Universiteit Leiden

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Alia Alia

Assistant professor

Dr. A. Alia
+31 71 527 4623

The main research focus of Alia is on developing and applying specific MR microimaging, localized spectroscopy, and HR-MAS NMR methods to investigate structural and neurochemical changes in the brain, including studying the early biomarkers and gender specific differences in Alzheimer's disease (AD) in mouse model. Cutting-edge MRI and NMR methods are also being developed to get direct molecular access to adult zebrafish as a versatile model for understanding a spectrum of human diseases. Additionally, exciting strides are being made in pioneering the application of HR-MAS NMR, specifically tailored to unravel the intricate effects of toxins and pollutants like Nanoplastics and PFAS on metabolic pathways and toxicity mechanisms.

More information about Alia Alia

Curriculum Vitae

  • Since 2014: Group leader, Institut für Medizinische Physik und Biophysik, Leipzig University.
  • Since 2007: Assistant Professor (tenure), Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University.
  • 1997 - 2007:  Scientific Researcher at Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University.
  • 1996 - 1997:  Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellow in the National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki, Japan.
  • 1995 - 1996: COE visiting Professor in National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki, Japan.
  • 1991 - 1995: Lecturer at Center for Biosciences, Jamia Millia University, New Delhi.
  • 1992: Ph.D. Bioscience from Jamia Millia University, Delhi, India. (Subject: Mechanism of stress tolerance).
  • 1989: M.Sc. Biosciences from Jamia Millia University, Delhi, India (first position in University).
  • 1988: B.Ed. Education from Jamia Millia University, Delhi, India (first position in University).
  • 1986: B.Sc. Life Sciences from University of Delhi, New Delhi, India.

Scientific honours (awards) received

  • Alzheimer Forschung Initiative grant award (2013).
  • FOM/ALW open competition grant award (2011). 
  • Internationale stichting Alzheimer onderzoek grant award (2007).
  • C.J. Kok Prize for the discovery of the year 2003 from Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Leiden (2004).
  • Japan Society for Promotion of Science fellowship award (1996).
  • A center-of-excellence grant award from the Monbusho, Japan (1995).
  • Young scientist award, Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India (1993).
  • Joint CSIR-UGC research fellowship & lecturership award (1989).
  • Award of merit for getting first position in University in M.Sc. (1989).
  • Award of merit for getting first position in University in B.Ed. (1988).

Grants received

  • Project grant sanctioned by Alzheimer Forschung Initiative (AFI), for 3 years in 2013-2016. (Research Topic: In vivo MRI studies in assessment of sex-related metabolic changes in AD (PI) (€ 76.500).
  • Project grant sanctioned by “The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)” within open competition from the division FOM/ALW for 5 years in 2011. (Research topic: Phenotypic engineering) (PI) (co-PI: HJM de Groot, BJ van der Zaal, PJJ Hooykaas) (€743.000). 
  • Project grant sanctioned by Centre for Medical System Biology (CMSB), one of the four Genomic Centres of Excellence of the Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI) for 4 years (2008). (Research Topic: Predicting Alzheimer's disease: diagnosis and prognosis) (PI) (€ 60.000).
  • Project grant sanctioned by Internationale Stichting Alzheimer Onderzoek (ISAO), for 3 years in 2007. (Research Topic: In vivo mMRI and MRS studies in assessment of early biomarkers of AD) (PI) (€ 72.000).
  • Research fellowship grant awarded by Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS), Japan (1996). (Research Topic: Stress tolerance by engineering glycinebetaine biosynthetic pathway).
  • A center-of-excellence research grant awarded by the Monbusho, Japan (1995). (Research Topic: Enhanced stress tolerance of Arabidopsis by expressing choline oxidase for betaine synthesis).
  • Project grant sanctioned by Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), Japan, for 2 years in 1993. (Research Topic: Micropropagation of fast growing species with high CO2 assimilating potential) (co-PI with Prof. P. Pardha Saradhi and K.G. Mukerji).
  • Young Scientist Project grant sanctioned by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India (India) for 2+1 years in 1993.  (Research Topic: Molecular mechanism of proline induce stress tolerance) (PI).

Professional activities

  • European Science Foundation Pool of Reviewers, 2012.
  • Editorial board member of the Journal: ISRN Biomedical Imaging (Hindawi Pub.)
  • Scientific co-organiser of Lorentz workshop “Hacking the biological clock” (Leiden, The Netherlands, April 10-13, 2012).
  • Guest Editor for special issues in the journal “Current Medical Imaging Reviews” (Bentham Science Publishers) on “Prospects of magnetic resonance imaging for Alzheimer’s disease” (Issue February 2011).
  • Guest Editor for special educational issue in “Photosynthetic Research” (Springer) on “Basics and application of biophysical techniques in photosynthesis” (Issues: September 2009 and November 2009).
  • Frequent reviewer of: (a) grant proposal NWO/CW ECHO grants; (b) Alzheimer’s association grants; (c) ERC grants.
  • Frequent reviewer for journals: Brain, Neuroimage, Neuroscience Letters, Current Medical Imaging Reviews, Free Radicals in Medicine, Photosynthesis research, Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
  • Served as member of faculty for the ISN/ESN summer school “Advance Imaging and Biomarkers in Neurological Disorders”, Meißen, Germany (July 6-10, 2009).
  • Scientific organiser of CMSB mini-symposium “Alzheimer’s disease: from biomarkers to common denominators” (Oegstgeest, The Netherlands, April 2006)
  • Member of Ph.D. thesis promotion/opposition committee at Leiden University for 8 Ph.D. students (since 2006).
  • Supervision/co-promotor of 5 Ph.D. projects at Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands, since 2004.
  • Honorary lecturer at the Center for Biosciences, Jamia Millia University, New Delhi, India (during academic session 1994-95).
  • Subject expert for making TV programs on “plasma membrane” for UGC Educational Telecast (1993-95).


  • Member of “International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM)” since 2006.
  • Member of “European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB)” since 2013.
  • Member of “International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research and Treatment (ISTAART)” since 2008.
  • Member of “Alzheimer Research Forum” since 2005.

Key publications

  • Roy, U., Stute, L., Höfling, C., Hartlage-Rübsamen, M., Matysik, J., Rossner, S., Alia, A. Sex and Age specific Modulation of brain GABA Levels in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of Aging 62 (2018) 168-179. DOI
  • Roy, U., Conklin, L., Schiller, J., Matysik, J., Berry, J.P., Alia, A. Metabolic profiling of zebrafish embryos by NMR spectroscopy reveals multifaceted neurotoxicity of beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). Scientific Reports 7 (2017) e17305. DOI
  • Kara F., Chen F., Ronen I., de Groot H.J.M., Matysik J., Alia A. In vivo measurement of transverse relaxation time in the mouse brain at 17.6T. Mag. Res.Med. 70 (2013) 985-993. DOI
  • Haud N., Kara F., Diekmann S., Henneke, M., Willer J., Hillwig M.H., Gregg R.B., MacIntosh G.C., Gartner J., Alia A., Hurlstone A.F.L. RNase T2 mutant zebrafish model familial cystic leukoencephalopathy and reveal a role for RNase T2 in degrading ribosomal RNA.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108 (2011) 1099-1103. DOI
  • Diller A., Roy E., Gast P., van Gorkom H.J., de Groot H.J.M., Glaubitz C., Jeschke G., Matysik J., Alia A. 15N photochemically induced dynamic nuclear polarization magic-angle spinning NMR analysis of the electron donor of photosystem II. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA) 104 (2007) 12767-12771. DOI

Assistant professor

  • Science
  • Leiden Institute of Chemistry
  • LIC/Energy & Sustainability

Work address

Gorlaeus Building
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden
Room number DM1.14



  • Universiteit Leipzig Onderzoek en Onderwijs
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