Research Leadership: Hamid Band, M.D., Ph.D.

January 26, 2015

Image with caption: Hamid Band, M.D., Ph.D.

Hamid Band, M.D., Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored Feb. 2 at a ceremony for UNMC's 2014 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Hamid Band, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Title: Elizabeth Bruce Professor of Cancer Research at Eppley Institute, and associate director of translational research at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Joined UNMC: 2007
  • Hometown: Chachkoot, Kashmir, India (adopted hometown: Boston)

Describe your research in layman's terms.
We study how our body's "cellular brakes" control our "cellular accelerators or gas pedals." The cellular brakes we study also help the body to maintain special "seed" cells in our organs that can be called upon to regenerate tissue lost by injury, infection or other diseases. Our goal is to use the knowledge we gain to help devise and improve therapeutic approaches for difficult diseases such as cancer and autoimmunity.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?
Workings of a human body in health and disease are intellectually fascinating, and each step forward by the community of scientists brings better understanding as well as potential to design new treatments for human ailments. Thus, my long-term hope is that our research will become a part of our collective knowledge that will inform better diagnoses and treatments of human diseases. The specific genes whose biology we have helped elucidate are now known to be altered in cancer and the pathways by which they work are suitable for the development of anti-cancer strategies.

What is best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?
A piece of advice from many of my mentors, especially my postdoctoral mentor Dr. Michael Brenner, that has guided my career is to continuously evolve in my scientific thinking and approaches. Personally, my wife Dr. Vimla Band has been a continuous source of advice to maintain focus.

List three things few people know about you.

  • As a child, I walked a mile and a quarter each way to attend middle school, rain or shine. Thank God, they gave us six weeks off in winter.
  • In 1980/1981, I applied to Ph.D. programs at five U.S. universities and was rejected by all. About eight years later (three years after receiving my official Ph.D. degree from India), I accepted my first Ph.D. student and taught a course in immunology at one of those universities -- Harvard.
  • Except for Wheatfield's bakery, I rarely buy foods without scanning the nutritional info on package.

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Dr Gh Mohd Loan
April 29, 2015 at 5:08 AM

We are proud of Dr Hamid Band who is a Kashmiri by birth. We wish him all the best. May God bless him!

Romana
January 28, 2015 at 9:30 PM

Well deserved!

Fayaz Sofi
January 27, 2015 at 11:32 AM

We are proud of your contributions as Kashmiri !!!! With best regards, Fayaz

Kusum K. Kharbanda
January 27, 2015 at 11:02 AM

Congratulations, Dr. Band!!