“Dr. Youssef received his advanced education at Assiut University, where he earned a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences (BPharmSci) with honors in 1984, and a Master of Science (MSc) in Phytochemistry in 1988. In 1995, he received his PhD (magna cum laude) from Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg in Germany, where he worked for additional year as Scientific Researcher. In 1996, he joined the Faculty of Pharmacy at Suez Canal University (SCU) as an Assistant Professor. He served as an Assistant Professor from 1996 to 2001, as an Associate Professor from 2001 to 2006 and as Professor from 2006 till now. He served as Chair of the Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry from 2001 to 2008 and as Vice Dean of the College of Pharmacy for Graduate Studies and Research Affairs from 2007 to 2010 and as Acting Dean of the College of Pharmacy in 2008 and 2010. At SCU, he established the first laboratory in the Middle East for Drug Discovery and Biotechnology from marine organisms. Capacity building and development as well as transfer and localization of marine biotechnology and drug discovery represented the main mission of the laboratory. He is a US Fulbright Fellow in 19992000 at University of Hawaii in the US and a 2002 long term Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (J.S.P.S.) at The University of Tokyo. From 2004 through 2007, he was a Visiting Professor at several US universities including University of California at San Diego (UCSD), Oregon State University (OSU), University of Michigan (UM), University of Utah (UU) and Josephine Ford Cancer Institute and Henry Ford Hospital, Michigan. In 2003, he received the prestigious State of Egypt Incentive Award in Medicine. In 2008, he was elected to organize and chair the 1st Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Marine Natural Products in Sharm El-Sheikh and was reelected as chair and organizer of the 2nd Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Marine Natural Products in 2010 in Cairo.
In 2010, he joined the Faculty of Pharmacy at King Abdulaziz University (KAU) as a Professor of Marine Naturaal Products and Biotechnology. During the last 20 years on the faculty he has established himself as a world leader in the field of drug discovery from natural sources. Dr. Youssef’s research program has focused on the discovery of antibiotics and antitumor drug leads from natural product sources including Red Sea marine sponges and other invertebrate animals, marine-derived fungi and bacteria. He and his co-workers have published 130 peer reviewed research papers and one patent. He served as a principal investigator of more than 25 research projects and raised more than US$6.5M in extramural research funding from prestigious international agencies.
At SCU and KAU, he received several research excellence awards for his pioneer work in drug discovery and marine biotechnology. He has trained more than 60 undergraduate students, 25 graduate students (MSc & PhD) and postdoctoral fellows and hosted many visiting researchers in his lab. His research accomplishments and international reputation have been acknowledged in the form of numerous invitations to speak at national and international symposia, workshops and US, European and Asian universities on natural products research, antitumor and antibiotics drug discovery and marine biotechnology. Dr. Youssef has received additional recognition by serving as a member of the review panels at the “Sixth and Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission” (FP6 & FP7, Brussels) including sections of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology.
The mission of the establishment of the laboratories of “Marine Biomedicine and Biotechnology” at SCU (19962010) and KAU (since 2010) includes supporting the capacity building and human development, technology transfer, development of new curricula, development of the scientific infrastructure and providing sophisticated in country training and overseas outreach for students and junior scientists at Egyptian and Saudi Universities. These laboratories supported the expansion of the international collaboration of Dr. Youssef with several prestigious US and European universities and inspired junior scientists at different Egyptian and (Cairo, Ain Shams, Assiut, Al Azhar, Alexandria, Suez Canal and El Minia, GUC) and Saudi (KAU, KSU, KAUST, King Sattam Bin Abdulaziz, Taiba, and Um Al-Qura, Jazan) universities to start looking for biomedical importance of Red Sea marine organisms.
Dr. Youssef also serves as a member of the editorial boards for several scientific journals and as a reviewer for more than 30 international reputable peer-reviewed journals in pharmacy, chemistry, natural products chemistry, ecology, marine biotechnology and drug discovery. He also serves as a research project consultant, external evaluator and reviewer for many national and international funding agencies. Over the years, he built a solid collaboration with pioneer scientists across Europe and the US and with experts in international pharmaceutical companies and industry.
The major focus of Dr. Youssef’s current research is the discovery of novel marine-derived chemical entities as potential drug leads and pharmaceuticals for the treatment of human tumors, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases. Finally, the search for marine-derived macromolecules and biomaterials and their applications in medicine and dental preparations is a new area of interest of our research group