Awais graduated from University of Maryland, College Park in 2009 with a B.S. in Neurobiology and a B.A. in Economics. He has always been fascinated by vision science. He is currently working on Cep290 protein, mutations in which lead to several diseases, including Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), Meckel syndrome, and Joubert syndrome. Studying Cep290 can potentially lead to treatment of these retinal and other diseases. Moreover, identifying interactive partners of Cep290 could help develop new drug targets for severe forms of retinal dystrophies, which affect millions of people worldwide.
Awais’ research aims involve a) immunolocalizing Cep290 complexes in photoreceptors and in cell culture systems and b) identifying potential interaction of Cep290 with other retinal proteins.