Fareed Aboul-ela

academic title

Associate Professor of Biophysics



Director of the Center for X-Ray Determination of the Structure of Matter


Contact Information

Email: faboulela@zewailcity.edu.eg




Education: Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biophysics from University of California, Berkeley in 1988.

Research Areas: RNA-small molecule interactions/Bacterial Riboswitches/ Structure based drug design/RNA and protein preparation and purification.


Research Interests: structural biology and drug design through the determination of the atomic structure of proteins and RNA, the study of their interaction with small molecule drugs and metabolites, and how to use this information to design lead molecules for the discovery of new therapeutic drugs. In addition: the structure, function, and biophysical properties of non-coding RNA, and continuing research efforts are leading to understand how RNA molecules can perform many other functions in cells beyond coding for proteins.


1) Fareed Aboul-ela, Wei Huang, Maaly Abd Elrahman, Vamsi Boyapati and Pan Li, Linking Aptamer Ligand Binding and Expression Platform Folding in Riboswitches: Prospects for Mechanistic Modeling and Design. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA, 2015, 6 (6), 631-650.


2) Wei Huang, Joohyun Kim, Shantenu Jha, and Fareed Aboul-ela, The Impact of a Ligand Binding on Strand Migration in the SAM-I Riboswitch. PLOS Computational Biology, 2013, 9  (5), e1003069.

3) Vamsi Krishna Boyapati, Wei Huang, Jessica Spedale, and Fareed Aboul-ela, Basis for Ligand Discrimination between ON and OFF State Riboswitch Conformations: the Case of the SAM-I Riboswitch. RNA 2012, (18), 1230-1243.

4) Aboul-ela, F., Huang, W., Abd Elrahman, M., Boyapati, V. & Li, P. Linking aptamer-ligand binding and expression platform folding in riboswitches: prospects for mechanistic modeling and design. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA 6, 631-650, doi:10.1002/wrna.1300 (2015).

5) Huang, W., Kim, J., Jha, S. & Aboul-ela, F. The Impact of a Ligand Binding on Strand Migration in the SAM-I Riboswitch. PLoS Computational Biology 9, doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003069 (2013).



1) IMHOTEP, Academy for Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT-Egypt) Fund


2) Structural studies on Riboswitches as potential drug targets”, Academy for Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT-Egypt) Fund

3) Virus-like particle applications in HCV and cancer therapy Fund

1) UNESCO Open SESAME Training Fellowship

2) ALBA Synchrotron- XALOC Beamline (15th February 2018 to 15th April,

2018) under the supervision of Roeland Boer for Fayrouz Mohamed (Research Assistant).