Picture of Anas El-Aneed

Anas El-Aneed Professor

Assistant Dean, Division of Pharmacy

3D01.3 Health Sciences


Ph.D. Biochemistry, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
MBA, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
M.Sc. Pharmaceutics, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
B.Sc. Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Tishreen University, Syria

Teaching Responsibilities:

Medicinal Chemistry and Physical Pharmacy (Undergraduate) and Analytical Mass Spectrometry (Graduate)

Research Interest

  • Analytical mass spectrometry
  • Metabolomics
  • The biological fate of lipid-based drug delivery systems
  • Substance abuse 

Basic Science: 

Stream 1: Urine metabolomics for biomarker discovery in respiratory illness: Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are common respiratory illnesses that reduce the quality of life and can result in premature death. Asthma, in particular, is common among young children, a vulnerable population that cannot perform conventional clinical diagnostic tests.

In collaboration with Dr. Darryl Adamko, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, we are developing untargeted and targeted liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods for the analysis of urinary metabolites that are linked to respiratory illnesses. Our objectives are to identify potential metabolite biomarkers and develop clinically approved targeted methods for biomarker qualification. The end goal is to develop clinical MS-based testing that can aid in disease diagnosis and therapy management. 

Stream 2: Advancing the Use of MALDI-MS for the Analysis of Small Molecules: Matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) is a simple and fast analytical strategy. MALDI-MS analysis, however, is hampered due to the use of matrices that commonly interferes with the analysis of small molecules and metabolites (MW< 1000 Da). Choosing the right matrix for small molecules is tedious and time-consuming. We are, therefore, developing new surface- modified nanostructures as novel MALDI matrices. We have demonstrated that the newly designed matrices are superior to conventional matrices when analyzing low molecular weight pharmaceuticals. In particular, analyte signal was enhanced while background noise, commonly observed with conventional matrices, was reduced. This work can expand the use of MALDI-MS for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of small molecules. We are currently focusing on developing new matrices with various surface modifications and applying them to the analysis of substance of abuse in both urine and plasma.

Stream 3: Extraction of active metabolites from canola oil waste stream: Canada is a major world producer of canola oil. By-products from the crushing and refining process are either treated as waste or low value products. Our analysis revealed that the waste stream contains around 10% phytosterols and 2% tocopherols. Therefore, extracting high value compounds (phytosterols and tocopherols) from canola oil waste stream represents an important value-added opportunity. We are developing extraction strategies to isolate biologically active metabolites from canola’s waste stream without the use of toxic solvents. LC-MS/MS methods are developed to profile the various extracts and nanotechnology is then employed to formulate the isolated active metabolites into functional foods. We are also devising strategies to prevent the formation of harmful phytosterols oxidation produces (POPs) during the whole process from extraction to formulation. 

Stream 4: Assessing the Biological Fate of Lipid-Based Drug Delivery Agents:  Lipid-based delivery systems are safe and can encapsulate large nucleic acids for gene therapy applications. However, different lipids have varying toxicological profiles as toxicity is dependent on the chemical structure. It is not fully understood what happens to the delivery system once the gene is transferred to the targeted tissue. As model compounds, we are evaluating the fate of cationic lipids belonging to the subfamily gemini surfactants. We are determining the fate of gemini surfactant-based nanoparticles within cells and tissues, utilizing state-of-the-art mass spectrometric techniques. Tandem mass spectrometric fingerprints for these compounds were determined and validated MS-based methods were then established. We are monitoring the subcellular localization, tissue penetration and the metabolism of lead gemini surfactants. Understanding their biological behavior will provide insights regarding their toxicity and efficiency. 

Public Health Research:

We evaluated barriers to accessing health services by People who Inject Drugs (PWIDs) in the city of Saskatoon, Canada.  Focus groups with PWIDs and service providers revealed that stigma/discrimination, gaps in education/training and lack of resources hindered PWIDs access to services. Subsequently, we evaluated the educational needs (knowledge and skills) of pharmacists in the area of substance abuse. Based on the findings, we are developing pharmacist/patient encounter protocol, referral guide and educational workshops [focusing on addiction management] for pharmacists, so that appropriate care is provided to patients struggling with the disease of addiction.

Recent Publications

  1. Gachumi G,¥ Poudel A,¥ Wasan K, El-Aneed A.* Analytical Strategies to Analyze the Oxidation Products of Phytosterols, and Formulation-Based Approaches to Reduce their Generation. Pharmaceutics, 2021, 13, 268.DOI 10.3390/pharmaceutics13020268. ¥Contributed equally.
  2. Gachumi G, Purves R, Hopf C, El-Aneed A.* Fast Quantification without Conventional Chromatography, the Growing Power of Mass Spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry. 2020, 92, 13, 8628–8637.
  3. Poudel A, Gachumi G, Badea I, Bashi ZD, El-Aneed A.* The Simultaneous Quantification of Phytosterols And Tocopherols in Liposomal Formulations Using Validated Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization- Liquid Chromatography –Tandem Mass Spectrometry. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2020. 183, 113104
  4. Wei J, Randy P, Krol E, Ildiko B, El-Aneed A.* Mass Spectrometric Detection and Characterization of Metabolites of Gemini Surfactants Used as Gene Delivery Vectors. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. 2020. 31, 2, 366-378.
  5. Ferreira JV, Braga AV, Machado RR, Michel D, Pianetti GA, El-Aneed A,* Costa César I.* (co-corresponding authors contributed equally to the work). Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry bioanalytical method for the determination of kavain in mice plasma: Application to a pharmacokinetic study. Journal of Chromatography B. 2020, 1137, 121939
  6. Khamis M, Adamko D, and El-Aneed A.* Strategies and challenges in method development and validation for the absolute quantification of endogenous biomarker metabolites using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Mass Spectrometry Rveiwes. 2019, DOI 10.1002/mas.21607.
  7. Nwabufo C, El-Aneed A, and Krol E.* Tandem mass spectrometric analysis of novel caffeine scaffold-based bifunctional compounds for Parkinson's disease. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 2019, 33 (23) 1792-1803.
  8. Jin W, Al-Dulaymi M, Badea I, Leary SC, Rehman J, and El-Aneed A.* Cellular uptake and distribution of gemini surfactant nanoparticles used as gene delivery agents. 2019. The AAPS Journal. 21: 98. https://doi.org/10.1208/s12248-019-0367-1.
  9. Awad H, Allen KD, Adamko DJ, and El-Aneed A.* Development of a new quantification method for organic acids in urine as potential biomarkers for respiratory illness. Journal of Chromatography B. 2019, Volumes 1122–1123: 29-38
  10. Jiang K, Gachumi G, Poudel A, Shurmer B, Bashi Z and El-Aneed A*. The establishment of tandem mass spectrometric fingerprints of phytosterols and tocopherols and the development of targeted profiling strategies in vegetable oils. Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry. 2019, 30(9), 1700-1712.
  11. Al-Dulaymi M, Mohammed-Saeid W, El-Aneed A, Badea I.* Peptide-modified gemini surfactants – preparation and characterization for gene delivery in Springer Protocols Handbook: Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology (203-225), Edited by Volkmar Weissig and Tamer Elbaoumi – 2019, Humana, NY.
  12. Poudel A, Gachumi G, Wasan K, Dallal Bashi Z, El-Aneed A *, Badea I.* (co-corresponding authors contributed equally to the work). Development and characterization of lipid-based formulations containing phytosterols extracted from Canola oil deodorizer distillate along with tocopherols as food additives. 2019, 11, 185; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics 11040185
  13. Wasan E,* Sacevich C, El-Aneed A, Mohammed M, Syeda J, Neville E, Orlowski T, Campbell D, Gamble J. Investigation into spinal anesthetic failure with hyperbaric bupivacaine: the role of cold exposure on bupivacaine degradation. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia. 2019. 66, 803–812.
  14. Jin W, Badea I, Leary S, and El-Aneed A.* The determination of gemini surfactants used as gene delivery agents in cellular matrix using validated tandem mass spectrometric method. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2019, 164: 164-172. 
  15. Khamis M, Adamko D, Purves R, and El-Aneed A.* Quantitative determination of potential urine biomarkers of respiratory illnesses using new targeted metabolomic approach. Analytica Chimica Acta, 2019, 1047: 81-92.
  16. Fatani S, Dobson R, El-Aneed A.* Qualitative Exploration of the Education and Skill Needs of Community Pharmacists in Saskatoon Concerning Substance Use Disorder. Canadian Pharmacists Journal, 2019, 152 (2), 117-129.
  17. Al-Dulaymi M, Michel D, Chitanda J, El-Aneed A, Verrall R, Grochulski P, Badea I.* Molecular engineering as an approach to modulate gene delivery efficiency of peptide-modified gemini surfactants. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2018, 29: 3293-3308.
  18. Khamis M, Holt T, Awad H, El-Aneed A, Adamko D.* Comparative analysis of creatinine and osmolality as urine normalization strategies in targeted metabolomics for the differential diagnosis of asthma and COPD. Metabolomics, 2018, 14:115. 
  19. Khamis M, Klemm N, Adamko D, and El-Aneed A.* Comparison of accuracy and precision between multipoint calibration, single point calibration and relative quantification for targeted metabolomic analysis. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2018, 410:5899-5913
  20. Al-Dulaymi M, Michel D, Chitanda JM, Badea I, El-Aneed A.* The Development of Simple Flow Injection Analysis Tandem Mass Spectrometric Methods for the Cutaneous Determination of Peptide-Modified Cationic Gemini Surfactants Used as Gene Delivery Vectors. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 159, 2018: 536-547
  21. Gachumi G and El-Aneed A.* Mass Spectrometric Approaches for the Analysis of Phytosterols in Biological Samples. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 65, 2017: 10141-10156.
  22. Khamis M, Adamko D, and El-Aneed A.* Development of a validated LC- MS/MS method for the quantification of 19 endogenous asthma/COPD potential urinary biomarkers. Analytica Chimica Acta, 989, 2017: 45-58. 
  23. Mohammed-Saeid W, Michel D, Badea I, and El-Aneed A.* Rapid and Simple Flow Injection Analysis-Tandem Mass Spectrometric (FIA-MS/MS) Method for the Quantification of Melphalan in Lipid-Based Drug Delivery System. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 31, 2017: 1481–1490.
  24. Al‐Dulaymi M. and El-Aneed A.* Tandem Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Novel Peptide‐Modified Gemini Surfactants Used as Gene Delivery Vectors. Journal of Mass Spectrometry. 52, 2017: 353–366.
  25. Khamis M, Adamko D, and El-Aneed A.* Mass Spectrometric Based Approaches in Urine Metabolomics and Biomarker Discovery. Mass Spectrometry Reviews. 2017 36(2):115-34.