Michael grew up in New York and attended New York University for his undergraduate studies. At NYU, Michael studied Chemistry and worked as an undergraduate researcher in Professor Ned Seeman’s lab in the field of structural DNA nanotechnology. After graduating from NYU, Michael moved to Stanford University to pursue his Ph.D. in Chemistry under the mentorship of Professor Eric Kool. At Stanford, Michael performed research in nucleic acid chemical biology which culminated in his thesis entitled “Chimeric Dinucleotides: Expanding the DNA Polymerase Toolkit.” Currently, Michael is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Professor Ronald Breaker at Yale University, where he is conducting synthetic biology research with applications in gene therapy.
Michael has long-standing research interests in the chemical and synthetic biology of nucleic acids. He is motivated to perform basic research with the potential for applications towards therapeutics and improving human health.
As a Lebanese-American and Muslim individual, Michael is committed to advocating for Muslim and Arab communities (as well as other minority groups) within academia, which can often be aggressively secular and otherwise inaccessible to people of color. During his time at Stanford, Michael worked with the Markaz Resource Center to provide anti-Islamophobia workshops for students and staff members to help raise awareness of the ways that Islamophobia presents itself in university settings.
In his personal time, Michael enjoys cooking, playing video games, watching NBA basketball, and hanging out with his wonderful wife Jessie.