Associate professor of physics
Director of the Center for X-Ray Determination of the Structure of Matter
Ms Rasha Ramzy
Dr. Fareed Aboul-ela is an associate professor of physics at the University of Science and Technology, and the director of the Center for X-Ray Determination of the Structure of Matter (CXDS).
He was a postdoc at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, U.K., working for Drs. Gabriele Varani and Jonathan Karn when they founded Ribo Targets, a structure-based drug design company with a focus on RNA and ribosome targets in infectious diseases. Aboul-ela was appointed as head of structural biology and continued as head of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) when the company merged with British Biotech, then with Vernalis in 2002. He subsequently held a teaching position as an assistant professor at Louisiana State University in the U.S.
Aboul-ela studied physics at University of North Texas in the U.S., receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in 1980. Later on he attended Purdue University in the U.S., where he earned his Master of Science degree in physics in 1982. He then completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree in biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, U.S. in 1988.
Aboul-ela is a fellow of the RNA Society, an international scientific society dedicated to fostering research and education in the biological and chemical aspects of ribonucleic acid (RNA). Aboul-ela’s substantive research interests focus on structural biology and drug design through the determination of the atomic structure of proteins and RNA, the study of their interaction with small molecule drugs and metabolites, and how to use this information to design lead molecules for the discovery of new therapeutic drugs. He is also interested in the structure, function, and biophysical properties of non-coding RNA. His constant research efforts are leading him to understand how RNA molecules can perform many other functions in cells beyond coding for proteins.
Aboul-ela collaborated with many esteemed professionals to develop projects that will benefit the scientific community. He worked with Dr. Shantenu Jha from Rutgers University in the U.S., Dr. David Mobley from the University of New Orleans in the U.S., Dr. Khaled Bodoor from the University of Jordan, and Dr. Alastair Murchie from Fudan University in China. He is also engaged in collaborations in the field of structural biology with Cairo and Helwan universities and Egypt’s National Research Center.
- Huang, W, Kim, J, Jha, S & Aboul-ela, F 2013 ‘The impact of a ligand binding on strand migration in the SAM-I riboswitch’, Public Library of Science Computational Biology 9(5), e1003069.
- Boyapati, VK, Huang, W, Spedale, J, & Aboul-ela, F 2012 ‘Basis for ligand discrimination between on and off state riboswitch conformations: the case of the SAM-I riboswitch’ RNA, (18):1230-1243.
- Huang, W, Kim, J, Jha, S, & Aboul-ela, F 2012, ‘Conformational heterogeneity of the SAM-I riboswitch transcriptional on state: a chaperone-like role for s-adenosylmethionine’, Journal of Molecular Biology, (418):331-349.
- Aboul-ela, F 2010,’Strategies for the design of RNA-binding small molecules’ Future Medicinal Chemistry, 2(1):93-119.
- Huang, W, Kim, J, Jha, S, & Aboul-ela, F 2009 ’A Mechanism for S-adenosyl methionine assisted formation of a riboswitch conformation: A small molecule with a strong arm’ Nucleic Acids Res, 37(19): 6528-6539.