BAppMicro., MClinSc. (ClinMicro) (Hons.), Ph.D. (ClinMicro & InfecDis)

Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences
King Abdulaziz Medical City – Riyadh, National Guard Health Affairs, Mail Code: 3127
P. O. Box 22490, Riyadh 11426, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Academic Appointments:
Assistant Professor

(966-11-) 429-9999 Ext. 95209

Email: zowawih(at)ksau-hs(dot)edu(dot)sa


Profile

Dr. Hosam Mamoon Zowawi, Ph.D. is a clinical microbiologist interested in hospital-acquired infections, particularly those caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria (aka, superbugs). Dr Zowawi and his collaborators at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States have founded the first region-wide surveillance program to monitor the spread and emergence of superbugs in the Gulf States. This work is an important piece of the puzzle to complete the global picture of antimicrobial resistance. As a clinical microbiologist Dr Zowawi recognizes the need to develop more rapid diagnostic tools to aid rapid implementation of targeted medical management. Hence, he has developed a rapid innovative diagnostic test (Rapid SuperbugsTM) that can rapidly characterize antibiotic resistant determinants. The aim of this test is to facilitate and aid large surveillance projects; and initiate the development of subsequent innovative tests that can improve and expedite clinical diagnoses.

Dr Zowawi is dedicated to public engagement and believes that better communication about scientific issues could publicize science, raise awareness and transform healthcare. Hosam and his team have founded the SuperbugsFree and Superbug Slayers Polo Initiative, a social movement for antimicrobial resistance that aims to educate the general public about the appropriate use of antibiotics and the role that hand hygiene plays in reducing this threat. Utilizing social and mainstream media platforms, and engaging directly with the public through seminars, discussions, school visits and sport events, SuperbugFree and Superbug Slayers Polo Initiative are committed to raise the global profile of antimicrobial resistance to create an impact. His commitment to combat superbugs, and appreciation for multidisciplinary collaboration has stimulated him to join scientific expeditions to explore caves in Europe and South America. He believes that caves and exploration will provide valuable understanding about the evolution of antimicrobial resistance and might lead to the discovery of novel chemical compounds to tackle resistant pathogens.

Dr Zowawi has advised for the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (Review on AMR www.amr-review.org), which was commissioned by, and reporting to, the former UK Prime Minister David Cameron. He is also a member of the consultants group for the GCC Strategic Plan to Combat antimicrobial resistance. Currently he is the chairman of the National Awareness Committee about Antimicrobial Resistance and a member in the Saudi National Committee to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance.

In his current role as an assistant professor of clinical microbiology at the College of Medicine,  Dr. Zowawi is devoted to train his medical students on how to control infectious diseases, and continue his vital antimicrobial resistance research to contribute to the global battle against superbugs. He is the founder and chairman of the Faculty Research Board at the College of Medicine, which will focus to further enhance research.  The significance of his multidisciplinary initiatives to combat antimicrobial resistance is widely recognized and has received multiple national and international awards and recognitions including the Rolex Award for Enterprise, Next Generation Leader by TIME Magazine, Queensland Science and Innovation Champion, Change Creator by The University of Queensland, and The Junior Researcher Award from King Abdullah International Medical Research Center.

Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, The University of Queensland, UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Brisbane-Australia. May 2016
    Thesis title: Epidemiology, Innovative Diagnosis and Prevention of Antibiotic Resistance in Key Gram-Negative Bacterial Isolates from the Gulf Cooperation Council States.
  • Master of Clinical Sciences with Honours (Clinical Microbiology), Griffith University, Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. 2010
    Thesis title: The Development of Duplex Real-Time PCR Assays for the Diagnosis of Bacterial Colonisation of Catheters
  • Bachelor of Applied Microbiology, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. 2005.

Clinical Service Experience

  • Clinical microbiology
  • Infection control
  • Public health and hospital epidemiology

Honors/Awards/Recognitions

  • Junior Researcher Award - King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, 2016
  • UQCCR Publication of the Month – Runners Up - The University of Queensland, 2015
  • Change Creator - The University of Queensland
  • Young Achiever Award - World Leadership Congress, Dubai 2015
  • Science and Innovation Champion 2014 - Queensland Government, Australia 2014
  • Next Generation Leader 2014 - TIME Magazine, 2014
  • Rolex Young Laureate - The Rolex Awards for Enterprise, 2014
  • Queensland’s top 50 Best and Brightest - The Cornier Mail, 2014
  • Excellence in Scientific Creativity - The Ministry of Higher Education Award, 2013
  • The Second Runner for “Young Researcher Award” - King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre, 2013
  • Outstanding Academic Achievement Award - The Cultural attaché of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Australia 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Award for Academic Excellence - Griffith University, Australia 2010


Research Focus

• Antimicrobial resistance
• Hospital-acquired infections
• Innovative diagnosis
• Health promotion

Active Research Grants

  • Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Foundation - Donation for the Superbugs Research Program ($2,427).
    A fundraising campaign was kindly organized by the Carder Polo Cup 2015 and Superbug Slayers Polo Initiative to support Superbugs Research at UQCCR.
  • Rolex Awards for Enterprise – Collaborative young laureates grant ($38,500).
    Francesco Sauro, Hosam Zowawi
    Support an expedition at the Venezuelan tepui caves to analyse microbes for novel antimicrobial compounds and understanding the evolution of antibiotic resistance.
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship offered by The Merchant Foundation ($360,000).
    Support research project at UQ aiming to develop rapid diagnosis and raise global awareness of superbugs.
  • Australian Infectious Diseases 50:50 Sequencing Grant ($7,700).
    “Whole Genome Sequencing and a validation for innovative diagnostic tools to rapidly identify antibiotic resistant bacteria”
  • International Society of Infectious Diseases 2014-2015 ($6,000).
    Amin Aqel, Hamed Alzoubi, Hosam Zowawi, David Paterson, Timothy Walsh
    “Infections caused by Gram negative bacteria in the unfortunate Syrian refugees in Jordan, epidemiological and molecular study"
  • Rolex Awards for Enterprise ($59,600).
    “Develop faster laboratory tests for superbugs and raise awareness of antibiotic resistance in the Gulf States through an education campaign
  • King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh ($58,000).
    Sameerah Aljohani, Hanan Balkhy, Hosam Zowawi, David Paterson, Timothy Walsh
    “Surveillance of antibiotic resistant Gram negative bacilli in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States”

Publications
Published Journal Papers

  1. Huber CA, Sidjabat HE, Zowawi HM, Kvaskoff D, Reed S, McNamara JF, McCarthy KL, Harris P, Toh B, Wailan AM, Paterson DL. Detection of carbapenemase activity in Enterobacteriaceae using LC-MS/MS in comparison with the neo-rapid CARB kit using direct visual assessment and colorimetry. J Microbiol Methods. 2016 Oct 10.  
  2. Zowawi HM. Antimicrobial resistance in Saudi Arabia. An urgent call for an immediate action. Saudi Med J. 2016 Sep;37(9):935-40.  
  3. Zowawi HM, Forde B, Alfaresi M, Alzarouni A, Farahat Y, Chong T, Yin W, Chan K, Li J, Schembri MA, Beatson SA, Paterson DL. Stepwise evolution of pandrug-resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae. Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 19;5:15082. 
  4. Zowawi HM, Abedalthagafi M, Mar FA, Almalki T, Kutbi AH, Harris-Brown T, Harbarth S, Balkhy HH, Paterson DL, Hasanain RA. The Potential Role of Social Media Platforms in Community Awareness of Antibiotic Use in the Gulf Cooperation Council States: Luxury or Necessity? J Med Internet Res. 2015 Oct 15;17(10):e233. 
  5. Wailan A, Sartor A, Zowawi HM, Perry J, Paterson D, Sidjabat H. Genetic Contexts of blaNDM-1 in Patients Carrying Multiple NDM-Producing Strains. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Dec;59(12):7405-10.
  6. Toh B, Paterson DL, KamolvitW, Zowawi HM, Kvaskoff D, SidjabatH, Peleg AY, Huber CA. Species identification within the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus - baumannii complex using MALDI - TOF MS. J Microbiol Methods. 2015 Nov;118:128-32. 
  7. Zowawi HM, Harris PNA, Roberts M, Schembri MA, Williamson D, Tambyah PA, Paterson DL. The Emerging Threat Of Multi-Drug Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria In Urology. Nat Rev Urol. 2015 Oct;12(10):570-84. 
  8. Toh B, Zowawi HM, Krizova L, Paterson DL, Kamolvit W, Peleg A, Sidjabat H, Nemec A, Pflüger V, Huber C. Differentiation of Acinetobacter Genomic Species 13BJ/14TU from Acinetobacter haemolyticus using MALDI - TOF MS. J Clin Microbiol. 2015 Oct;53(10):3384-6. 
  9. Zowawi HM, Ibrahim E, Syrmis, MW, Wailan AM, AbdulWahab A, Paterson DL. PME-1 Producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Qatar. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Jun;59(6):3692-3.
  10. Zowawi HM, Sartor AL, Sidjabat HE, Balkhy HH, Walsh TR, Al Johani SM, AlJindan RY, Alfaresi M, Ibrahim E, Al-Jardani A, Al Salman J, Dashti AA, Johani K, Paterson DL. Molecular Epidemiology of Carbapenem Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in the Gulf Cooperation Council States. Dominance of OXA-23-like producers. J Clin Microbiol. 2015 Mar;53(3):896-903.
  11. Zowawi HM, Sartor AL, Balkhy HH, Walsh TR, Al Johani SM, AlJindan RY, Alfaresi M, Ibrahim E, Al-Jardani A, Al-Abri S, Al Salman J, Dashti AA, Kutbi AH, Schlebusch S, Sidjabat HE, Paterson DL. Molecular Characterization of Carbapenemase-Producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae in the Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Dominance of OXA-48 and NDM Producers. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014 Jun;58(6):3085-3090.
  12. Zowawi HM, Balkhy HH, Walsh TR, Paterson DL. Beta-lactamase Production in Key Gram-Negative Pathogen Isolates from the Arabian Peninsula. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2013 Jul;26(3):361-80.

Recent Conference Papers

  1. Harris PNA, Buckley C, Catchpoole E, Zowawi HM, Whiley D, Tshokey T, Sharma R, Chong S, Paterson DL. Multi-drug Resistant Enterobacteriaceae from Bhutan: Whole Genome Sequencing of ESBL and Carbapenemase-producing Strains. International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria (ICTMM 2016), Brisbane, September 18-22, 2016.
  2. Pal T, Sonnevend AM, Ghazawi A, Haidermota A, Girgis S, Alfaresi M, Omar M, Paterson DL, Beatson S, Forde B, Zowawi H. Multi-hospital spread of a pan-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae clone with an ISEcp1-directed blaOXA-181 insertion into the mgrB gene in the United Arab Emirates. The 26th European Congress on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), Amsterdam, April 9-12, 2016. Oral presentation.
  3. Harris P, Zowawi H, Wailan A, Ben Zakour N, Paterson DL. Resistance phenotype prediction from whole genome sequencing data in ESBL or plasmid-AmpC-producing E. coli or K. pneumoniae: results from bloodstream isolates collected during an international multicentre randomized trial. The 26th European Congress on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), Amsterdam, April 9-12, 2016. Poster presentation.
  4. Zowawi HM, Syrmis MW, Kidd TJ, Balkhy HH, Walsh TR, Al Johani SM, AlJindan RY, Alfaresi M, Ibrahim E, Al-Jardani A, Al Salman J, Dashti AA, Sidjabat H, Baz O, Whiley DM, Paterson DL. Molecular Characterization of Carbapenem Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the Arabian Peninsula. The 55th Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) / International Society of Chemotherapy (ISC)’s International Congress of Chemotherapy and Infection (ICC) - ICAAC/ICC 2015, San Diego, CA, September 17–21, 2015. Poster presentation.
  5. Harris PNA, Zowawi HM, Banu S, Paterson DL. Mapping the Global Prevalence of Resistance to Antimicrobials in Gram-negative Urinary Pathogens: A Meta-analysis of Contemporary Studies. The 55th Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) / International Society of Chemotherapy (ISC)’s International Congress of Chemotherapy and Infection (ICC) - ICAAC/ICC 2015, San Diego, CA, September 17–21, 2015. Oral presentation.
  6. Zowawi HM, Balkhy HH, Al Johani S, Al-Jindan RY, Dashti A, Aljardani A, AlSalman J, Ibrahim E, Alfaresi M, Sidjabat H, Paterson DL. 2013. Molecular Epidemiology of Carbapenem Non-Susceptible Acinetobacter baumannii Isolates From the Gulf Cooperation Council States. Gram negative ‘SUPERBUG’ meeting, The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, Gold Coast, Queensland, August 2013. Poster presentation.
  7. Paterson DL, Zowawi HM, Huber C, Sidjabat H. 2013. The Accuracy of Combined Disk Assay to Screen for Metallo-ß- Lactamases in Carbapenem Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. Gram negative ‘SUPERBUG’ meeting, The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, Gold Coast, Queensland, August 2013. Poster presentation.
  8. Zowawi HM, Walsh TR, Balkhy HH, Paterson DL. 2012. How Far Away is the Arabian Peninsula from the Storm Caused by "Carbapenem Resistant Gram-Negative Bacilli?" 13th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Society for Antimicrobials. Brisbane, Queensland, February 2012. Oral presentation.
  9. Zowawi HM, Walsh TR, Balkhy HH, Paterson DL. 2011. Broad spectrum ß-lactamase producing Gram-negative bacilli (GNB) in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states - "The known known and the known unknown". 3rd International Conference on Infections and Tropical Diseases, 6th GCC conference on infection control. Muscat, Oman, December 2011. Poster presentation.
  10. Zowawi HM, Walsh TR, Balkhy HH, Paterson DL. 2011. Factors that may contribute in increasing the prevalence of broad spectrum ß-lactamase producers among Gram-negative bacilli in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. 3rd International Conference on Infections and Tropical Diseases, 6th GCC conference on infection control. Muscat, Oman, December 2011. Poster presentation.
  11. Zowawi HM, Gowardman J, Rickard C, Zhang L, McMillan D. 2011. Real-Time PCR Assays for the Diagnosis of Bacterial Colonization of Catheters. 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), Chicago, Illinois, September 17 - 20, 2011. Poster presentation.

 

Invited Presentations

  1. War on Superbugs: Fighting the Known Unknown Through a Multidisciplinary Approach. Invited Seminar at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, 30th of October. Hosted by Dr Fatimah Al-Hamlan.
  2. Outbreak Investigation: beyond phenotypic and clinical to molecular and Whole Genome Sequencing. Invited international speaker at Madinah Conference of Infection Prevention & Control. Madinah, Saudi Arabia, 23 – 25 August 2016.
  3. Deep Inside Cave Expeditions: From Understanding Superbugs To Further Understand Life and Myself. Invited speaker at TEDxUQ, Brisbane, Australia, 30 July 2016.
  4. The Regional Problem Caused by Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. Invited international speaker at the 1st Gulf Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases – GCCMID 2016, Dubai, UAE, 4 – 7 May 2016.
  5. Multidrug resistant Gram-negative bacilli in the Gulf States. Invited international speaker at the 1st Gulf Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases – GCCMID 2016, Dubai, UAE, 4 – 7 May 2016.
  6. THE ULTIMATE SUPERBUG: Pandrug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. Invited international speaker at the 1st Gulf Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases – GCCMID 2016, Dubai, UAE, 4 – 7 May 2016.
  7. Choosing the Journal / EndNote Overview. Presented as preconference workshop at the 1st Gulf Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases – GCCMID 2016, Dubai, UAE, 4 – 7 May 2016.
  8. Writing a Research Proposal. Presented as preconference workshop at the 1st Gulf Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases – GCCMID 2016, Dubai, UAE, 4 – 7 May 2016.
  9. War on Superbugs: Fighting the Known Unknown Through a Multidisciplinary Approach. Invited Seminar at King Fahad Medical Research Center, Jeddah, 9th of April. Hosted by Dr Hani Choudhry.
  10. Antimicrobial stewardship in the outpatient setting: educating the patients and the role of the media. Invited international speaker at the 55th Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) / International Society of Chemotherapy (ISC)’s International Congress of Chemotherapy and Infection (ICC) - ICAAC/ICC 2015, San Diego, CA, 17 - 21 September 2015.
  11. Invited international speaker at Every Second Count, London, 18th of November 2014. Hosted by the Guardian.
  12. Invited international speaker at the 2014 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (IE Youth), Makkah, 21st of April 2014. Hosted by Umm Al-Qura University.
  13. Carbapenem resistant Acinetobacter baumannii and P. aeruginosa in the GCC. Invited international speaker at the 5th Saudi Critical Care Society & Society of Critical Care Medicine, Riyadh between the 15th - 17th of April 2014.
  14. Carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae in the GCC. Invited international speaker at the 5th Saudi Critical Care Society & Society of Critical Care Medicine, Riyadh between the 15th - 17th of April 2014.
  15. Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) in Saudi ICUs. Invited international speaker at the 5th Saudi Critical Care Society & Society of Critical Care Medicine, Riyadh between the 15th - 17th of April 2014.
  16. How to Accurately Identify Acinetobacter baumannii?!! Case Study. Presented at the workshop of the Gram negative ‘SUPERBUG’ meeting in Brisbane, Queensland, on the 1st of August 2013. Hosted by The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases.
  17. The storm caused by multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria in the Arabian Peninsula: clinical focus and environmental negligence. Invited speaker at the Water Desalination and Reuse Center and Environmental Science and Engineering Program of King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia on the 17th of December 2012. Hosted by Dr. Peiying Hong