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Associate Professor

Animal & Avian Sciences 3129 Animal Sciences/Ag Eng Bldg 8127 Regents Drive College Park, MD 20742


  • Aquaculture Genomics
  • Muscle biology


  • Ph.D. in Genetics- West Virginia University, 2004
  • M.S. in Zoology- Zagazig University, Egypt, 1995

Lab Information:

1-Omics approaches to study/enhance muscle growth

I am interested in studying the complex interactions between various components of the muscle as a biological system and how these interactions work under various biological and environmental conditions to give rise to variations in phenotypes.  I am particularly interested in exploring the causative connections between genotypic and phenotypic variation in muscle under degenerative/regenerative conditions.  I use various genome-wide omics approaches, including; transcriptomics, post-transcriptomics, genomics, epigenomics, CRISPR, and proteomics, to obtain, integrate and analyze complex data from various experimental sources.  I use bioinformatics to simultaneously analyze complex biological networks and integrate rigorous data from high-throughput functional omics experiments.  The ultimate goal of my research is to maximize the synthesis of high-quality muscle fibers.

2-Omics approaches to enhance aquaculture production

One major constraint to increasing the production efficiency of the aquaculture industry is the lack of genetically improved strains of fish for aquaculture.  The majority of aquaculture production is based on genetically unimproved stocks.  The benefits of selective breeding and domestication in aquaculture were only appreciated recently.  There is limited genetic information on traits that could enhance production efficiency and yield a better-quality fish.  Identification and characterization of the genetics and fish physiology affecting aquaculture production traits will facilitate the development of genetically improved strains and science-based recommendations to farmers and hatchery managers to increase aquaculture production efficiency.  Aquaculture biotechnology can help in developing germplasm, and farm management guidelines for improved growth, stress tolerance, fillet quality, disease resistance, and feed conversion efficiency as well as control of reproduction cycle and age at sexual maturation.

Professional Positions Held: 


  1. PI of a grant funded by USDA/AFRI “High-Quality Reference Assembly and Annotation of the Rainbow Trout Genome” (2019-2022, $500K).
  2. PI of a grant funded by USAID “Bringing next-generation breeding into aquaculture” (2019-2022, $310K). 
  3. PI of a grant funded by USDA/AFRI “SNP Markers for Muscle, Growth and Fillet Quality Traits in Rainbow Trout” (2014-2018, $500K).
  4. Co-PI of a grant from the USDA/NRI-Animal Genome “Molecular biomarkers for muscle atrophy and fillet quality in rainbow trout” (2007-2012, $382K).
  5. Co-PI of a grant proposal to the USDA/AFRI “Generation of a 50K SNP chip for genomic analysis in rainbow trout” (2011-2014, $675K).
  6. Co-PI of the Rainbow Trout Genome Project USDA/ARS (2010-2012, $410K/year). 
  7. Grant from the US National Animal Genome Research Support program “Annotating the rainbow trout genome with Iso-seq technology for FAASG” (2017-2018, $10,000).
  8. Grant from the US National Animal Genome Research Support Program “The landscape of histone modifications in the rainbow trout genome: preliminary data for FAASG” (2018-2019, $10,000).