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NS Faculty - Hamida B. Qavi

Dr. Qavi photo

Hamida B. Qavi


Office: STB324

For the past several years, I have been involved in extraction and purification of anticancer and antiviral components from Pearl garlic, Neem leaves, Saffron and Blac k seeds. Specifically, at UHD, our students have been testing anticancer activities of components from these sources. Preliminary findings from these studies have been encouraging and the data has been presented at several local and National conferences by our undergraduate students. The techniques used most frequently for these studies were, SGCC, TLC, HPLC and Cell culture and maintenance of normal and cancer cells in vitro. The structural characterization of isolated components will be performed using HPLC, IR and NMR spectroscopy and GC analyses. I have been teaching these techniques (IR, NMR and GC) at UHD in the advanced Organic chemistry Lab and Lecture courses to undergraduate juniors and seniors before they enroll in Research 3300 course. 

In addition, I was the PI and Co-PI on several Research grants from National (NIH and NEI) and International (King Abdul Aziz City for Science, Saudi Arabia) agencies. I have successfully administered projects, mentored undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, collaborated with other researchers and produced several peer-reviewed publications and presented these findings at several National and International conferences. In summary, my expertise and experience have prepared/qualify me to be a successful mentor.       ​

  • Ph.D. in Physiological Chemistry, Ohio State University​
  • Master's in Biochemistry, Ohio State Universty
  • Master's in Chemistry, Osmania University
  • General Chemistry 1307 and 1308
  • General Chemistry 1107 and 1108
  • Organic Chemistry 3301 and 3302
  • Organic Chemistry 3201 and 3202

Teaching Experience 

  • 2​011-present Lecturer Chemistry, UHD.
  • 2004-2011  Adjunct Faculty Chemistry (teaching Organic and General Chemistry), UHD
  • 2004-2011 Adjunct Chemistry (teaching Organic and General Chemistry), Houston Community College, Houston, TX
  • 1997-2003 Asst./Assoc. Professor Biochemistry, King Saudi University, Saudi Arabia.
  • 1996-1997 Adjunct Faculty Chemistry, UHD.
  • 1996-1997 Adjunct Faculty, Houston Community College, Houston, TX
  • 1991-1997 Assistant Professor of Molecular Virology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
  • 1980-1984 Instructor, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
  • 1963-1965 Lecturer Chemistry, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India​


  1. Kit, S., Otsuka, H., Qavi, H.B., Hazen, M.  Herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase activity of thymidine kinase-deficient Eschericha coli K12 mutant transformed by hybrid plasmids. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 78:582-586, 1981.

  2. Qavi, H.B., Green, M.T., SeGall, G.K. and Font, R.L.  Demonstration of HIV-1 and HHV-6 in AIDS-associated retinitis. Current Eye Research 8(4):379-387, 1989.

  3. Qavi, H.B., Green, M.T., SeGall, G.K., Hollinger, F.B. and Lewis, D.E.  The incidence of HIV-1 and HHV-6 in corneal buttons. Current Eye Research 10(suppl):97-103, 1991.

  4. Qavi, H.B., Green, M.T. and SeGall, G.K.  HIV-1 and HHV-6 infections of human retina and cornea. In: human Herpes virus 6: Epidemiology, Molecular Biology, and Clinical Pathology (D.V. Ablashi and G.R.F. Krueger, Eds.) Amsterdam, Elsevier Science Publishers, pp. 263-280, 1992.

  5. Qavi, H.B., Green, M.T., SeGall, G.K., Lewis, D.E. and Hollinger, F.B. Frequency of dual infections of corneas with HIV-1 and HHV-6. Current Eye Research, 11:315-323, 1992.

  6. Qavi, H.B., Green, M.T. and SeGall, G.K.  Transcriptional activity of HIV-1 and HHV-6 in retinal lesions from AIDS patients. Inves. Ophth. Vis. Sci. 33(10):2759-2767, 1992.

  7. Qavi HB, Green MT, Lewis DE, Hollinger FB, Pearson G, and Ablashi DV.  HIV-1 and HHV-6 antigens and transcripts in retinal cells from AIDS patients in the absence of CMV infection. Inves. Ophth. Vis. Sci. 36(10): 2040-2047, 1995.

  8. O’Brien, WJ; Qavi, HB; Taylor, JL. The Human Herpes viruses, 5,6,7,8. In: Duane’s Foundation of Clinical Ophthalmology. Tasman W and Jaeger EA editors, J.B. Lippincott Company. 93:1-14, 1998.

  9. Qavi HB; and Jaffari AA. Coinfection of Retinal Cells with HCMV and HIV-1 in Vitro. Pathogenesis. 1 (4): 239-244, 2000.

  10. Qavi HB; Adam E; Melnick JL; and DeBakey ME. Frequency of coexistence of Cytomegalovirus and Chlamydia Pneumoniae in Atherosclerotic plaques. Cen. Euro.J.Pub.Health. 8(2): 71-73, 2000.

  11. Qavi HB; Wyde P; and Kahn M. In vitro antiviral activity of sophocarpines against HHV-6. Phytotherapy Research, 16 (2): 154-156, 2002

  12. 1Qavi HB; El-Gazeery A. HHV-6 infection of mammalian cells in vitro. Saudi J.Ophthalmology. 16: 3-10, 2002.

  13. Qavi HB; and Ablashi DV. The Human Herpes virus 8 and Kaposi’s sarcoma. In Duane’s Foundation of clinical Ophthalmology. Tasman W and Jaeger Ea.     Editors, J.B. Lippincott Company. 93a: 1-10, 2003.

  14. Qavi HB and Al-Rajih AA. Acetylcholinesterase and HHV-8 in Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Retinoblastoma. In Vivo 23: Number 5: 679 - 683, 2009.

  15. Qavi HB and Hessel T. The Efficacy of Antiviral Components from Plant Products against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1. Annals of Virology and Research 1 : Number 1: 1001- 1005, 2015  

Research Interest

Cancer continues to represent the largest cause of mortality in the world and claims over 6 million lives each year. Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the leading cause of death in women between 35 to 54 years of age. Current chemotherapeutic drugs for breast cancer show severe side effects and drug resistance.  An extremely promising strategy for cancer prevention today is chemoprevention, which is defined as the use of synthetic or natural agents (alone or in combination) to block the developments of cancer. Plants products used in folk and transitional medicine have been accepted currently as one of the main sources of cancer chemopreventive drug discovery and development. A growing body of research has demonstrated that Saffron and Garlic extracts and their main constituents possess chemoprevention properties against breast cancer. Isolation and characterization of biologically active anticancer agents from these sources have not been reported.  Further studies are required to evaluate the safety and efficacy of isolated components from Saffron and Pearl garlic in cancer treatment. Preliminary findings from this Laboratory have indicated that selected components from Saffron and Pearl Garlic have strong anticancer efficacy against breast cancer. 

The specific aims of the purposed project are:
1. To isolate components from Saffron and Pearl Garlic with anticancer activity by extraction 
2. To purify components by Silica gel column and High-Performance Liquid chromatography 
3. Determine efficacy of purified components using breast cancer cells in vitro
When completed, these and /or similar studies will enhance our knowledge regarding the anticancer of components from Saffron and Pearl Garlic and will offer the opportunity to design a rational approach to therapeutic invention of breast cancer.


  • Molecular Virology Retreat award for the best Researcher of 1995, Department of Molecular Virology, Baylor College Medicine, Houston, TX, 
  • Chief of Research Laboratory - King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 2001-2003.
  • Several U.S.A Federal and local research grants holder as PI and Co-PI, Department of Molecular Virology during 1989 and 1997, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology grant, Saudi Arabia 2001-2003.
  • Consultant – Molecular Virology:  Baltech, Inc., 333 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana (1986-Present).
  • Member of Editorial Board of Annals of Virology and Research, 2014 – Present.


Last updated 4/27/2020 8:07 AM