Mohsin Yakub MD, PhD

Dhammika Atapattu

Medical Education

Contact Information

Faculty Appointment

Associate Professor of Physiology and Nutrition and Medical Education

Administrative Appointments

Assistant Dean of Admissions


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Aga Khan University Karachi, Pakistan
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS): Karachi University, Pakistan


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Internal Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University
Best Oral Presentation award at 15th National Conference on Medical & Health Sciences held at Kota Bharu, Malaysia, 2010.
Outstanding Teacher Award, Aga Khan University, November 2008.
Fellowship Doctor of Philosophy, Aga Khan University Karachi, Pakistan, 2004.

Research Interests

My research skills and interest are interdisciplinary: a laboratory scientist trained in the conduct of biochemical and genetic studies of polymorphisms influencing one carbon metabolism, but also a field epidemiologist who has studied nutritional and environmental biomarkers of chronic disease in population.

Research Description

I see the rising epidemic of chronic disease as one of the most important public health problems facing South Asia in the next 20 years, and hypothesizes that imbalanced nutrition may be a major contributor to the observed rise in prevalence in this region in recent years. Supporting these interests, especially related to cardiovascular disease, are several 1st-authored, scientific papers, written at Aga Khan University and during postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins, and published in high-impact nutrition journals that reveal in infrequently studied, underprivileged slum settings of Karachi, dietary patterns characterized by moderately high consumption of fruits to be associated with lower risk, and diets of moderately high animal food consumption reflecting a higher risk of hyperhomocysteinemia. I also reported that a toxic urban environment may also contribute degrees of risk: In my studies of gene-environment interaction, I showed that individuals having 677T allele of the MTHFR gene and with high blood lead (Pb) levels have 2.4 times the risk of hyperhomocysteinemia than individuals without these conditions. I have posited from this work that high plasma homocysteine levels, especially in CT and TT variants of MTHFR 677 in the presence of increased levels of blood Pb (>10 mg/dL) could be due to reduced plasma clearance of this amino acid as a consequence of chelation of Pb with homocysteine. The gene-environment interactions I exposed stand to open new areas of nutrition and chronic disease research currently receiving little attention in low and middle-low income countries. I have been continuing to expand my interests in nutritional biomarkers of early life chronic disease by working with nutriproteomic team at Johns Hopkins, where I am focusing on identifying a plasma proteome that is conjointly associated with plasma concentrations of homocysteine, folate, and vitamins B6 and B12 in Nepalese school aged children.