Education Profile

  • Ph.D. Molecular Genetics, The Ohio State University, Columbus Ohio, USA 2004
  • M.S. Microbial Genetics, Cairo University, Cairo Egypt, 1997

Research Interests

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.

Selected Publications

  • Ahmed Mahas, Tin Marsic, Mauricio Lopez-Portillo Masson, Qiaochu Wang, Rashid Aman, Cheng Zheng, Zahir Ali, Madain Alsanea, Ahmed Al-Qahtani, Bernard Ghanem, Fatimah Alhamlan, Magdy Mahfouz (2022). Characterization of a thermostable Cas13 enzyme for one-pot detection of SARS-CoV-2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 119, 28.
  • Tin Marsic, Zahir Ali, Muhammad Tehseen, Ahmed Mahas, Samir Hamdan, and Magdy M. Mahfouz* (2021). Vigilant: An Engineered VirD2-Cas9 Complex for Lateral Flow Assay-Based Detection of SARS-CoV2. Nano Letters 2021 21 (8), 3596-3603.
  • Zahir Ali, Ashwag Shami, Khalid Sedeek, Radwa Kamel, Abdulrahman Alhabsi, Muhammed Tehseen, Norhan Hassan, Haroon Butt, Ahad Kababji, Samir Hamdan andMagdy M. Mahfouz* (2020). Fusion of the Cas9 endonuclease and the VirD2 relaxes facilitates homology-directed repair for precise genome engineering in rice. Communications Biology 2020 Jan 23; 3(1):44.
  • Ahmed Mahas, Rashid Aman, and Magdy Mahfouz* (2019) CRISPR-Cas13d mediates robust RNA virus interference in plants. Genome Biology, Dec 2; 20(1):263. doi: 10.1186/s13059-019-1881-2
  • Rashid Aman, Zahir Ali, Haroon Butt, Ahmed Mahas, Fatimah Aljedaani, M. Zuhaib Khan, Shouwei Ding, and Magdy M. Mahfouz*(2018) RNA virus interference via CRISPR/Cas13a system in plants. Genome Biology 19: (1). P1-9 (DOI 10.1186/s13059-017-1381-1)