View Faculty Video
Moh El-NaggarAssistant Professor of Physics and Biological Sciences
Phone: (213) 740-2394
Office: SSC 215C
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
Popular Science "Brilliant 10" Recognition
The Scientist: A non-technical perspective about our work
Wired Magazine: The Mysterious Electronic World of Microbes
Moh El-Naggar is an assistant professor of physics at the University of Southern California. El-Naggar received a B.S. degree from Lehigh University (2001), followed by M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2007) degrees from the division of engineering and applied science of the California Institute of Technology, where he was an Applied Materials, Inc. fellow. As a biophysicist, El-Naggar is a pioneer in studying energy conversion and charge transmission at the interface between living cells and synthetic surfaces. His work, which has important implications for cell physiology, may lead to the development of new hybrid materials and renewable energy technologies that combine the exquisite biochemical control of nature with the synthetic building blocks of nanotechnology.
El-Naggar was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by President Obama in 2013. In 2010, El-Naggar received a prestigious Department of Defense Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award, from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. In 2012, he was named one of Popular Science's "Brilliant 10", the magazine's annual honor roll of the 10 most promising young scientists whose innovations will change the world. In addition to his research interests, El-Naggar is passionate about STEM education and outreach. He teaches both introductory and advanced graduate physics classes at USC, and enjoys communicating science to the public at all levels, from local community groups to national conferences. At his USC laboratory, he formally advises and mentors graduate, undergraduate, and high school students through interdisciplinary research and education activities linking the physical and biological sciences.
- Ph.D. Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology, 2007
- Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Southern California, 2006-2008
- Graduate Programs in Biomedical and Biological Sciences (PIBBS), Faculty, http://www.usc.edu/programs/pibbs/site/faculty/el-naggar_m.htm
- Microbial Systems Institute, http://microbiology.usc.edu/
- NASA Astrobiology Institute - Life Underground Team, Co-PI, https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/directory/people/el-naggar-moh/
- The Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, http://foundry.lbl.gov/
- The Odin Foundation, Board Member, http://www.odinfoundation.org/
- "Charge Transfer and Energy Conversion at the Biotic-Abiotic Interface", Berkeley Nanotechnology Forum, Talk/Oral Presentation, Berkeley, CA, University of California, Berkeley, Invited, Spring 2012
- "Charge Transfer and Energy Conversion in Microbial Systems: From Molecular to Cellular Length Scales", Electrochemical Society Meeting, Talk/Oral Presentation, Seattle, WA, The Electrochemical Society, Invited, Spring 2012
- "Charge Transfer and Energy Conversion in Microbial Systems", Solar Fuels: Science, Engineering, and Policy, Talk/Oral Presentation, Durham, NC, Duke University and the Solar Energy Research Cent, Invited, 01/11/2012-01/12/2012
- "Electron Transfer Across the Biotic-Abiotic Interface in Microbial Systems", European Science Foundation Conference on Charge Transfer in Biosystems, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Abstract, Universitätszentrum Obergurgl, Austria, European Science Foundation, 07/17/2011-07/22/2011
- "Electrical transport along bacterial nanowires from Shewanella oneidensis MR−1", 241st American Chemical Society National Meeting: Microbial Fuel/Electrolysis Cells Symposium, Talk/Oral Presentation, Anaheim, CA, Invited, Spring 2011
- "Charge Transfer Across the Biotic-Abiotic Interface in Microbial Systems", Invited Seminar, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, Fall 2011
- "Microbially Synthesized Materials for Bioenergy and Biomanufacturing", Invited Talk, ASM International / Cal-State Northridge, Northridge, CA, Spring 2011
- "Harnessing Microbial Metabolism: What Bacteria Can Teach Us About Bioenergy and Nanotechnology", Invited Seminar, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, Spring 2010
- El-Naggar, M. Y., Finkel, S. E. (2013). Live Wires: Electrical Signaling Between Bacteria. The Scientist. Vol. 27 (5), pp. 38-43. Link
- Leung, K. M., Wanger, G., El-Naggar, M. Y., Gorby, Y., Southam, G., Lau, W. M., Yang, J. (2013). Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 Bacterial Nanowires Exhibit p-Type, Tunable Electronic Behavior. Nano Letters. Link
- Wanger, G., Gorby, Y., El-Naggar, M. Y., Yuzvinsky, T. D., Schaudinn, C., Gorur, A., Sedghizadeh, P. P. (2013). Electrically conductive bacterial nanowires in bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw biofilms. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology. Vol. 115 (1), pp. 71-78.
- Pfeffer, C., Larsen, S., Song, J., Dong, M., Besenbacher, F., Meyer, R. L., Kjeldsen, K. U., Schreiber, L., Gorby, Y. A., El-Naggar, M. Y., Leung, K. M., Schramm, A., Risgaard-Petersen, N., Nielsen, L. P. (2012). Filamentous bacteria transport electrons over centimeter distances. Nature. Vol. 491, pp. 218-221. Link
- Harris, H. W., El-Naggar, M. Y., Nealson, K. (2012). Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 chemotaxis proteins and electron-transport chain components essential for congregation near insoluble electron acceptors. Biochemical Society Transactions. Vol. 40 (6), pp. 1167-1177.
- Pirbadian, S., El-Naggar, M. Y. (2012). Multistep Hopping and Extracellular Charge Transfer in Microbial Redox Chains. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. Vol. 14, pp. 13802-13808. doi:10.1039/C2CP41185G
- Fitzgerald, L. A., Petersen, E. R., Gross, B. J., Soto, C. M., Ringeisen, B. R., El-Naggar, M. Y., Biffinger, J. C. (2012). Aggrandizing Power Output from Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 Microbial Fuel Cells using Calcium Chloride. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Vol. 31 (1), pp. 492-498. Link
- El-Naggar, M. Y., Wanger, G., Leung, K. M., Yuzvinsky, T. D., Southam, G., Yang, J., Lau, W. M., Nealson, K. H., Gorby, Y. A. (2010). Electrical transport along bacterial nanowires from Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol. 107 (42), pp. 18127-18131. Link
- Prakash, G. K., Viva, F. A., Bretschger, O., Yang, B., El-Naggar, M. Y., Nealson, K. (2010). Inoculation procedures and characterization of membrane electrode assemblies for microbial fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources. Vol. 195 (1), pp. 111-117.
- Harris, H. W., El-Naggar, M. Y., Bretschger, O., Ward, M. J., Romine, M. F., Obraztsova, A. Y., Nealson, K. H. (2010). Electrokinesis is a microbial behavior that requires extracellular electron transport. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol. 107 (1), pp. 326-331.
- Waters, M. S., El-Naggar, M. Y., Hsu, L., Sturm, C. A., Luttge, A., Udwadia, F. E., Cvitkovitch, D. G., Goodman, S. D., Nealson, K. H. (2009). Simultaneous Interferometric Measurement of Corrosive or Demineralizing Bacteria and Their Mineral Interfaces. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Vol. 75 (5), pp. 1445-1449.
- Waters, M. S., Sturm, C. A., El-Naggar, M. Y., Luttge, A., Udwadia, F. E., Cvitkovitch, D. G., Goodman, S. D., Nealson, K. H. (2008). In search of the microbe/mineral interface: quantitative analysis of bacteria on metal surfaces using vertical scanning interferometry. Geobiology. Vol. 6 (3), pp. 254-262.
- Gorby, Y., Mclean, J., Korenevsky, A., Rosso, K. M., El-Naggar, M. Y., Beveridge, T. J. (2008). Redox-reactive membrane vesicles produced by Shewanella. Geobiology. Vol. 6 (3), pp. 232-241.
- El-Naggar, M. Y., Gorby, Y. A., Xia, W., Nealson, K. H. (2008). The molecular density of states in bacterial nanowires. Biophysical Journal. Vol. 95 (1), pp. L10-L12.
- El-Naggar, M. Y., Dayal, K., Goodwin, D. G., Bhattacharya, K. (2006). Graded ferroelectric capacitors with robust temperature characteristics. Journal of Applied Physics. Vol. 100 (11), pp. -.
- Boyd, D. A., Greengard, L., Brongersma, M., El-Naggar, M. Y., Goodwin, D. G. (2006). Plasmon-assisted chemical vapor deposition. Nano Letters. Vol. 6 (11), pp. 2592-2597.
- Boyd, D. A., El-Naggar, M. Y., Goodwin, D. G. (2006). In situ measurements of stress with temperature in thin film PbxBa1-xTiO3. Integrated Ferroelectrics. Vol. 83, pp. 155-+.
- El-Naggar, M. Y., Boyd, D. A., Goodwin, D. G. (2005). Characterization of highly-oriented ferroelectric PbxBa1-xTiO3 thin films grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. Journal of Materials Research. Vol. 20 (11), pp. 2969-2976.
- Brewer, R. T., Boyd, D. A., El-Naggar, M. Y., Boland, S. W., Park, Y. B., Haile, S. M., Goodwin, D. G., Atwater, H. A. (2005). Growth of biaxially textured BaxPb1-xTiO3 ferroelectric thin films on amorphous Si3N4. Journal of Applied Physics. Vol. 97 (3), pp. -.
- Boyd, D. A., El-Naggar, M. Y., Goodwin, D. G. (2005). In situ measurements of macroscopic film stress during growth, cooling, and thermal cycling of thin film PbTiO3. Integrated Ferroelectrics. Vol. 71, pp. 21-+.
- El-Naggar, M. Y., Klamo, J. T., Tan, M. H., Hornung, H. G. (2004). Experimental verification of the Mach-Number field in a supersonic Ludwieg tube. AIAA Journal. Vol. 42 (8), pp. 1721-1724.
- PHYS 444 "Physical Biology: From Molecules to Cells", Department of Physics and Astronomy, A newly developed cornerstone course for the Biophysics Bachelor of Science degree program., Fall 2013
- Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2013-2014
- 2013 Raubenheimer Awardee for Outstanding Junior Faculty Member, 2013
- DoD Young Investigator Program Award, 2009-2013
- Named as one of Popular Science's "Brilliant 10", 2012-2013
- USC Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund Award, Winner of the large Interdisciplinary award (with Urbashi Mitra), 7/1/2011-8/16/2012
- Applied Materials, Inc. Doctoral Fellow, 2004-2006
- The Lehigh University Alumni Association Prize, 2000-2001
- Member, Provost's Advisory Committee for Transformative Hiring in the Sciences and Engineering, 12/15/2011-
- Member, Oversight committee of the Center for Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis (CEMMA), 02/01/2011-
- Member, Physics Department Graduate Admissions Committee, 01/01/2009-
- Organizer & Co-chair, 243rd American Chemical Society National Meeting: Symposium on the Fundamental Science and Technological Applications of Bioelectrochemical Systems, San Diego, CA, 2011-2012
- Organizer & Co-chair, 241st American Chemical Society National Meeting: Microbial Fuel/Electrolysis Cells Symposium, Anaheim, CA, 2010-2011
Description of Research
Summary Statement of Research Interests
Current experimental work focuses on:
1. Electron transport in biomolecular nanostructures.
2. Bioenergy production in Microbial Fuel Cells.
3. Biological routes to nanomaterial synthesis.
4. The enzymatic activity of extracellular nanostructures. Implications for bioenergy and bioremediation.
5. New imaging technologies and algorithms.
Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions
Conferences and Other Presentations
New Courses Developed
Honors and Awards
Service to the University
Service to the Profession
- Department of Physics and Astronomy
- University of Southern California
- 825 Bloom Walk
- ACB 439
- Los Angeles, CA 90089-0484
- Phone: (213) 740 - 0848
- Email: email@example.com