Dr. Walid Fakhouri MSc, PhD - -3 UTHealth School of Dentistry
Postdoc, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics | Michigan State University
PhD, Phytopathology and Molecular Biology | University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
MSc, Phytopathology/Bacteriology | University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
Dr. Walid Fakhouri is an active investigator with NIH and state funding. In addition to his appointment at the School of Dentistry, he is on the faculty of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) and the Department of Pediatrics at McGovern Medical School. He is a recipient of many national and international awards, including being chosen as a DAAD scholar by the German Academic Services that funded his doctoral program in Germany.
Dr. Fakhouri’s research interests focus on identifying epigenetic and genetic factors that cause and contribute to increase the risk of craniofacial disorders, including cleft lip and palate, craniosynostosis and micrognathia. His lab uses mouse models and organ cultures to delineate the molecular mechanism of a novel genetic interaction between two transcription factors, IRF6 and TWIST1, that plays a critical role in regulating the epithelial-mesenchymal interaction during oral, facial and skull development. Using biochemical and genetic approaches, his lab investigates how mutations in TWIST1 phospho-sites disrupt formation of craniofacial tissues derived from mesenchymal cells. Integration of experimental data and bioinformatics for developing computational models are also used in Fakhouri’s lab to identify etiologic non-coding DNA variants associated with cancer diseases, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The overall goal of his lab research is to translate bench findings for clinical use to improve risk assessment and pave the way for personalized medicine.