fuhrmann L, El-Nikhely N, Seeger W, Savai R, Dammann RH. ABCB4 is frequently epigenetically silenced in human cancers and inhibits tumor growth. Sci Rep. 2014 Nov 4;4:6899.
16. Kopp F, Hermawan A, Oak PS, Ulaganathan VK, Herrmann A, El-Nikhely N, Thakur C, Xiao Z, Knyazev P, Ataseven B, Savai R, Wagner E, Roidl A. Sequential Salinomycin Treatment Results in Resistance Formation through Clonal Selection of Epithelial-Like Tumor Cells. Transl Oncol. 2014 Dec;7(6):702-11.
17. Zanucco E, El-Nikhely N, Götz R, Weidmann K, Pfeiffer V, Savai R, Seeger W, Ullrich A, Rapp UR. Elimination of B-RAF in oncogenic C-RAF-expressing alveolar epithelial type II cells reduces MAPK signal intensity and lung tumor growth. J Biol Chem. 2014 Sep 26;289(39):26804-16.
18. Larzabal L, El-Nikhely N, Redrado M, Seeger W, Savai R, Calvo A. Differential effects of drugs targeting cancer stem cell (CSC) and non-CSC populations on lung primary tumors and metastasis. PLoS One (2013) Nov 20;8(11):e79798.
19. Ceteci F, Ceteci S, Zanucco E, Thakur C, Becker M, El-Nikhely N, Fink L, Seeger W, Savai R, Rapp UR. E-cadherin controls bronchiolar progenitor cells and onset of preneoplastic lesions in mice. Neoplasia (2012) Dec;14(12):1164-77.
20. El-Nikhely N, Larzabal L, Seeger W, Calvo A, Savai R. Tumor-stromal interactions in lung cancer: novel candidate targets for therapeutic intervention. Expert Opin Investig Drugs (2012) Aug;21(8):1107-22.

1. EACR 2022 Congress – Innovative Cancer Science: Translating Biology to Medicine (July 2022, Sevilla, Spain)
2. CardioAlex 22, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria (June 2022)
3. 3rd PUA International Conference (May 2022), Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharos University “Innovation in Pharmaceutical Sciences”
4. The National Committee of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) Workshop activities webinar (March 2022): “Precision Medicine: The Medicine of Tomorrow”
5. The 4th Annual Conference Egyptian Pelvic Pathology & Oncology Group (EPOG Feb 2022), Alexandria, Egypt
6. Eastern Mediterranean Pharmaceutical Symposium (EMPS), ASPSA, Faculty of Pharmacy, Alexandria University (July 2021)
7. 13th Breast-Gynecological & Immunooncology International Cancer Conference (2021)

  • Co-PI of the research project “Production and Purification of microbial L-Asparaginase” funded by the Academy for Science and Technology, Egypt
  • Co-PI of the research project “Preparation of bio-better microbial L-Asparaginase” funded by the Academy for Science and Technology, Egypt