Photo of Hazem Ahmed

Biotechnology & medicine

Hazem Ahmed

Center of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences, ETH Zurich

Year Honored


Dr. Hazem Ahmed is a clinical scientist with a mission to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases. Originally a pharmacist from Egypt, Ahmed relocated to Switzerland to pursue his aspiration of studying pharmaceutical sciences and was elected to pursue his doctorate degree within the Center of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences at ETH Zurich. There, he focused on developing 18F-labelled probes to image a subtype (GluN2B) of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) in the brain using positron emission tomography (PET). In healthy individuals, GluN2B-NMDARs orchestrate higher cognitive functions such as learning and memory, whilst in patients, they play a key role in neurodegeneration. Developing a GluN2B-NMDAR PET tracer is a key challenge that puzzled researchers for over two decades worldwide. Having patented the most promising GluN2B-NMDAR PET probes, Ahmed cofounded Nemosia, a startup en route to validating the probes in patients, and unlocking breakthroughs in AD treatment. The consensus in the scientific community is that early diagnosis is key to finding a cure for AD. The PET probe can map the GluN2B-NMDAR in living humans non-invasively and promises early diagnosis of AD. Additionally, it can detect drug-receptor engagement and estimate the appropriate amount of GluN2BNMDAR drugs needed for the treatment of AD patients.