I am a molecular virologist, with a strong passion for global public health, science communication and online education.
Trained as a veterinarian, with a DVM degree from Zagazig University, Egypt. I graduated with a first-class honors and the highest cumulative GPA since my vet school was established in 1969. Then my career took a turn toward research after I was appointed as a teaching assistant in the same university. I specialized in virology, and did a master's degree on one of the most tiniest DNA viruses of birds known as chicken anemia virus.
In 2003, I was awarded a PhD scholarship from the Cambridge Overseas Trust that completely changed my life. Studying in Cambridge was a rebirth that shaped who I am right now. My PhD research was focused on identifying potential antiviral compounds that can be used for treating an ocular disease of cats caused by feline herpesvirus.
After I finished my PhD in 2007, I moved to the US and did my first postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where I studied the dimerization of HIV genomic RNA. I then moved the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2010, where I investigated the interaction between hantavirus glycoproteins and the cellular autophagy machinery.
The 2012 came with one of my career smartest moves to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I currently work as a research scientist at the Department of Biological Engineering.
My research group is affiliated with the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance. My current research focus involves probing the mechanisms by which influenza viruses evolve and adapt to different hosts. If you want to learn more about what we do, please watch this short video:
I have a profound interest in science communication and in making complex scientific concepts accessible to the public. If you are interested in staying up to date with what I post, blog or vlog about, you can follow me on the following social media platforms:
In August 2015, I was selected by Nature Middle East as one of top six science communicators to follow in the Arab World.