We are excited to announce that Dr. Taslim Al-Hilal will be joining our faculty in Biomedical Engineering as part of his joint appointment with Molecular Pharmaceutics, effective January 1, 2024.

The following is based on an interview Dr. Al-Hilal completed with the Department of Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Dr. Taslim Al-Hilal was recently hired as joint tenure-track faculty between Utah’s Molecular Pharmaceutics and Biomedical Engineering departments.  His hire continues a strong Utah tradition of partnership between these two programs.  With a Master’s Degree in Pharmacy, and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Seoul National University, South Korea, and postdoctoral research both at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard, Taslim’s first tenure-track position was at University of Texas El Paso (UTEP). Over his career, Dr. Al-Hilal has published 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

His priority is running a research lab that involves many disciplines and expertises in action. A central focus and goal of his research seeks to understand the differences between physiological and pathological cues that drive the progression of vascular/cancer diseases. Due to the complexity of myriad interacting signalling pathways, and the three-dimensional nature of developing versus diseased tissues, an interdisciplinary approach combining expertise from different disciplines is required.  Thus, Al-Hila’s research exploits novel on-chip, stiffness-patterned bioengineering and transgenic animal models that closely mimic human diseases.  This strategy facilitates discovery of new molecular markers and new studies of their roles in disease progression. Current projects include: 1) Role of a prion-like protein Doppel in the tumor microenvironment and progression; 2) Role of the tumor coagulome in immuno-suppression; 3) Ovarian cancer modeling and heterogeneity; and 4) Cell-specific durotaxis in lung disease.

Given the question, “What is something of value you bring to the BME department?”, Dr. Al-Hilal responds:

“Our lab employs an integrated approach to discover new molecular markers and understand their roles in progression of vascular pathologic conditions and tumors. Thus, I believe that my research capabilities can be a great compliment to the existing strengths of the departments at the University of Utah, which could also foster collaborative research and funding with other campus departments and faculties.”

Outside the lab, you might find Dr. Al-Hilal binge-watching, cooking, skiing, and river rafting. He is particularly excited about the prospect of skiing regularly, as he has most recently been located in Texas where skiing has been remarkably challenging.


Dr. Al-Hilal enjoys joint faculty appointment between BME and the Department of Molecular Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, his primary appointment.