Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Akram Da'darah

Research Assistant Professor

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Akram Da'darah, M.Sc. Ph.D. is a Research Assistant Professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine who joined the Molecular Helminthology Laboratory in 2010. His main research focuses on Host-Parasite interaction in order to understand how schistosome parasites are able to survive in the host for several years. The overall objective of his research is to identify novel candidates that can be used as drug targets and/or vaccine candidates. Prior to joining Tufts University, Akram has worked at the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases/Harvard School of Public Health for twelve years as a post-doctoral fellow, a research associate and a scientist. He has extensive experience in studying schistosome parasites.

He received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology in 1997 from Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine/Hamburg University, Germany. His Ph.D. research focused on polyamine metabolic pathway as a drug target for human parasitic diseases. He also obtained a Master's degree in cytogenetics.


  • PhD - Hamburg University, Germany - 1997
  • MSc - Yarmouk Univeristy, Jordan - 1992
  • BSc - Yarmouk University, Jordan - 1990
  1. Da'dara AA, Bhardwaj R, Ali YB, Skelly PJ. Schistosome tegumental ecto-apyrase (SmATPDase1) degrades exogenous pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic nucleotides. PeerJ 2014. Mar 18;2:e316. doi: 10.7717/peerj.316. eCollection 2014.
  2. Farias LP, Krautz-Peterson G, Tararam CA, Araujo-Montoya BO, Fraga TR, Rofatto HK, Silva-Jr FP, Isaac L, Da'dara AA, Wilson RA, Shoemaker CB, Leite LC. On the three-finger protein domain fold and CD59-like proteins in Schistosoma mansoni. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013 Oct 24;7(10):e2482. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002482.
  3. Grenfell, R. Harn, D.A.  Tundup, S. Da’dara, A. Siqueira, L. Marcos, P. Coelho, Z. (2013) New Approaches with Different Types of Circulating Cathodic Antigen for the Diagnosis of Patients with Low Schistosoma mansoni Load. PLOS Neg. Trop. Dis. 7(2): e2054
  4. Da’dara AA, Faghiri Z, Krautz-Peterson G, Bhardwaj R, Skelly PJ. (2013) Schistosome Na,K-ATPase as a therapeutic target. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 107(2):74-82. Epub 2012. Dec 5.
  5. Da’dara A.A. and Skelly P.J. (2012) RNA Interference as a Tool for Drug Discovery in Parasitic Flatworms. In: Parasitic Helminths—Targets, Screens, Drugs and Vaccines. Vol. 3: 105-120. Edited by: C.R. Caffrey. Wiley Balckwell, Weinheim.
  6. Da'dara A., Krautz-Peterson G., Faghiri Z., Skelly P.J. (2012) Metabolite movement across the schistosome surface. J Helminthol. 2012 Jun;86(2):141-7. Epub 2012 Feb 27.
  7. Da'dara A., Skelly PJ. (2011) Manipulation of vascular function by blood flukes? Blood Rev. Jul;25(4):175-9. Epub 2011 May 4.
  8. Bhardwaj R, Krautz-Peterson G, Da'dara A, Tzipori S, Skelly P.J. Tegumental phosphodiesterase SmNPP-5 is a virulence factor for schistosomes. Infect Immun. 2011; 79(10):4276-84. Epub 2011 Aug 8.
  9. Chessler AD, Caradonna KL, Da'dara A., Burleigh BA (2011) Type I interferons increase host susceptibility to Trypanosoma cruzi infection. Infect Immun. May;79(5):2112-9. Epub 2011 Mar 14.
  10. Da’dara AA and Harn DA (2010) Elimination of helminth infection restores HIV-1C vaccine specific T cell responses independent of helminth-induced IL-10. Vaccine. 28(5):1310-1317. [Epub Nov 23,2009].
  11. Da'dara AA, Li YS.  Xiong T., Zhou J.,  Williams G.M.,  McManus D.P.,  Feng Z.,  Yu X.L., Gray D., and Harn D.A. (2008) DNA-based vaccine protects against zoonotic schistosomiasis in water buffalo. Vaccine. 26(29-30):3617-25, Epub: May 19, 2008.
  12. Atochina O., Da’dara AA, Walker M., and Harn D.A. (2008) The immunomodulatory glycan LNFPIII initiates alternative activation of murine macrophages in vivo. Immunol. 125(1):111-121, Epub: March 28, 20008.
  13. Da’dara AA, Lautsch N., Dudek T., Novitsky V., Lee T.H., Essex M. and Harn D.A. (2006) Helminth infection suppresses T cell immune response to HIV-DNA-based vaccine in mice. Vaccine. 24(24):5211-9. Epub 2006 Apr 18.
  14. Da’dara AA and Harn DA. Efficacy of DNA vaccines against tropical parasitic diseases. Expert Reviews of Vaccine. 2005; 4(4):575-589
  15. Skelly P.J., Da’dara AA and Harn D.A. (2003) Suppression of cathepsin B expression in Schistosoma mansoni by RNA interference. Int. J. Parasitol. 33: 363-369.
  16. Da’dara AA, Skelly P.J., Wang M., and Harn D.A. (2001) Immunization with plasmid DNA encoding the integral membrane protein, Sm23, elicits a protective immune response against schistosome infection in mice.Vaccine. 20, 359-369.
  17. Müller S., Da’dara AA, Lüersen K., Wrenger C., DasGupta R., Madhubala R., and Walter R.D. (2000) In the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, Polyamines are synthesized by a bifunctional ornithine decarboxylase, S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase. J. Biol. Chem. 275(11), 8097-8102.
  18. Da’dara AA and Walter RD. Molecular and biochemical characterization of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase from the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Biochem. J. 1998; 336, 545-550.
  19. Da’dara AA, Mett H., and Walter R.D. (1998) MGBG analogues as potent inhibitors of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase of Onchocerca volvulus. Mol. Biochem. Parasitol., 97, 13-19.
  20. Da’dara AA, Henkle-Dührsen K. and Walter R.D. (1996) A novel trans-spliced mRNA from Onchocerca volvulus encodes a functional S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase. Biochem. J., 320, 519-530.

General Research Interests

  • Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
  • Drug research and development: For parasitic diseases
  • Immune regulation and vaccine development.

Selected Research Projects

  1. Host-Parasite interaction. This project investigates the interactions between schistosome parasites and their host. This will enhance our understanding of the mechanism(s) of the parasites survival in the host for several years, as well as allows us to identify and evaluate novel drug targets for schistosomiasis.
  2. Vaccine development for schistosomiasis. This project will evaluate several novel surface parasites proteins as vaccine candidates against schistosome infections.