Lab Members

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.

Tala Shahin, Post-Doctoral Associate
PhD, Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM), Medical University of Vienna
Tala earned her PhD at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine in Vienna, Austria, where she focused on unraveling the molecular mechanisms of inborn errors of immunity, particularly in combined immunodeficiencies involving T cell dysfunction. Tala’s current work uses multi-omics approaches and functional immunology to identify and study the effects of genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors on the variable immunological response to malaria in the diverse African population.

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

Tami Gjorgjieva
BSc, NYU Abu Dhabi
Tami is a Postgraduate Research Fellow in Genetics and Law, passionate about human population genetics as well as the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of genetics. She is currently studying the population structure of UAE nationals and modeling the heritability of cardiometabolic traits as part of the UAE Healthy Future Study. 

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.


Odmaa Bayaraa, Capstone Student
NYU Abu Dhabi, Class of 2022
Odmaa is a Class of 2022 undergraduate majoring in biology and minoring in computer science. She is interested in computational biology as well as the applications of CRISPR to further study gene regulation. Her current work utilizes CRISPR-CAS9 knockouts to analyze differential expression of miRNA and target genes.

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 2019
Dareen Almojil, Post-Doctoral Associate
Jian Ryou,Class of 2020
Bana Alamad, Class of 2020
Fatima Al Jallaf, Research Assistant
Aïssatou Diawara, Research associate
Ariya Chaloemtoem, Class of 2021
Rama Alhariri,Class of 2021
Netanya Danielle Keil, Class of 2021