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Walid Fouad

  • Position: Associate Professor
  • Department: Department of Biology
  • Email: [email protected]
Brief Biography

Walid Fouad is an associate professor of plant biotechnology at the Biology Department and Biotechnology Program at the American University in Cairo (AUC), School of Science and Engineering. Fouad received BSc in horticultural science and an MSc in Vegetable Crops (Genetics) from Cairo University and a PhD degree in Horticultural Sciences/Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Florida, Gainesville.

He became passionate about research during his undergraduate studies at Cairo University, where he had multiple summer internships at several plant tissue culture laboratories. After graduation, he joined the Molecular Manipulation and Gene Transfer Lab at the Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute, where he conducted research on plant physiology. After completing his PhD, he received a postdoctoral fellowship at the Laboratory of Molecular Plant Physiology, Agronomy, before joining The American University in Cairo.

Fouad pursued research projects on plant molecular physiology focusing on the implication of plant adaptation to abiotic stress and the utilization of plant lignocellulosic biomass for bio-ethanol production. Current research interests emphasize sustainable biotechnology, including molecular improvement of forage crops, studying algae biodiversity and its potential applications, and sustainable agriculture. 

Research Interest

Professor Fouad is interested in the integration of genetic transformation technology and functional genomics to study, identify, isolate and engineer key factors for molecular improvement of crops in general and biomass crops in particular. His ultimate goal is to initiate and develop products that will improve agricultural production at the regional and international level. He is also interested in the use of biochemical and molecular biology tools to understand and improve environmental and biotic stress tolerance in plants to enhance their productivity and persistence, resulting in more efficient use of natural resources. He enjoys conveying his scientific experience through mentoring and teaching to create a variety of opportunities for students to learn about plant biotechnology and exciting developments in plant sciences.

  • Fouad W.M., Hao W., Xiong Y., Steeves S., Sandhu S.K., Altpeter F. Generation of Transgenic Energy Cane Plants with Integration of Minimal Transgene Expression Cassette. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (In Press). 
  • Rathinasabapathi, B., Fouad, W.M (2014) Enhanced Stress Tolerance and Enhanced Yield in Plants. United States Patent US 8,748,696 B2; Date of Patent Jun. 10, 2014.
  • Jung J.H., Fouad W.M., Vermerris W., Gallo M., Altpeter F. (2012) RNAi suppression of lignin biosynthesis in sugarcane reduces recalcitrance for biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass. Plant Biotechnol J. 10(9):1067-76
  • Taparia Y., Fouad W.M., Gallo M. and Altpeter, F. (2012) Rapid production of transgenic sugarcane with the introduction of simple loci following biolistic transfer of a minimal expression cassette and direct embryogenesis. In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Plant. 48(1):15-22.
  • Kim J. Y., Kavas M., Fouad W.M., Nong G., Preston J.F., Altpeter A. (2011) Production of hyperthermostable GH10 xylanase Xyl10B from Thermotoga maritima in transplastomic plants enables complete hydrolysis of methylglucuronoxylan to fermentable sugars for biofuel production. Plant Molecular Biology; 76:357-69.
  • Fouad W.M., Altpeter F. (2009) Transplastomic expression of bacterial L-aspartate-alpha-decarboxylase enhances photosynthesis and biomass production in response tohigh temperature stress. Transgenic Res. 18(5):707-718. 2
  • Fouad W.M., Rathinasabapathi B. (2006). Heterologous expression of Escherichia coil L-aspartate-alpha-decarboxylase in tobacco increase-alanine levels and improvesvegetative growth and thermotolerance. Plant Molecular Biology, 60:495-505.
  • Fouad, W.M. (2004) Metabolic engineering for beta-alanine overproduction and stresstolerence in plants expression of Escherichia coil L-aspartate-alpha-decarboxylase intransgenic tobacco. Horticultural Sciences thesis, PhD University of Florida, 2004
  • Rathinasabapathi, B., Fouad, W.M., and Sigua C.A. (2001). β-Alanine betaine synthesisin the Plumbaginaceae: Purifiction and characterization of a trifunctional, S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent N-methyltransferase from Limonium latifolium leaves. PlantPhysiology, 126:1241-1249.
  • Haidar, A., Soliman, M., and Fouad, W.M. (1996). Characterization of heat shockproteins in faba bean seedlings. Egypt Journal of Genetic Cytology, 25:17-26.
  • 2004; PhD, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Horticultural sciences, plant molecular and cellular biology
Dissertation: “Metabolic Engineering for Beta-alanine Overproduction and Stress Tolerance in Plants: Expression of Escherichia Coli L-aspartate-alpha-decarboxylase in Transgenic Tobacco”

  • 1998; MSc, Cairo University, Cairo

Egyptian vegetable crops (genetics), Faculty of Agriculture
Thesis: “Evaluation of Pisum Genotypes on the Morphological, Biochemicaland Molecular Levels”

  • 1993; BSc, Cairo University, Cairo

Egyptian agriculture, horticultural science; Faculty of Agriculture

  • SCI 1020: Scientific Thinking
  • BIOL 1010: Introduction to Life Sciences 
  • BIOL 1011: Introductory Biology I (Lab)
  • BIOL 1012: Introductory Biology II
  • BIOL 2340: General Botany 
  • BIOT 5202: Cell and Molecular Biology
  • BIOT 541: Molecular Genetics
  • BIOT 551: Plant Biotechnology