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Rachid El Bejjani


Postdoctoral, Yale University (Genetics)
Ph.D. University of Arizona (Molecular and Cellular Biology)
M.S. American University of Beirut (Biology)
B.S. Université Libanaise, Faculté des Sciences (Biology)


What genes are involved in the process of regeneration after nervous system injury? How do these genes interact with each other? These are some but not all the questions we work on.

I use C. elegans genetics for mutant analysis, transgenic approaches, laser surgery in living worms and genome editing in my research and teaching. C. elegans is a microscopic, non-parasitic, transparent soil nematode that is one of the best characterized genetic model organisms. The vast genetic, genomic and anatomical resources available in this organism and the world-wide network of scientists that use this animal make it a very powerful model to study the nervous system.

My teaching labs are designed to integrate the main questions I focus on in my research and use similar methods. Students in my teaching labs have generated original data that has driven new research projects currently being continued in my research lab. Students are very engaged by current, original scientific literature in lecture, and real research projects in the teaching lab. They are always very excited to be creating new information that does not exist yet. These types of approaches are demanding at first but highly rewarding for students and promote skill-building and a more holistic understanding of scientific concepts.

Multiple students are usually working in my research lab for independent study courses or for summer research projects. I find that students are very self motivated and push themselves if they have ownership of their research project. With my help, students write research proposals and syllabi for their own research work and do the experiments to accomplish this work in the lab. The learning curve is steep and they quickly surprise themselves by their own mastery of their work. Working with students as collaborators in research is very rewarding to me as well and it is a real pleasure to watch them grow as scientists.


BIO 113 Integrated Concepts in Biology I (with lab)
BIO 201 Genetics (and lab)
BIO 333 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (with lab)
BIO 355 Genome Editing