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​​​Welcome to the Imam Lab

​Farhad Imam, MD, PhD, is board-certified in pediatrics and neonatology, and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Diego Health. His clinical practice includes delivery room management and acute care of critically ill infants in the medical and surgical NICU setting. Prior to his arrival at UC San Diego Health in 2013, Dr. Imam served on the faculty of Boston Children's Hospital at Harvard Medical School where he completed his internship, residency, and fellowship. He earned his medical degree as an awardee of the NIH-sponsored combined MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Stanford University, where he had previously completed his undergraduate study in Human Biology. 

Dr. Imam's research interests concern the mechanisms of perinatal brain injury and the identification of neuroprotective strategies to minimize cerebral palsy and other types of brain injury in newborn infants. His research in the fields of genetics, genomics, and developmental biology have been published in Science, Cell, and Genetics.​

Lab Focus: Molecular Mechanisms of Robustness to Developmental Perturbations

 Acutely ill premature and term newborn infants are exposed toenvironmental perturbations such as high/low oxygen tension as part of their disease process. These perturbations can cause cellular damage during a critical time of maturation for the brain and other organs, contributing to disorders such as cerebral palsy, autism and seizures. 


The Imam Lab has established an in vivo zebrafish model system to study acute and repetitive stress during embryogenesis and have used it to identify novel, conserved stress-protective factors through genome-wide expression screens and functional assays. These novel genes may provide additional insight into stress-protective and hypoxia-protective mechanisms, and ultimately therapeutic strategies for acutely ill and/or preterm infants.​​