Shireen Kamal Assem Abdel-Halim            shireen2

  • Director

Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute

  • Head Research Scientist -Plant Transformation and Biopharmaceuticals Lab.

Contact Information


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Office: +2 (02) - 3573 4424
Fax: +2 (02) – 3573 1574


Professor Shireen Assem received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biotechnology in 1999 from The Faculty of Science, Cairo University, she is a specialized in plant genetic engineering, molecular biology and biotechnology.

At present, she is The Director of AGERI and the Head Research Scientist of The Plant Transformation and Biopharmaceuticals Lab.

2010-2014:    Deputy Director for Training and Extension, AGERI

2007-2010:    Head of the Plant Molecular Biology Department, AGERI.

2004-2010:    Senior Research Scientist, AGERI

        1999-2004:    Research Scientist, AGERI

1992-1999:    Assistant Researcher, AGERI

1986-1992:    Research Assistant, AGERI

Prof. Shireen is a reviewer for many national and international funding schemes. She participated in many scientific conferences and workshops, published many scientific articles and papers in national, international conferences and journals.

Awards and Fellowship:

FULBRIGHT Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2002, University of Central Florida, USA.

Scientific Visits and Joint Research

Michigan State University, USA

Iowa State University, USA

Pioneer Hi-Bred Intrn., Johnston, Iowa, USA

ICI- Seeds, Ames, Iowa, USA

ICGEB, Italy

Research Interests

The main interest of Dr. Assem’s Laboratory lies in the practical application of biotechnology to improve agricultural crops. Her research focuses mainly on cereal crops improvement through genetic engineering under the biosafety regulations for the development of new transgenic varieties with specific traits beneficial for the developing countries. She had many studies and experience in developing methods of gene transfer to monocot plants (i.e. maize, barley, sorghum, etc.) and in the development of plant-based biopharmaceuticals for human or livestock. During the last ten years her research focused on the improvement of maize crop for abiotic stress tolerance. In sorghum, she focuses her research on the genetic modification of sorghum for yield improvement under environmental stresses and the biofortification of sorghum for human and animal consumption. She is the principal investigator of some national and international research projects.

Selected Publications:

  • Gamal H. Osman, Shireen K. Assem, Rasha M. Alreedy, Doaa K. El-Ghareeb, Mahmoud A. Basry, Anshu Rastogi and Hazem M. Kalaji (2015). Development of insect resistant maize plants expressing a chitinase gene from the cotton leaf worm, Spodoptera littoralis.Scientific Reports – Nature, 5: article number 18067.

  • Alzahraa Radwan, Rania M.I.Abou Ali, Ahmed Nada, Wardaa Hashem, Shireen Assem and Ebtissam Hussein, (2015). Isolation and characterization of some drought-related ESTs from barley. African Journal of Biotechnology, 14(9): 794-810.
  • Shireen K. Assem (2015). "Agrobacterium Protocols", volume 2, Chapter 9: "Maize, Tropical(Zea mays L.)" ISBN 978-1-4939-1657-3.Springer-Verlag New York.2015.
  • Shireen K. Assem, Mohamed Zamzam, Basita Abbas and Ebtissam Hussein, (2014). Evaluation of somatic embryogenesis and plant regeneration in tissue culture of ten sorghum (sorghum bicolor L.) genotypes. African Journal of Biotechnology, 13(36): 3672-3681.
  • Shireen K. Assem (2014). "Opportunities and Challenges of Commercializing Biotech Products in Egypt: Bt Maize: A Case Study"in “Biotechnology in Africa”. Emergence, Initiatives and Future. ISBN978-3-319-04000-4. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland. 2014.
  • Shereen F. ElKholy, Shireen K. Assem, Hanaiya A. El-Itriby and Magdy A. Madkour (2004).Expression of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in transgenic maize (Zea mays L.).Egyptian Jouranal of Genetics and Cytology, 33(2):333-348.
  • Hanaiya A. El-Itriby, Shireen K. Assem, E. H. A. Hussein, F.M. Abdel-Galil and M. A. Madkour (2003). Regeneration and transformation of Egyptian maize inbred lines via immature embryo culture and biolistic particle delivery system. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol., 39, (5):524-531(8).

Lab Team:

Mr. Khalid Elwy                               Ph.D

Mr. Mahmoud Basry            Assistant Researcher

Ms. Toka Moustafa              Research Assistant

Ms. Heba El-Sayed              Research Assistant

Ms. Norhan hanafy              Research Assistant

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