Lab Members

Aïssatou Diawara, Research associate
PhD, McGill University
Aïssatou earned her PhD in Parasitology from McGill University in 2013 where she worked on the development of genetic markers to monitor drug resistance in human soil-transmitted helminths. Aïssatou is interested in questions of importance to public health and her research combines field work and experimentation. Her current research focuses on studying host-parasite interactions and immune response in malaria.


Massar Dieng, Associate Scientist
BSc, MSc University of Tours
Massar obtained a BSc in Biochemistry and a MSc in Immunology at the University of Tours in France. He joined the Research Center of Sainte-Justine Hospital as a Research Assistant and worked for several years on immunotherapy in childhood cancers, graft versus host disease, and primary immunodeficiencies. Massar is in charge of the day-to-day management of the lab and oversees and develops single-cell genomics research projects.


Justin Wilcox, Post-Doctoral Associate
PhD, University of Notre Dame
Justin earned his PhD from the University of Notre Dame where he completed a doctoral dissertation on the population genetics and community ecology of parasites in long-tailed macaques of Singapore and Bali, Indonesia. Justin’s current work applies genomics-based approaches to answer questions of diversification, selection, and genetic architecture in falcons (Genus: Falco) and their associated-symbiont communities. This project is co-advised by Stéphane Boissinot, and part of the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology Biodiversity and Environmental Genomics Project at NYUAD.

Dareen Almojil, Post-Doctoral Associate
PhD, University of Cambridge
Dareen completed her PhD in population genetics and reproductive behaviour of sharks. During her PhD and in an attempt to understand the links between animal behaviour and how it drives population structure and fitness, she gained more interest in environmental genomics. She is particularly interested in understanding how the environment contribute to the state of a disease or its susceptibility? Currently she is working on a project that investigates variation in genome-wide epigenetic profiles of children from Burkina Faso, before and during infection, and after treatment from malaria infection.

Wael Said Abdrabou, PhD Student
MSc Northeastern University
Wael earned his BSc in Biology and MSc in Biotechnology. After graduating, he joined Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston where he investigated candidate genes and genetic variants associated with Glaucoma. Currently, Wael is a PhD student at NYUAD and his research interests include investigating metabolomic and transcriptomic perturbations associated with malaria and the use of current genetic editing techniques such as CRISPR for functional validation studie

Fatima Al Jallaf, Research Assistant
MSc. Masdar Institute of Science and Technology
Fatima earned her BSc in Biotechnology from the University of Sharjah and her MSc in Water and Environmental Engineering from Masdar Institute. During her masters, Fatima has successfully isolated and characterized native and novel microbial strains in the UAE with promising agricultural applications. Currently, Fatima is working on medical genetic projects on the UAE population


Manikandan Vinu, Bioinformatician
MSc Amrita University
Vinu obtained his MSc in Bioinformatics from Amrita University in India and has years of experience as a programmer and analyst in industrial and academic settings. Vinu is in charge of overseeing computational work in the lab, working closely with lab members to develop pipelines and perform bioinformatic analysis of high-throughput sequencing data for various projects.


Jian Ryou, Capstone Student
Jian is interested in studying human genetic variation that has clinical relevance. Her capstone research focuses on studying variations in human host immune response to malaria and involves single-cell genomic approaches to understand how PBMC composition changes throughout malaria infection. 


Youssef Idaghdour, Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor of Biology
PhD, North Carolina State University
Research Areas: genomes and the environment  

Lab Alumni

Remi Ketchum,  Class of 2015
Sam Ridgeway,  Class of 2016
Rasha Shraim,  Class of 2016
Nahla Ibrahim,  Class of 2016
Gabriel Torres,  Class of 2017
Sharon Qiu, Class of 2018
YoonHoo Chang,  Class of 2018