I am Abraam Yakoub, an Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Sciences Department. I have had a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree, and I pursued my PhD at the University of Illinois in Chicago, in virology and cell biology. I performed extensive postdoctoral research at Stanford and Harvard Universities, in neuroscience (mouse models and stem cell-derived (neuron and organoid) models of brain diseases), and was trained by some of the world's best (Nobel laureate) scientists. I have enormous passion for science and for mentoring. Outside the lab, I hike, run, listen to good music, read and write, especially in the field of linguistics and evolution of human languages, which is the theme of a book that I am currently writing. I am a polyglot (speak more than six languages); and human language fascinates me, from both the biology/neuroscience and the linguistic perspectives. What gives me joy and satisfaction in life is scientific discovery and seeing my students succeed and ‘transform’ into the best they can ever be. I appreciate being, and doing, the best you can, ambition and diligence.
“We’re using synthetic biology and directed evolution to evolve a protein that will allow it to acquire a therapeutic function,” he said. “While a major direction of my research program has to do with understanding why virus causes disease, another major direction is to actually turn that disease or the virus into a cure for other diseases.”