Dr. Amal Aqul graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University. She completed her Pediatric residency at UT Medical Branch in Austin. In addition to completing a Pediatric Gastroenterology fellowship at UT Southwestern, Dr. Aqul finished a specialty fellowship in Hepatology and Liver Transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliated hospital. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern. 

During fellowship, Dr. Aqul joined Dr. Dietschy’s lab investigating cholesterol metabolism in different body organs, particularly in the liver and the brain. Her studies focused on the molecular mechanisms of cholesterol movement through the cells and the pathogenesis of disease resulting from disruption of these pathways. This was achieved through studying different murine models of lysosomal storage disease in Niemann-Pick C 1 (NPC1) and Lysosomal Acid Lipase (LAL) deficient mice. Studies also investigated the mechanisms of action of 2-hydroxypropyl-β cyclodextrin in promoting the release of the entrapped lysosomal cholesterol in NPC1 deficient mice, which might provide a therapeutic potential for treating the disease. 

Since Dr. Aqul joined the UT Southwestern Pediatric gastroenterology as a faculty, she has taken care of patients with a variety of general gastroenterology and hepatology disorders. She has a special interest in liver diseases such as autoimmune hepatitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and different cholestatic liver disease in infancy. Dr. Aqul manages patients with end stage liver disease on the liver transplant list before and following their liver transplant. She is an active member of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Committee at UT Southwestern and Children’s Health. In addition to outpatient clinical care, Dr. Aqul covers the inpatient hepatology and liver transplant services twelve to fourteen weeks per year. 

Dr. Aqul is actively involved in teaching the nurse practitioners, physician assistants, residents and fellows. She is on the scientific oversight committee for some of the gastroenterology fellows.


Medical School
Cairo University Faculty of Medicine (1998)
UT SOUTHWESTERN/SETON Healthcare Family (2008), Pediatrics
UT Southwestern/Children's Medical Center (2011), Pediatric Gastroenterology
Boston Children's Hospital (2013), Pediatric Hepatology & Liver Transplant

Research Interest

  • Cholesterol metabolism
  • Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (Wolman's disease)
  • Niemann-Pick type C disease


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Correlation of Transient Elastography With Severity of Cystic Fibrosis Related Liver Disease.
Aqul A, Jonas MM, Harney S, Raza R, Sawicki GS, Mitchell PD, Fawaz R J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr. 2016 Oct
Hepatic entrapment of esterified cholesterol drives continual expansion of whole-body sterol pool in lysosomal acid lipase-deficient mice.
Aqul A, Lopez AM, Posey KS, Taylor AM, Repa JJ, Burns DK, Turley SD Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. 2014 Aug
Unesterified cholesterol accumulation in late endosomes/lysosomes causes neurodegeneration and is prevented by driving cholesterol export from this compartment.
Aqul A, Liu B, Ramirez CM, Pieper AA, Estill SJ, Burns DK, Liu B, Repa JJ, Turley SD, Dietschy JM J. Neurosci. 2011 Jun 31 25 9404-13
Quantitative role of LAL, NPC2, and NPC1 in lysosomal cholesterol processing defined by genetic and pharmacological manipulations.
Ramirez CM, Liu B, Aqul A, Taylor AM, Repa JJ, Turley SD, Dietschy JM J. Lipid Res. 2011 Apr 52 4 688-98

Honors & Awards

  • Featured Article
    Journal of Neuroscience, June Issue (2011)
  • One of Best Five Abstracts
    2nd Annual Sr. Fellow Research Conference (2011)
  • Outstanding Resident Award
  • Ranked 4th in Class of 800
    Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt (1997)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) (2005)
  • American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) (2012)
  • American Medical Association (2011)
  • American Society of Transplantation (AST) (2012-2014)
  • North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (2008)