Zubair studied for a PhD in Plastic Surgery at University College London where he investigated the repair of peripheral nerves using artificial biological matrices. He then moved to the Institute of Neurology (London) to investigate the mechanisms of disease development in Multiple Sclerosis.
Zubair moved to the University of Birmingham in 2002 where he investigated the mechanisms behind why central nervous system axons fail to regenerate and developed strategies to combat these complications. He was awarded an RCUK Academic Fellowship in NeuroRegeneration in 2007 to develop his own independently funded research programmes on themes such as neuroprotection in the eye and the formation of cavities after spinal cord injury. In 2011 he was promoted to Lecturer and in 2013 to Senior Lecturer, where he continues to develop his programme of research.
Zubair is a non-executive Board member and a co-founder of Neuregenix, a University of Birmingham-based spin-off company that seeks to exploit his work. He and his colleagues at Neuregenix have already demonstrated the preclinical efficacy of an anti-apoptotic gene-based medicine in protecting retinal neurons from injury-induced death. The target is now being assessed in Phase II clinical trials.