Mohammed El Majdoubi, PhD

Dr. Majdoubi joined the department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in 2005 as an Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and became an Associate Professor in 2011.

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Associate Professor

Office: Science Center #126
Lab: Science Center #129
415.257.0175
[email protected]


About Professor Majdoubi

Dr. Mohammed El Majdoubi holds a BS in Physiology (1991), a MS (1992) and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience & Pharmacology (1996) with a focus on neuroplasticity from the University of Bordeaux, France. Dr. Majdoubi came to the United States in 1997 to work as a Research Associate studying the neurobiology of puberty at the University of Pittsburgh Primate Center, before joining the University of California San Francisco in 2000 as an Assistant Research Scientist and Director of the Morphology Core Facility. He joined the faculty of Dominican University of California in 2005, where he serves as an Associate Professor of Neuroscience.

His current research is focused on the neuronal differentiation of embryonic stem cells as a model for investigating neurotoxicity of environmental pollutants. Dr. Majdoubi has published 20 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has given 30 presentations at international meetings including a TEDx talk and several media interviews. He teaches a broad array of undergraduate and graduate courses, including, among others, Neuroscience, Organismal Biology, Stem Cell Biology, Neuroethics, Research Methodology, Human Neuroanatomy and Physiology and Cell Imaging Technology in the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He also teaches courses for the Honors Program and serves as a staff instructor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Dr. Majdoubi was honored by his students with the Dominican Teacher of the Year Award in 2009.

 


Academic Area

Neuroscience and Stem Cell Biology


Educational Background

  • PhD, Neuroscience & Pharmacology, University of Bordeaux II, Bordeaux, France
  • MSc, Neuroscience & Pharmacology, University of Bordeaux II, Bordeaux, France
  • BSc, Physiology, University of Bordeaux I, Talence, France

Teaching and Research

Stem Cell-Derived Neuroendocrine Cells to Investigate Developmental Neurotoxicity of Endocrine Disruptors

Neuroendocrine cells are a set of specialized hormone-releasing neurons that control most vital functions in humans and wildlife such as growth, reproduction, metabolism and stress responses. Increasing evidence points to neuroendocrine cells as the primary neuronal target of endocrine disruptors (such as plasticizers, flame retardants, fungicides, pesticides and pharmaceuticals). Endocrine disruption appears to be most significant during prenatal and early postnatal development. However, limitations with traditional cell culture models of neuronal development lead to a lack of understanding regarding the mechanisms by which endocrine disruptors affect neurodevelopment. In recent years, stem cell-derived neuronal models have become available and may offer distinct advantages over other in vitro model systems for investigating toxic effects of endocrine disruptors on the developing brain (ie, Developmental Neurotoxicity). As part of this effort, Dr. Majdoubi’s laboratory is developing a new model of stem cell-derived neuroendocrine cells which could provide more effective ways for studying the effects of endocrine disruptors and their mechanism of action directly on developing neuroendocrine cells in vitro. In addition, this project provides an opportunity to generate a core of highly skilled undergraduate students trained in stem cell technologies, who can use their skills in laboratories of both academia and biotechnology immediately upon graduation.


Recent Publications

  • El Majdoubi, C. McDonald*, T. Morrow* and M. Zagzoog* (2016). Effects of Heavy Metals on Proliferation and Neuronal Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells. Cytotherapy, 18 (Suppl): S76
  • McDonald*, M. Zagzoog* and M. El Majdoubi (2012). Effects of heavy metals on a mouse embryonic stem cell model of developmental neurotoxicity. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 23 (suppl): 2373.
  • El Majdoubi (2011). Stem Cell-Derived In Vitro Models for Investigating Neurodevelopmental Effects of Endocrine Disruptors. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 14:292-299. (Highlighted in Life Science Weekly, December 2011)
  • M. Morrow*, N.M. Merlo* and M. El Majdoubi (2008). Neuroendocrine Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 19 (suppl), 85.
  • S. Fox, A.T. Clark, M. El Majdoubi, J.L. Vigne, J. Urano, C.E. Hostetler, M.D. Griswold, R.I. Weiner and R.A. Reijo Pera (2007). Intermolecular interactions of homologs of germ plasm components in mammalian germ cells. Developmental Biology, 301:417-431.
  • El Majdoubi, O. Bar-Ilan*, S. Batres*, M. Kolipinski*, L. Lima*, D.C. Martinez* and E. Romero* (2006). Effects of GnRH neuronal activity on fertility and adiposity in male GPR-4 rat. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 27, 78-79.
  • Gomez, S.E. la Fleur, R.I. Weiner, M.F. Dallman and M. El Majdoubi (2005). Decreased GnRH neuronal activity is associated with decreased fertility and dysregulation of food intake in the female GPR-4 transgenic rat. Endocrinology, 146:3800-08.
  • M. El Majdoubi. Stem Cell-Derived In Vitro Models for Investigating Neurodevelopmental Effects of Endocrine Disruptors. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 14:292-299. (2011)
  • M. El Majdoubi, B. Blackman, M. Fox, F. Schaufele and R.I. Weiner. Control of Ras Activation by Differential Tyrosine Phosphorylation of RasGAP (Under revision after 1st submission to Molecular Endocrinology) (2010)
  • M.S. Fox, A.T. Clark, M. El Majdoubi, J.L. Vigne, J. Urano, C.E. Hostetler, M.D. Griswold, R.I. Weiner and R.A. Reijo Pera. Intermolecular interactions of homologs of germ plasm components in mammalian germ cells. Developmental Biology, 301:417-431. (2007)
  • F. Gomez, S.E. la Fleur, R.I. Weiner, M.F. Dallman and M. El Majdoubi. Decreased GnRH neuronal activity is associated with decreased fertility and dysregulation of food intake in the female GPR-4 transgenic rat. Endocrinology, 146:3800-08. (2005)
  • P.S. Tsai, S.M. Moenter, H.R. Postigo, M. El Majdoubi, T.R. Pak, J.C. Gill, S. Paruthiyil, S Werner and R.I. Weiner. Targeted expression of a dominant-negative fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons reduces FGF responsiveness and the size of GnRH neuronal population. Molecular Endocrinology, 19:225-236. (2005)

Recent Presentations

  • El Majdoubi, C. McDonald* and M. Zagzoog* (2016). Effects of Heavy Metals on Growth and Neuronal Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells. International Society for Stem Cell Research 2016 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, June 22-25 (poster)
  • El Majdoubi, C. McDonald*, T. Morrow* and M. Zagzoog* (2016). Effects of Heavy Metals on Proliferation and Neuronal Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells. International Society for Cellular Therapy 2016 Annual Meeting, Singapore, May 25-28 (poster)
  • El Majdoubi, C. McDonald* and M. Zagzoog* (2013). Embryonic stem cell-derived neurons as an in vitro model for investigating developmental neurotoxicity of environmental pollutants. The 2nd World Neuroscience Online Conference, June 18-20 (oral communication)
  • McDonald*, M. Zagzoog* and M. El Majdoubi (2013). Neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells as an alternative model to screen for developmental neurotoxins. The 2013 Environmental Health Conference - Science and Policy to Protect Future Generations, Boston, MA, March 3-6 (oral communication)
  • Stelmach and M. El Majdoubi (2013). Breaking down the walls between neuroethics and religious ethics. The 2013 Conference of the Society of Christian Ethics, Santa Clara, CA, February, 8 (oral communication)
  • McDonald*, M. Zagzoog* and M. El Majdoubi (2012). Effects of heavy metals on a mouse embryonic stem cell model of developmental neurotoxicity. The 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, San Francisco, CA, December 15-19 (poster)
  • El Majdoubi, C. McDonald*, M. Zagzoog* (2012). Effects of heavy metals on proliferation and neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA, October 13-17 (poster)
  • M. El Majdoubi. Directed neuroendocrine differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. The 7th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology, Rouen, France, July 11-15. (poster). (2010)
  • M. El Majdoubi. Directed neuroendocrine differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells: a cell culture model to investigate the mechanisms of prenatal neuroendocrine disruption. The 1st International Symposium on Neuroendocrine Effects of Endocrine Disruptors, Rouen, France, July 10. (oral communication) (2010)
  • M. El Majdoubi, J. Aniag*, M. Gutierrez*, R. Jimenez*, N. Moss*, A. Rodriguez*, A. Salabasheva*. Neuroendocrine cells derived from mouse embryonic stem cells. The 8th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, San Francisco, CA, June 16-19. (poster) (2010)
  • A. Salabasheva*, C. McDonald* and M. El Majdoubi (2010). Directed differentiation of carcinoma cells as a therapy targeting malignant cancer cells. The 44th Annual Conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council to be held in Kansas City, MO, October 20-24. (student poster)
  • R. Jimenez*, N. Moss*, A. Rodriguez*, J. Aniag*, M. Gutierrez*, A. Salabasheva*, C. McDonald* and M. El Majdoubi (2010). Directed differentiation of carcinoma cells as a therapy targeting malignant cancer cells. The 35th Annual West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, April 24. (student poster)
  • A. Ryan*, M. El Majdoubi and H. Shreibman (2010). Deeper in the beyond: apophatic mystical practice as a transcendent vehicle. The 24th National Conference on Undergraduate Research, University of Montana – Missoula, MT, April 15-17. (student oral communication)
  • J. Aniag**, M. Gutierrez**, R. Jimenez**, N. Moss**, A. Rodriguez**, A. Salabasheva**, K. Umali* and M. El Majdoubi (2010). Directed differentiation of carcinoma cells as a therapy targeting malignant cancer cells. The 24th National Conference on Undergraduate Research, University of Montana – Missoula, MT, April 15-17. (student poster)