Hwyda A. Arafat, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc. MEdL



Stella Maris Hall 420
Biddeford Campus
On campus

Dr. Hwyda Arafat graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt with highest honors. Upon completing her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Clinical Pathology, she joined the faculty of Ain Shams University as an instructor of Anatomy and Histology. She received her Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences (Histopathology/Biochemistry) and her PhD in Cell Biology and Immunology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Arafat received her postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania where she served afterwards as an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery. Dr. Arafat then joined the faculty of Thomas Jefferson University at the departments of Surgery and Pathology Anatomy and Cell Biology. Dr. Arafat joined the faculty of the University of New England COM as a professor of Biomedical Sciences in 2013.

With experiences in clinical and basic sciences, Dr. Arafat roles in education spans teaching, research and mentoring graduate and medical students, postdocs, residents and fellows. Her research is focused on investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of oxidative stress and inflammation signaling in diabetes and pancreatic cancer. She received multiple honors and awards from federal and non-federal funding agencies in the fields of diabetes and cancer research such as the Junior Faculty Award from the American Diabetes Association and the Research Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society and from NIH. Dr. Arafat is the recipient of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Education from Thomas Jefferson University, acknowledging her excellence and innovative methods of integrating basic and clinical sciences. She has authored about 60 peer reviewed scientific papers in the fields of diabetes and pancreatic cancer. She also serves on the advisory boards of many funding agencies and as a reviewer to different top tier scientific journals. Dr. Arafat travels around the US and internationally teaching and lecturing about her research and the advances in treatment of diabetes and benign and malignant pancreatic diseases. Students, residents and fellows who trained in Dr. Arafat's lab all received national awards and published in peer reviewed journals.

With a focus on medical education, Dr. Arafat recently obtained her Master’s degree in Medical Education Leadership from the University of New England. She conducts workshops for faculty and students nationally and internationally about medical education, research and faculty development. 

At UNE, Dr. Arafat served as the course director for the neuroscience course in the College of Dental Medicine. At UNE COM, she is the Clinical Course Consultant for Endocrinology in year 2. In year 1, she is the block 5 leader, which focuses on endocrine disorders and cancer.

In addition to her role in Education, Dr. Arafat Co-Chairs of the Committee on Faculty Affairs and Development. The committee designs and implements faculty development workshops in the areas of medical education, professional development and diversity equity and inclusion in medical education.

She also Co-Chairs the Dean's Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. The committee authored a Social Determinants of Health and Cultural Humility Curriculum to be implemented over the first, second and third medical school curriculum. The committee also implemented an outreach program with minority students in the Biddeford and Portland School Districts. In addition, the committee works with the Admissions team to implement procedures to increase diversity in our classes and ensure a welcoming inclusive educational environment.

Dr. Arafat is the faculty advisor for the Muslim Student Association at COM and undergraduate students. She also serves as the faculty advisor for the students' EDAC (Equity Diversity Advancement Committee). 

Dr. Arafat advises years 1 and 2 students on career counseling. She advises year 2 students on USMLE and COMLEX studying strategies and board preparations. She also advises 4th year students during writing their personal statements and provides letters of recommendations to residency program directors through ERAS.

Dr. Arafat has received several awards from the University of New England COM students: She received the "Distinguished Clinical Faculty of the Year Award" for 2019 and the "Distinguished Biomedical Sciences Faculty of the Year Award" in 2020 and 2021.

Dr. Arafat is also inducted into the Gold Humanism Society, University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine Chapter. She was honored for demonstrating excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service.



University of New England
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

Post-Doctoral Training

Post-Doctoral Training, Surgery, Urology
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Post-Doctoral Training, Cell Biology
Temple University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)


Selected publications

Relles D, Chipitsyna GI, Gong Q, Yeo CJ, Arafat HA. Thymoquinone Promotes
Pancreatic Cancer Cell Death and Reduction of Tumor Size through Combined
Inhibition of Histone Deacetylation and Induction of Histone Acetylation. Adv
Prev Med. 2016;2016:1407840. doi: 10.1155/2016/1407840. Epub 2016 Dec 26. PubMed
PMID: 28105374; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5220391.

Sarosiek K, Gandhi AV, Saxena S, Kang CY, Chipitsyna GI, Yeo CJ, Arafat HA.
Hypothyroidism in Pancreatic Cancer: Role of Exogenous Thyroid Hormone in Tumor
Invasion-Preliminary Observations. J Thyroid Res. 2016;2016:2454989. doi:
10.1155/2016/2454989. Epub 2016 Mar 31. PubMed PMID: 27123358; PubMed Central
PMCID: PMC4830736.

Sarosiek K, Pappan KL, Gandhi AV, Saxena S, Kang CY, McMahon H, Chipitsyna GI,
Tichansky DS, Arafat HA. Conserved Metabolic Changes in Nondiabetic and Type 2
Diabetic Bariatric Surgery Patients: Global Metabolomic Pilot Study. J Diabetes
Res. 2016;2016:3467403. doi: 10.1155/2016/3467403. Epub 2016 Jan 10. PubMed PMID:
26881244; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4736952.

4: Sarosiek K, Jones E, Chipitsyna G, Al-Zoubi M, Kang C, Saxena S, Gandhi AV,
Sendiky J, Yeo CJ, Arafat HA. Osteopontin (OPN) isoforms, diabetes, obesity, and
cancer; what is one got to do with the other? A new role for OPN. J Gastrointest
Surg. 2015 Apr;19(4):639-50. doi: 10.1007/s11605-014-2735-6. Epub 2015 Jan 13.
PubMed PMID: 25583441.

Gulla A, Evans BJ, Navenot JM, Pundzius J, Barauskas G, Gulbinas A,
Dambrauskas Z, Arafat HA, Wang ZX. Heme oxygenase-1 gene promoter polymorphism is
associated with the development of necrotizing acute pancreatitis. Pancreas. 2014
Nov;43(8):1271-6. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0000000000000171. PubMed PMID: 25036905.

Siddiqui AA, Jones E, Andrade D, Shah A, Kowalski TE, Loren DE, Chipitsyna G,
Arafat HA. Osteopontin splice variant as a potential marker for metastatic
disease in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014
Jun;29(6):1321-7. doi: 10.1111/jgh.12561. PubMed PMID: 24548099; PubMed Central
PMCID: PMC4465289.

Al-Zoubi M, Chipitsyna G, Saxena S, Sarosiek K, Gandhi A, Kang CY, Relles D,
Andrelsendecki J, Hyslop T, Yeo CJ, Arafat HA. Overexpressing TNF-alpha in
pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells and fibroblasts modifies cell survival and
reduces fatty acid synthesis via downregulation of sterol regulatory element
binding protein-1 and activation of acetyl CoA carboxylase. J Gastrointest Surg.
2014 Feb;18(2):257-68; discussion 268. doi: 10.1007/s11605-013-2370-7. Epub 2013
Oct 4. PubMed PMID: 24091913.

Kang CY, Wang J, Axell-House D, Soni P, Chu ML, Chipitsyna G, Sarosiek K,
Sendecki J, Hyslop T, Al-Zoubi M, Yeo CJ, Arafat HA. Clinical significance of
serum COL6A3 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. J Gastrointest Surg. 2014
Jan;18(1):7-15. doi: 10.1007/s11605-013-2326-y. Epub 2013 Sep 4. PubMed PMID:

Gandhi AV, Saxena S, Relles D, Sarosiek K, Kang CY, Chipitsyna G, Sendecki JA,
Yeo CJ, Arafat HA. Differential expression of cytochrome P450 omega-hydroxylase
isoforms and their association with clinicopathological features in pancreatic
ductal adenocarcinoma. Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Dec;20 Suppl 3:S636-43. doi:
10.1245/s10434-013-3128-x. Epub 2013 Jul 12. PubMed PMID: 23846787.

Research topics

COM Cancer and Metabolic Disease
Educational Leadership

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