Rania Siam is the chair of the biology department and an associate professor of microbiology at the School of Science and Engineering, The American University in Cairo. Siam was the director of the Biotechnology Graduate Program from the time it was founded in 2007 till 2012. Siam's research interests lies in understanding the environmental communities residing in harsh environments in the Red Sea. Siam is particularly interested in the ‘polyextremophiles’ that constitute the microbial assemblage of deep and hot brines pools in the Red Sea. Twenty-five brine pools have been described to date in the Red Sea, however, knowledge of the microbial communities that inhabit these pools, and how these organisms are affected by and contribute to the geochemical properties of their extreme environments, remains sparse. Siam’s research team explores the unique microbial communities in these environments to understand the microbial evolution of such microbes that allow them to survive under harsh environments. Additionally, they exploit such unique microbial communities to discover enzyme with unique properties that can be used in biotechnology.
Professor Siam holds a PhD in microbiology and immunology in 2001 from the faculty of medicine, McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She earned an MBBCh from Ain Shams University, Faculty of Medicine. Siam held several post-doctoral positions including McGill Oncology Group, Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She also held positions at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratories, La Jolla, CA, USA and The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, La Jolla, CA, USA. Recently she was a visiting scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Environmental genomics, metagenomics, microbial ecology, geochemistry.
Siam R, Mustafa GA, Sharaf H, Moustafa A, Ramadan AR, et al. (2012) “Unique Prokaryotic Consortia in Geochemically Distinct Sediments from Red Sea Atlantis II and Discovery Deep Brine Pools”. PLoS ONE 7(8): e42872. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042872
ElHefnawi M, Hassan N, Kamar M, Siam R, Remoli AL, El-Azab I, AlAidy O, Marsili G, Sgarbanti M. (2011) “The design of optimal therapeutic small interfering RNA molecules targeting diverse strains of influenza A virus”. Bioinformatics. Dec 15;27(24):3364-70.
Antunes A, Alam I, El Dorry H, Siam R, Robertson A, Bajic VB, Stingl U. (2011) “Genome sequence of Haloplasma contractile, an unusual contractile bacterium from a deep-sea anoxic brine lake”. J Bacteriol. 2011 Sep;193(17):4551-2.
ElHefnawi M., Alaidi O., Mohamed N., Kamar M., El-Azab I., Zada S., Siam R. (2011) “Identification of novel conserved functional motifs across most influenza A viral strains”. Virol J. Jan 27;8:44.
Shaban, L. and Siam R. (2009) “Prevalence and antimicrobial resistance pattern of bacterial meningitis in Egypt”. Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, Sept 24; Vol. 8: 26.
Siam, R., Harada, R., Leduay, L., and Nepveu, A. (2009) “Novel regulation of a tumor suppressor gene by the transcription regulation of CDP/Cux”. Molecular Cancer, Aug 5;Vol. 8 (1):60.
Spencer, W., Siam, R., Ouimet, M.C. and Marczynski, G.T. (2009) “CtrA, a global response use a distinct second category of weak DNA binding sites for cell-cycle transcription control in Caulobacter crescentus.” Journal of Bacteriology, Vol. 17, pp 5458-70.
Boutrous, M. and Siam, R. (2009), “Lats1 differential expression in selected human cancers”, BMC Proceedings 2009, 3(Suppl 3):O8 (1 July 2009).
Mourad, L., Nicklasson, M., Siam, R., and Pimentel, G. (2009), “Molecular Characterization of extended-spectrum-b-lactamases producing Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli from hospitalized patients in Oman”. BMC Proceedings 2009, 3(Suppl 3):O10 (1 July 2009).
Siam, R. (2009) Biotechnology Research and Development in Academia: providing the foundation for Egypt's Biotechnology spectrum of colors. Sixteenth Annual American University in Cairo Research Conference, American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt. (2009) BMC Proceedings, Vol. 3, Suppl 3.
Gendoo, D.M.A., El-Hefnawi, M.M., Werner, M. and Siam, R. (2008) “Correlating novel variable and conserved motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein with significant biological functions.” Virology Journal, Vol. 5, pp 91-101.
Siam, R., Gomez, E.B. and Forsburg, S.L. (2007) “S. pombe Rad4/Cut5 modification and chromatin binding changes in DNA damage”. DNA and Cell Biology, Vol 26, pp. 565-575.
Marczynski,G.T., Spencer, W., Ouimet, M.C. and Siam R. (2007), “A New Mode of DNA Binding for a Global Regulator of Transcription and Chromosome Replication,” Integrated Metabolism and Genomics conference, American Society for Microbiology, Page 35-36.
Siam, R., Harada, R., Cadieux, C., Leduay, L. and Nepveu, N., (2007), “In vitro and in vivo activation of the tumor suppressor Lats1 by the transcriptional regulator CDP/Cux,” European Journal of Cancer Supplements, Vol 5 No 4, Page 68.
Siam, R., Dolan, W.P. and Forsburg, S.L. (2003) “Choosing and using S. pombe plasmids.”. Methods, Vol 33, pp. 189-98.
Siam, R. Brassinga, A.K.C. and Marczynski G.T. (2003). “A dual binding site for integration host factor and the response regulator CtrA inside the Caulobacter crescentus replication origin.” Journal of Bacteriology, Vol. 185, pp. 5563-5572.
Siam, R. and Marczynski, G.T. (2003). “Glutamate at the phosphorylation site of response regulator CtrA provides essential activities without increasing DNA binding.” Nucleic Acids Research Vol. 31 (6), 1775-1779.
Brassinga, A.K.C., Siam, R., McSween, W., Winkler, H., and Woods, W., and Marczynski G.T. (2002). “Conserved response regulator CtrA and IHF binding sites in the a-proteobacteria Caulobacter crescentus and Rickettsia prowazekii chromosomal replication origins.” Journal of Bacteriology Vol. 184, pp. 5789-5799.
Brassinga, A.K.C., Siam, R. and Marczynski G.T. (2001). “Conserved gene cluster at replication origins of Caulobacter crescentus and Rickettsia prowazekii.” Journal of Bacteriology Vol. 183, pp. 1824-1829.
Siam, R. and Marczynski, G.T. (2000). “Cell cycle regulator phosphorylation stimulates two distinct modes of binding at a chromosome replication origin.” The EMBO Journal Vol. 19, pp. 1138-1147.