Muhammad Shuaib, PhD

Research Scientists

Research Interests

Dr. Muhammad has broad interests in various epigenetic regulatory systems such as Polycomb group proteins (PcG), noncoding RNAs (ncRNA), nuclear RNAi, and histone marks. He obtained Ph.D., from the University of Strasbourg, where he studied the role of histone variant (CENP-A) in epigenetic specification of centromeres. Dr. Muhammad continued his postdoctoral work at the IGBMC, where he studied the role of CENP-A modifications in cell division. Currently in KAUST, he is focusing on different projects like:
•  To understand the role of ncRNAs in epigenetic regulation and chromatin organization
•  To uncover the function of chromatin associated RNAi machinery in mammalian cells
•  To explore the link between gene regulation and proteins that write, read and erase histone marks in normal development versus stress condition

Selected Publications

Phosphorylation of the CENP-A amino-terminus in mitotic centromeric chromatin is required for kinetochore function
Goutte-Gattat D., Shuaib M., Ouararhni K., Gautier T., Skoufias D.A., Hamiche A., Dimitrov S. 
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110 (21), 8579-8584, (2013)

Chaperoning the histone H3 family
Hamiche A., Shuaib M.
Biochim Biophys Acta-Gene Regulatory Mechanisms 1819 (3-4), 230-237, (2012)

HJURP binds CENP-A via a highly conserved N-terminal domain and mediates its deposition at centromeres
Shuaib M., Ouararhni K., Dimitrov S., Hamiche A.  
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 107(4), 1349-1354, (2010)

The death-associated protein DAXX is a novel histone chaperone involved in the replication-independent deposition of H3.3
Drané P., Ouararhni K., Depaux A., Shuaib M., Hamiche A. 
Genes & Development 24(12), 1253-1265 (2010)


  • Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Strasbourg/IGBMC, Strasbourg, France, 2012
  • B.Sc., (Hons), Biotechnology, University of Malakand, Pakistan, 2006

Professional Profile

  • ​2014 - present:  Research Scientist, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2012–2014: Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Genetics Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC), Strasbourg, France


  • Post-doctoral Fellowship, French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), 2012-2014                         
  • Doctoral Fellowship, French Association for Cancer Research (ARC), 2010-2012
  • Ph.D. Scholarship, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, for PhD stud, 2008-2010
  • Ph.D. award 2012, University of Strasbourg, France, 2012
  • Gold Medal award, Department of Biotechnology, University of Malakand, Pakistan, 2006
  • Travel grant, by University of Strasbourg for 6th Meeting of the Doctorals Schools, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, 2010
  • Travel grant, by “European Medicine Research Training Network” and AstraZeneca. EMTRAIN PhD Workshop 2012, AstraZenecca, Manchester, UK

KAUST Affiliations

KAUST Environmental Epigenetics Program (KEEP)
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering