VP for Research & Innovation
School of Health Sciences
E-mail: Nael.Alami@mubs.edu.lb
www.naelalami.com

Phone: +1 614-325 9677
Mailing Address: Modern University for Business & Science
Main Campus Damour
Near Mechref Entrance

Dr. Alami, Nael

VP for Research & Innovation

School of Health Sciences


Education

  • Biology, American University of Beirut, B.Sc., M.Sc.
  • Molecular Neuroscience, The Ohio State University, Ph.D.
  • Developmental Neuroscience, St Jude Children’s Hospital, Postdoc
  • Educational Leadership and Policy, Stanford University, M.A.


Awards

  • Council for Graduate Studies Award 2006, Ohio State
  • Council for Graduate Studies Award 2008, Ohio State
  • Phi Beta Delta Award for Scholarship and Leadership 2006, Columbus, Ohio


Short Bio

As a postdoctoral fellow in St Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, my work focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms associated with neurological diseases like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD).
Toward this end, I utilized a number of model systems to study the cellular function(s) of RNA binding proteins (e.g. TDP-43 and FUS) in primary cortical neurons, and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from ALS patients and healthy individuals, and an in vivo model using Drosophila.
While at Stanford University, I focused on understanding the cognitive mechanisms that bely the ability of the human brain to intake, process, and retain information to enhance its ability to learn. My work is based on the ideas of renowned Stanford psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck, whose groundbreaking work offers insights into motivation, productivity, intelligence, and learning abilities.


Current Research Projects & Grants

  • Growth mindset and brain function.
  • Resilience: motivation in communities experiencing historic trauma.
  • Identity development: the development of a secular identity in Lebanese college students.
  • Molecular beacons: designing molecular markers to differentiate between different cell types.


Publications

  • Alami, N. H., Smith, R. B., Carrasco, M., Williams, L. A., Winborn, C. S., Han, S. S. W., Kiskinis, E., Winborn, B., Freibaum, B. D., Kanagaraj, A., Clare A. J., Badders, N., Bilican, B., Chaum, E., Chadran, S., Shaw, C. E., Eggan, K.C., Maniatis, T., and Taylor, J. P. (2014). Axonal transport of TDP-43 mRNA granules is impaired by ALS-causing mutations. Neuron, 81: 536-543. (Paper highlighted in Neuron and 9 news outlets)
  • Kim, N. C., Tresse, E., Kolaitis, R., Molliex, A., Thomas, R. E., Alami, N. H., Wang, B., Joshi, A., Smith, R. B., Ritson, G. P., Winborn, B. J., Moore, J., Lee, J-Y, Yao, T-P, Pallanck, L., Kundu, M., Taylor, J. P. (2013). VCP is essential for mitochondrial quality control by the PINK1/Parkin pathway in vitro and in vivo-- a function impaired by pathogenic VCP mutations. Neuron, 78: 1-16. (Paper highlighted in Nature Reviews Neurology, 9, 239)
  • Alami, N. H., Jung, P. and Brown, A. (2009). Myosin Va increases the efficiency of neurofilament transport by decreasing the duration of long-term pauses. Journal of Neuroscience, 29: 6625-6634.
  • Uchida, A., Alami, N. H. and Brown, A. (2009). Tight functional coupling of kinesin-1A and dynein motors in the bidirectional transport of neurofilaments. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 23: 4997-5006. (Paper highlighted in “InCytes from MBC”)