I am in the second year PhD in Computational enzymology
Tell us about yourself
I am Mohamed, teaching assistant in Damietta University in north Egypt and presently doing my PhD in chemistry at Windsor University, Windsor, ON, Canada.
It is my pleasure to join your voluntary effort just to spread the science and knowledge among youth and new generation. I really interested to participate in this work and I would like to help them enjoying the science, chemistry in particular, as we honestly do.
What is your research about?
In general we are studying the mechanism of enzymes in our group. To be specific, we are curious to understand how the enzyme of interest is able to perform it catalytic function with such remarkable specificity and fidelity. Interestingly, we utilize computational facilities that enable us to gain further insight the active site, where the reaction takes place, and recognize the key role of each residue in the catalytic pathway.
What have you enjoyed the most about your research?
Fully understanding the catalytic activity is really helpful in protein engineering, by which we can synthesize protein with similar outstanding function. Most importantly this deeper understanding is necessary for drug design or even synthesizing an inhibitor for this enzyme's function.
Once I finish my research studies I will be supervising other students in the future and I have to transfer all my knowledge to them.
What have you found most challenging about your research?
"Experimentally, you will find so many proposed mechanisms for the same enzyme. It is sometimes is a matter of contradiction and debate. Accordingly, it is our responsibility to evaluate each mechanism and realize the most favoured one."
How has your research experience influenced your career path?
My career back home is teaching in the university and to accomplish the PhD degree as well as Postdoc research is one of the requirements that I have to achieve. Once I finish my research studies I will be supervising other students in the future and I have to transfer all my knowledge to them.
How has your research impacted the world?
As I mentioned in the previous question, gaining deeper understanding of the enzyme catalytic function has so many applications. For instances, designing pharmaceutical compound that can fit in this active site and enhance the activity to a desired level. In addition, designing chemical compound like antibiotics and antimicrobial the are able to be accommodated in the active site and block its activity.
What do you predict will be the next big breakthrough in your field of research?
The next step that will fulfill this field is to be able to represent the entire molecule, which can has up to 300,000 atoms or more, by the more accurate and reliable methods. Presently, we are able to include the active site to be calculated by more accurate methods and the rest with less accurate but reasonable one. Indeed, the developers for this methodology won the Nobel prize in 2013.
Actually, you will like to see your own contribution and product after hard work time and exerting great efforts. This is the part I like the best.
What motivates you to do research?
Actually, you will like to see your own contribution and product after hard work time and exerting great efforts. This is the part I like the best. Gaining detailed information about the actual role of different enzymes is quite important and will enhance your understanding of the nature.
Tell us about your 'Eureka' moment
I reached this moment when I was able to determine the most feasible catalytic mechanism after assessing all the proposed one. it usually takes some time but in the harvesting day your happiness is enough to make you satisfied.