Mohamad Wahidi works at the Cell & Plant Physiology Laboratory (LPCV).


His project: CO2NTROL: Remote control of gene expression by CO2 in green microalgae


Hi everyone, I’m Moe. I am currently enrolled in a three-year PhD program at UGA and carrying out my work as a full-time researcher at LPCV under the supervision of Dr. Dimitris Petroutsos and Dr. Romain Blanc-Mathieu. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. I also did a master’s degree in molecular biosciences and biotherapies at Sorbonne Université and another master’s degree in synthetic biology at Université Paris-Saclay.

During my time as a PhD student, I will be investigating the signalling role of Carbon-dioxide (CO2) & light-signalling in the green microalga Chalmydomonas reinhardtii. The pivotal molecular mechanism by which CO2 controls, interacts or affects other molecules or genes is not well understood. The focus will mainly be put on mechanisms of photoprotection and the CO2 Concentrating Mechanism (CCM). During this work I will also be discovering other factors involved in the aforementioned control mechanism of interest while focusing on CIA5 as a key intermediate factor between CO2, Photoprotection & the CCM. This will happen through applying genome-wide gene expression analysis on different conditions, which will help unravel which genes are exactly controlled by CO2, by light, or by both. I found this PhD topic extremely fascinating as it is not only a curiosity-oriented project but has the potential to yield long-term answers that would help find alternative solutions for crops, answers for ways that could help tackle global warming, and helps in the investigation of astrobiology-related questions concerning long-term missions to other planetary bodies and terraformation processes during which photosynthetic organisms such as Chlamy can play an important role.

Apart from science, I enjoy pursuing various types of physical activities such as triathlon, hiking, diving, and much more.