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Personal profile

Research Overview

Professor Mahfouz's research interests are focused on developing genome-engineering technologies for basic biology and biotechnology. The application of genome editing technologies requires highly specific and customizable DNA binding modules that can be engineered to bind any user-defined DNA sequence. Transcriptional activator-like effectors (TALEs) are proteins secreted by Xanthomonas bacteria when they infect plants. TALEs contain a modular DNA binding domain that can be easily engineered to bind any sequence of interest, and have been used, by our group and others, to provide user-selected DNA-binding modules to generate chimeric nucleases and transcriptional regulators in mammalian cells and plants. TALE DNA binding modules fused with endonucleases (TALENs) can direct nuclease activity to site-specific sequences in the genome with extreme precision, allowing targeted gene knock out, integration and correction. Developing TALE-based technologies will allow researchers to routinely and efficiently edit genomes of virtually any species, by directing mutations in a truly targeted fashion.

Key Research Areas

Functional Biology, Genomics

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


Molecular Genetics, Ph.D., Ohio State University


Award Date: Jan 1 2004

Microbial Genetics, M.S., Cairo University


Award Date: Jan 1 1997


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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