Mostafa Elshahed is a professor at the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Oklahoma State University in the USA. Mostafa received his Bachelor degree in pharmacy in Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, and his PhD in microbiology at the University of Oklahoma.

Photo of the Youssef/Elshahed laboratory.
Left to right: Mostafa Elshahed, Archana Yadav, Chelsea Murphy, Radwa Hanafy, and Noha Youssef

At Oklahoma, Mostafa’s lab focuses on two main areas of research: (a) genomics of novel, yet-uncultured microbial lineages and (b) the ecology, genomics, and biotechnological potential of anaerobic fungi.

Mostafa’s anaerobic fungal research is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Noha Youssef, an associate professor in the same department. The Youssef/Elshahed laboratory studies a wide range of topics related to anaerobic fungal taxonomy, ecology, evolution, and biotechnological potential. Research activities include:

  • Isolation and characterization of novel taxa, maintaining a broad collection of anaerobic fungal strains, and proposing standards for novel taxa delineation and description.
  • Assessing global patterns and determinants of anaerobic fungal diversity and community structure in wild and domesticated herbivores through extensive spatial and temporal sampling, application of statistical and machine-learning approaches for data analysis, and development of reliable markers for culture-independent diversity analysis.
  • Investigating the evolutionary history and trajectory of the anaerobic fungi through phylogenomics and untangling the complex and intertwined co-evolution of anaerobic fungi and their animal hosts.
  • Realizing the biotechnological potential of the anaerobic fungi through rational design of anaerobic fungi enzyme cocktails for plant biomass degradation, genetic manipulation of AGF spores, and –omics-guided secondary metabolites characterization.

For more information about Mostafa and his research you can visit his lab website or look him up on Google Scholar, ResearchGate or LinkedIn, You can also follow the latest news and collaborative activities of the Youssef/Elshahed lab via twitter (@YoussefElshahed6).