Mohamed Y. El-Naggar is the Robert D. Beyer Early Career Chair in Natural Sciences, and Associate Professor of Physics, Biological Sciences, and Chemistry at the University of Southern California. El-Naggar and his interdisciplinary group investigate biological electron transfer and energy conversion (universal features of life as we know it) with special emphasis on the interface between biotic and abiotic systems. Their work, which has important implications for fundamental cell physiology and astrobiology, may also 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 received a B.S. degree from Lehigh University (2001), followed by M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2006) degrees from the California Institute of Technology. El-Naggar was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by President Obama in 2014. 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 2010, El-Naggar received a Department of Defense Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award, from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.