His research focus is on cancer chemoprevention primarily of breast, lung and ovarian cancers using both standard chemotherapeutic drugs and agents from natural origin like berries. In the last few years his focus has been to evaluate the effectiveness of selected berries against lung cancer. In another project he has focused on chemopreventive efficacy and mechanisms of whole berry and spice powder against breast cancer. He has developed analytical techniques for tissue and plasma distribution of bioactive principles. Finally, he is developing novel combinatorial approaches for the treatment of lung and ovarian cancer by testing natural agents and standard chemo drugs using drug-sensitive and drug-resistant cancer cells.
More recently, he has played a key role in the development of polymeric implants for continuous systemic and local delivery of drugs, a technology which has fetched several patents. Another upcoming drug delivery technology in which he has also played a key role is based on biocompatible exosomes for delivery of small molecules and siRNAs. He has participated in many conferences and presented his work in the form of 60 abstracts/oral presentations. Dr. Aqil has authored or co-authored over 45 articles in peer reviewed journals, has 12 book chapters and has edited 4 books. He is an as associate editor in International Research Journal of Microbiology and serves as peer reviewer for more than 30 journals.