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Research Interests

  • Accelerated genome evolution holds great promise for a variety of biotechnological applications in agriculture, industry and medicine. Our major interest is to use the Transcription Activator-Like Effectors Nucleases (TALENs) to generate genomic variants in yeast for metabolic engineering and study basic biological questions like DNA repair and cell growth control. This surrogate system will serve different purposes including:
    1. To rapidly validate the TALEN function in yeast,
    2. Study the mechanism of DNA binding and recognition by TALENs,
    3. Provide proof of principal to generate genomic variants.
    4. Knock down toxic genes in domesticated plants like Salicornia saponins.
    5. Biofuel overproduction from microorganisms such as yeast and microalgae.

Social Profile:

Research Interests Keywords

Genome engineering Yeast genetics and molecular biology Metabolic engineering Microbiology

Selected Publications

  • Mustapha Aouida, Kangchang Kim, AbdulRajjak S Shaikh, Jose M. Pardo, Jorg Eppinger, Ray A. Bressan, Meena L. Narasimhan. A split luciferase method to identify Adiponectin receptors agonists using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism. PLoS One. 2013 Jun 7;8(6):e65454. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065454. Print 2013
  • Mustapha Aouida, Marta Rubio Texeira, Johan M. Thevelein, Richard Poulin and Dindial Ramotar. AGP2 Encodes a Multifunctional Transceptor that Positively Regulates Polyamine Transport.PLoS One. 2013 Jun 3;8(6):e65717. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065717. Print 2013
  • Mustapha Aouida, Anick Leduc, Richard Poulin and Dindial Ramotar. AGP2 encodes the major permease for high affinity polyamine import in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J Biol Chem. (2005): 280(25): 24267-24276
  • Mustapha Aouida, Nicolas Page, Anick Leduc, Matthias Peter and Dindial Ramotar. A genome-wide screen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae reveals altered transport as a major mechanism of resistance to the anticancer drug bleomycin. Cancer Res. 2004 Feb 1; 64(3):1102-9.


  • 2003: PhD in Biological Sciences (Option: Microbiology) Gustave Roussy Institute, Paris (France), Science University of Tunis, Tunisia
  • 1999: Master's Degree in Microbiology Science University of Tunis, Tunisia
  • 1997: Bachelor in Natural Sciences, University of Tunis, Tunisia

Professional Profile

  • November 2010 - present: Postdoctoral fellow, Genome |Engineering Group, Biosciences,King Abdullah University of Science Technology, KAUST, KSA
  • 2008 - 2010: Research Associate, Laboratory Department of Oncology and Immunology, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Research Center Hospital, University of Montreal
  • 2003 - 2008: Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory Department of Oncology and Immunology, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Research Center Hospital, University of Montreal

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • 2013-2014: International Metabolic Engineering Society (IMES)
  • 2011 - 2013 : Genetics society of America
  • 2009 -2012: Canadian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology
  • 2007 -2011: Yeast Genome database member
  • 1997 -1999: French Association of Biological Sciences
  • 2000 –2002: Tunisian Association of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • 2009-2012: Canadian society of molecular biosciences


  • 2005 - 2008: Post PhD fellowship from National Cancer Institute of Canada
  • 2003 - 2005: Scholarship from Maisonneuve-Rosemont Foundation, Montreal (University of Montreal)
  • 1999 - 2003: Scholarship from Tunisian Government and second scholarship from CNRS-France
  • 1993 - 1999: Scholarship from Tunisian Government