Dr. Latifa El-Hadri is an interdisciplinary scientist with expertise in nutrition, immunology, toxicology, and pharmacology and community volunteer involved in international partnership and women’s issues.
Dr. El-Hadri received her Bachelors degree in animal husbandry from Ecole Nationale d’Agriculture in Meknes, Morrocco. Shortly after, she worked at Institut de la Gestion des Entreprises Agricole as an animal husbandry manager and instructor, where she was the first female to serve on staff. In less than a year she was promoted to manager of general animal husbandry. While at the institute she taught animal science courses, supervised technicians during their practical training, and oversaw a research study of student employability sponsored by the World Food Organization. By the time she left the institute she had persuaded the director to admit female technicians into the training program; today the institute consists of an equal percentage of male and female students.
Dr. El-Hadri journeyed from Morocco to the United States 10 years ago on a prestigious graduate research fellowship sponsored by USAID to continue her education and research. Over the next six years she earned two Masters degrees, in life sciences and poultry science, and a Ph.D. in nutrition/immunology from North Carolina State University. During this time her research resulted in significantly reducing mortality and improving the immune systems of turkey flocks infected with acute enteric diseases, for which she received several awards.
After completing her Doctorate, Dr. El-Hadri was granted a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Visiting Fellow award to do postdoctoral research in the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry of the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). In this capacity she investigated the effects of commonly occurring environmental and food toxins and implemented a new method of measuring infinitesimal amount of cyanide in commonly used industrials nitriles. She also served on the NIEHS diversity council, chairing the Hispanic, Asian-Pacific Islander, and International committees in which she identified the special needs of these groups, developed educational programs, and arranged for speakers.
Currently, Dr. El-Hadri is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University Medical Center. Her research is focused on conducting pharmacokinetics profile and placental transfer of DEET, insect repellent, and Nicotine in pregnant rats.
In addition to her scientific pursuits, Dr. El-Hadri is extremely involved in her community. She has applied her fluency in English, French, and Arabic to translate scientific papers and to interpret for scientists, cancer patients, and Olympic athletes. She has assisted international scientists through the Global Relocation Agency. She is active in the Alliance Française and the International Students Organization. She is a founder and past president of the Moroccan Association of North Carolina. She also helps Arab women newcomers to North Carolina in their transition to American culture.