Hashim Murtadha Al-Hashimi is the James B. Duke Professor of Biochemistry and the Director of the Duke Center for RNA Biology.
Throughout his career, Al-Hashimi has focused on illuminating the biochemical reactions that take place at the atomic level. To accomplish this, he has developed and applied sophisticated nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) approaches and concepts of statistical mechanics which have provided new understanding of RNA and DNA. This work has led to new insights into molecular and biological processes and new therapeutic tools for cancer, AIDS, and other diseases.
Al-Hashimi’s accomplishments include the discovery of RNA conformational ensembles, developing approaches to identify the transient presence of alternative Watson-Crick DNA base pairs, and establishing new insights into RNA folding and function. His work, much of which was previously considered next to impossible, has solved problems first posited decades ago and led to new directions in biology and medicine.
Al-Hashimi received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Imperial College London and then pursued his Ph.D. at Yale University with Dr. James Prestegard, where he studied protein dynamics using NMR. As a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Dinshaw Patel (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute), Al-Hashimi applied his NMR expertise to investigate RNA dynamics—a scientific passion that continues to shape his career. He started his own lab at the University of Michigan in 2002 and was then recruited to Duke University in 2014.