Hazem Sharaf

Hazem Sharaf

Hazem Sharaf

Postdoctoral Fellow

323 Eberhart Building


Ph.D., Virginia Tech


My general research areas are microbial genomics and ecology. I like to explore what microbes (e.g. prokaryotes, protists, fungi…etc.) are capable of. For example, they can produce secondary metabolites of health, industrial or environmental benefits, and they can be affected by or be resilient to anthropogenic activities. Consequently, I would like to answer questions like how their genome evolved to be shaped this way, whether that is in response to external pressures or is an adaptation to a new environment. Some of the projects I worked on were Red Sea Metagenomics, multidrug-resistant bacteria and Human-Simian malaria. During my doctoral training, I worked on agroecosystems, mainly for horticultural crops such as soybean, and also farming systems. I explored relationships between plant-associated bacteria and crop traits.

Recently, I joined the microbial genomics and evolution lab of Dr. Louis-Marie Bobay as a postdoctoral fellow where I am working on developing computational methods and tools. I am currently working on developing a genotyping method to distinguish strain-level differences of bacterial species from short-read shotgun metagenomic data. Strain-level changes within the same species can lead to crucial phenotypical and functional differences such as the emergence of virulence. These differences can be also more pronounced in specialized niches that are dominated by a few microbial species, such as the bee gut, and can have dire environmental and economic consequences.

Recent publications

  1. Sharaf, H., Thompson, A.A., Williams, M.A., Peck, G.M., 2021. Compost Applications Increase Bacterial Community Diversity in the Apple Rhizosphere. Soil Science Society of America Journal 85, 1105–1121. https://doi.org/10.1002/saj2.20251
  2. Sharaf, H., Rodrigues, R.R., Moon, J., Zhang, B., Mills, K., Williams, M.A., 2019. Unprecedented bacterial community richness in soybean nodules vary with cultivar and water status. Microbiome 7, 63. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-019-0676-8
  3. Abd El Ghany, M., Sharaf, H., Al-agamy, M.H., Shibl, A., Hill-Cawthorne, G.A., Hong, P.-Y., 2018. Genomic characterization of NDM-1 and 5, and OXA-181 carbapenemases in uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolates from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. PLOS ONE 13, e0201613. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0201613
  4. Moon, R.W., Sharaf, H., Hastings, C.H., Ho, Y.S., Nair, M.B., Rchiad, Z., Knuepfer, E., Ramaprasad, A., Mohring, F., Amir, A., Yusuf, N.A., Hall, J., Almond, N., Lau, Y.L., Pain, A., Blackman, M.J., Holder, A.A., 2016. Normocyte-binding protein required for human erythrocyte invasion by the zoonotic malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, 7231–7236. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1522469113