Dr Omar Ali-de-Unzaga is responsible for the academic coordination of the Qur’anic Studies Unit. He was a recipient of the IIS PhD Scholarship in 1999, and is currently involved in a number of research programmes and publications at the IIS.

Dr Ali-de-Unzaga completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge, on the use of the Qur'an in the Epistles of the Pure Brethren (Ikhwan al-Safa). His thesis analyses the classical sources that dealt with the authorship, influence and criticism of the Epistles, and provides a study on the exegesis of the Epistles most quoted Qur’anic verses, as well as a discussion on the hermeneutical theory of the Ikhwan al-Safa. It also includes an annotated index of more than nine hundred Qur’anic quotations found in the Epistles.

Omar obtained a BA in English Philology from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid. He graduated from the Institute's Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities in 1997. He completed his MPhil at the University of Cambridge, writing his dissertation on the 11th century poet Abu'l-Ala' al-Ma‘arri.

He has taught a course at the University of Cambridge on the Ethics of the Ikhwan al-Safa and currently preparing a publication under the working title: A Philosophical Reading of Scripture: The Qur’an in the Epistles of the Pure Brethren, as well as a critical edition of the Arabic text, and an English translation, of the Epistle on Character Traits (al-Risala fi'l-Akhlaq) of the Ikhwan al-Safa' for the IIS/OUP Brethren of Purity Series. He has recently edited the volume Fortresses of the Intellect: Ismaili and Other Islamic Studies in Honour of Farhad Daftary (2011).