Research Foci

Hyperglycemia is an independent predictor of poor prognosis and outcomes in stroke. My research focuses on studying the impact of hyperglycemia on stroke outcomes, and on investigating the underlying mechanisms through which hyperglycemia exacerbates the neurovascular injury and worsens the functional outcomes after stroke. Pursuing the fight against stroke, I am dedicated to conduct research that aims to explore novel therapeutics that can be employed in ameliorating the neurovascular injury and improving the functional outcomes after stroke. In one of my research projects, I have pointed out matrix metalloprotease 3 (MMP3) as a critical mediator of hemorrhagic transformation in hyperglycemic stroke, and its inhibition significantly improved stroke outcomes. I am also interested in developing novel non-pharmacological therapeutic approaches, like exercise and remote ischemic conditioning, to be employed in stroke therapy to reduce the injury and improve the outcomes.


  • Hafez S, Abdelsaid M, Fagan SC, Ergul A. Peroxynitrite-Induced Tyrosine Nitration Contributes to Matrix Metalloprotease-3 Activation: Relevance to Hyperglycemic Ischemic Brain Injury and Tissue Plasminogen Activator. Neurochem Res. 2017 Oct. PMID: 28975464.
  • Hafez S, Abdelsaid M, El-Shafey S, Johnson MH, Fagan SC, Ergul A. Matrix Metalloproteinase 3 Exacerbates Hemorrhagic Transformation and Worsens Functional Outcomes in Hyperglycemic Stroke. Stroke. 2016 Feb. PMID: 26839355.
  • Hafez S and Ergul A. Response to Letter Regarding Article, “Matrix Metalloprotease 3 Exacerbates Hemorrhagic Transformation and Worsens Functional Outcomes in Hyperglycemic Stroke”. 2016 Jun. PMID: 27217515.
  • Hafez S, Hoda MN, Guo X, Johnson MH, Fagan SC, Ergul A. Comparative Analysis of Different Methods of Ischemia/Reperfusion in Hyperglycemic Stroke Outcomes: Interaction with tPA. Transl Stroke Res. 2015 Feb. PMID: 25683354.
  • Hafez S, Coucha M, Bruno A, Fagan SC, Ergul A. Hyperglycemia, Acute Ischemic Stroke and Thrombolytic Therapy. Transl Stroke Res. 2014 Mar. PMID: 24619488.
  • Khan MB, Hafez S, Hoda MN, Baban B, Wagner J, Awad ME, Sangabathula H, Haigh S, Elsalanty M, Waller JL, Hess DC. Chronic Remote Ischemic Conditioning Is Cerebroprotective and Induces Vascular Remodeling in a VCID Model. Transl Stroke Res. 2018 Feb. PMID: 28755277.
  • Abdelsaid M, Coucha M, Hafez S, Yasir A, Johnson MH, Ergul A. Enhanced VEGF signalling mediates cerebral neovascularisation via downregulation of guidance protein ROBO4 in a rat model of diabetes. 2017 Jan. PMID: 28116460.
  • Ergul A, Hafez S, Fouda A, Fagan SC. Impact of Comorbidities on Acute Injury and Recovery in Preclinical Stroke Research: Focus on Hypertension and Diabetes. Transl Stroke Res. 2016 Mar. PMID: 27026092.
  • Abdelsaid M, Prakash R, Li W, Coucha M, Hafez S, Johnson MH, Fagan SC, Ergul A. Metformin Treatment in Post-stroke Period Prevents Nitrative Stress and Restores Angiogenic Signaling in the Brain in Diabetes. Diabetes. 2014 Dec. PMID: 25524911.
  • Coucha M, Li W, Hafez S, Abdelsaid M, Johnson MH, Fagan SC, Ergul A. SOD1 Overexpression Prevents Acute Hyperglycemia-Induced Cerebral Myogenic Dysfunction: Relevance to Contralateral Hemisphere and Stroke Outcomes. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2014 Dec. PMID: 25552308.
  • Hoda MN, Bhatia K, Hafez SS, Johnson MH, Siddiqui S, Ergul A, Zaidi SK, Fagan SC, Hess DC. Remote Ischemic Preconditioning is Effective After Embolic Stroke in Ovariectomized Female Mice. Transl Stroke Res. 2014 Jan. PMID: 24385308.
  • Mohamed IN, Hafez SS, Fairaq A, Ergul A, Imig JD, El-Remessy AB. Thioredoxin-Interacting Protein is Required for Endothelial NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation and Cell death in a Rat Model of High-fat Diet. 2014 Feb. PMID: 24201577.
  • Ishrat T, Pillai B, Ergul A, Hafez S, Fagan SC. Candesartan Reduces the Hemorrhage Associated with Delayed Tissue Plasminogen Activator Treatment in Rat Embolic Stroke. Neurochem Res. 2013 Dec. PMID: 24194350.
  • Kelly-Cobbs AI, Prakash R, Li W, Pillai B, Hafez S, Coucha M, Johnson MH, Ogbi SN, Fagan SC, Ergul A. Targets of Vascular Protection in Acute Ischemic Stroke Differ in Type 2 Diabetes. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2013 Mar. PMID: 23335797.
  • Hoda MN, Siddiqui S, Herberg S, Periyasamy-Thandavan S, Hafez SS, Bhatia K,, Johnson MH, Hill WD, Ergul A, Fagan SC, Hess DC. Remote Ischemic Perconditioning is Effective Alone and in Combination with Intravenous Tissue Plasminogen Activator in Murine Model of Embolic Stroke. 2012 Oct. PMID: 22910893.