Najib El-Sayed

3246 Iribe Center
(301) 405-2999
Ph.D., Yale University (Molecular Parasitology)

Najib El-Sayed is a professor of cell biology and molecular genetics with a joint appointment in the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.

In 1998, he joined The Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Md., where he led the sequencing, annotation, and comparative and functional genomic analyses of several human pathogens. El-Sayed has been at the University of Maryland since 2006. He currently directs the Next-Generation Sequencing Core at the university.

El-Sayed’s research program is focused on the study of the biology of parasitism and host-pathogen interactions using genomic and bioinformatics approaches with the ultimate goal of better understanding infection and survival mechanisms. These approaches include the development and application of molecular, computational and genomic tools. In the long term, his research will contribute to better diagnosis, prevention and therapeutics of parasite- and bacteria-caused diseases in humans, animals and plants.

He has published more than 70 research papers and serves on the editorial boards of BMC Genomics and PLoS One. El-Sayed also serves on National Institute of Health’s Genomics, Computational Biology and Technology study section, as well as on the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Genome Sequencing Centers for Infectious Diseases.

He received his doctorate in molecular parasitology from Yale University and trained as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of John Donelson at the University of Iowa.

Go here to view El-Sayed's academic publications on Google Scholar.



Bringaud F, Ghedin E, El-Sayed NM, Papadopoulou B.  2008.  Role of transposable elements in trypanosomatids. Microbes and Infection. 10(6):575-581.

Cerqueira GC, Bartholomeu DC, DaRocha WD, Hou L, Freitas-Silva DM, Machado C R, El-Sayed NM, Teixeira SMR.  2008.  Sequence diversity and evolution of multigene families in Trypanosoma cruzi. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 157(1):65-72.


Djikeng A, Raverdy S, Foster JS, Bartholomeu D, Zhang Y, El-Sayed NM, Carlow C.  2007.  Cofactor-independent phosphoglycerate mutase is an essential gene in procyclic form Trypanosoma brucei. Parasitology research. 100(4):887-892.

Waisberg M, Lobo F, Cerqueira G, Passos L, Carvalho O, Franco G, El-Sayed NM.  2007.  Microarray analysis of gene expression induced by sexual contact in Schistosoma mansoni. BMC Genomics. 8(1):181-181.

Souza RT, Santos MRM, Lima FM, El-Sayed NM, Myler PJ, Ruiz JC, da Silveira J F.  2007.  New Trypanosoma cruzi Repeated Element That Shows Site Specificity for Insertion. Eukaryotic Cell. 6(7):1228-1238.

Haas BJ, Berriman M, Hirai H, Cerqueira GG, LoVerde PT, El-Sayed NM.  2007.  Schistosoma mansoni genome: Closing in on a final gene set. Experimental Parasitology. 117(3):225-228.


Bringaud F, Ghedin E, Blandin G, Bartholomeu DC, Caler E, Levin MJ, Baltz T, El-Sayed NM.  2006.  Evolution of non-LTR retrotransposons in the trypanosomatid genomes: Leishmania major has lost the active elements. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 145(2):158-170.

Bringaud F, Bartholomeu DC, Blandin G, Delcher A, Baltz T, El-Sayed NM, Ghedin E.  2006.  The Trypanosoma cruzi L1Tc and NARTc non-LTR retrotransposons show relative site specificity for insertion. Molecular biology and evolution. 23(2):411-411.


El-Sayed NM, Myler PJ, Bartholomeu DC, Nilsson D, Aggarwal G, Tran A-N, Ghedin E, Worthey EA, Delcher AL, Blandin G et al..  2005.  The Genome Sequence of Trypanosoma Cruzi, Etiologic Agent of Chagas Disease. ScienceScience. 309(5733):409-415.

El-Sayed NM, Myler PJ, Bartholomeu DC, Nilsson D, Aggarwal G, Tran A-N, Ghedin E, Worthey EA, Delcher AL, Blandin G et al..  2005.  The Genome Sequence of Trypanosoma cruzi, Etiologic Agent of Chagas Disease. Science. 309(5733):409-415.

Boonyaratanakornkit BB, Simpson AJ, Whitehead TA, Fraser CM, El-Sayed NM, Clark DS.  2005.  Transcriptional profiling of the hyperthermophilic methanarchaeon Methanococcus jannaschii in response to lethal heat and non‐lethal cold shock. Environmental Microbiology. 7(6):789-797.

MacLeod A, Tweedie A, McLellan S, Taylor S, Hall N, Berriman M, El-Sayed NM, Hope M, Turner CMR, Tait A.  2005.  The genetic map and comparative analysis with the physical map of Trypanosoma brucei. Nucleic acids research. 33(21):6688-6688.

El-Sayed NM, Myler PJ, Blandin G, Berriman M, Crabtree J, Aggarwal G, Caler E, Renauld H, Worthey EA, Hertz-Fowler C et al..  2005.  Comparative Genomics of Trypanosomatid Parasitic Protozoa. Science. 309(5733):404-409.

Ouhammouch M, Langham GE, Hausner W, Simpson AJ, El-Sayed NM, Geiduschek PE.  2005.  Promoter architecture and response to a positive regulator of archaeal transcription. Molecular Microbiology. 56(3):625-637.


Bringaud F, Biteau N, Zuiderwijk E, Berriman M, El-Sayed NM, Ghedin E, Melville SE, Hall N, Baltz T.  2004.  The ingi and RIME non-LTR retrotransposons are not randomly distributed in the genome of Trypanosoma brucei. Molecular biology and evolution. 21(3):520-520.

LoVerde PT, Hirai H, Merrick JM, Lee NH, El-Sayed NM.  2004.  Schistosoma mansoni genome project: an update. Parasitology International. 53(2):183-192.

El-Sayed NM, Bartholomeu D, Ivens A, Johnston DA, LoVerde PT.  2004.  Advances in schistosome genomics. Trends in Parasitology. 20(4):154-157.

Bartholomeu D, El-Sayed NM, Melville SE.  2004.  Sequencing Strategies for Parasite Genomes. METHODS IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY-CLIFTON THEN TOTOWA-. 270:1-16.


El-Sayed NM, Ghedin E, Song J, MacLeod A, Bringaud F, Larkin C, Wanless D, Peterson J, Hou L, Taylor S et al..  2003.  The sequence and analysis of Trypanosoma brucei chromosome II. Nucleic acids research. 31(16):4856-4856.


Bringaud F, Biteau N, Melville SE, Hez S, El-Sayed NM, Leech V, Berriman M, Hall N, Donelson JE, Baltz T.  2002.  A new, expressed multigene family containing a hot spot for insertion of retroelements is associated with polymorphic subtelomeric regions of Trypanosoma brucei. Eukaryotic cell. 1(1):137-137.

Bringaud F, García-Pérez J L, Heras SR, Ghedin E, El-Sayed NM, Andersson B, Baltz T, Lopez MC.  2002.  Identification of non-autonomous non-LTR retrotransposons in the genome of Trypanosoma cruzi. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 124(1-2):73-78.

Bartholomeu DC, Silva RA, Galvão LMC, El-Sayed NM, Donelson JE, Teixeira SMR.  2002.  Trypanosoma cruzi: RNA structure and post-transcriptional control of tubulin gene expression. Experimental Parasitology. 102(3-4):123-133.


LaCount DJ, El-Sayed NM, Kaul S, Wanless D, Turner CMR, Donelson JE.  2001.  Analysis of a donor gene region for a variant surface glycoprotein and its expression site in African trypanosomes. Nucleic acids research. 29(10):2012-2012.


El-Sayed NM, Hegde P, Quackenbush J, Melville SE, Donelson JE.  2000.  The African trypanosome genome. International Journal for Parasitology. 30(4):329-345.


Donelson JE, Gardner MJ, El-Sayed NM.  1999.  More surprises from Kinetoplastida. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 96(6):2579-2579.


Donelson JE, Hill KL, El-Sayed NM.  1998.  Multiple mechanisms of immune evasion by African trypanosomes. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 91(1):51-66.


El-Sayed NM, Donelson JE.  1997.  A survey of the Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense genome using shotgun sequencing. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 84(2):167-178.


Morgan RW, El-Sayed NM, Kepa JK, Pedram M, Donelson JE.  1996.  Differential expression of the expression site-associated gene I family in African trypanosomes. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 271(16):9771-9771.


El-Sayed NM, Alarcon CM, Beck JC, Sheffield VC, Donelson JE.  1995.  cDNA expressed sequence tags of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense provide new insights into the biology of the parasite. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 73(1-2):75-90.

El-Sayed NM, Patton CL, Harkins PC, Fox RO, Anderson K.  1995.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray investigation of the recombinant Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense calmodulin. Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics. 21(4):354-357.