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  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Mohamed Nawaz Ph.D.

Microbiologist — Division of Microbiology

Mohamed Nawaz
Mohamed Nawaz, Ph.D.

(870) 543-7121

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 About  |  Publications 


Dr. Mohamed Nawaz received his Ph.D. from Brigham Young University in 1986. He joined the Division of Microbiology at NCTR in 1990, as a visiting scientist, and is currently serving as a research microbiologist. Since the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance is a significant global public-health problem, he has directed his research initiatives on this issue and has developed many collaborative research initiatives with scientists from FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA)/Arkansas Laboratory (ARKL). Dr. Nawaz’s laboratory has investigated the occurrence, prevalence, and molecular characterization of fluoroquinolone (FQ) antibiotic-resistant pathogenic and commensal bacteria isolated from imported shrimp.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Nawaz led a collaborative research effort with scientists from NCTR, CVM, Arkansas Poultry Commission, and the University of Arkansas on the occurrence and molecular characterization of FQ-resistant Campylobacters in poultry. The results of these investigations were very useful in the FDA formulating a ban on the use of FQ antibiotics in some of the veterinary practices. As a lead scientist, he also investigated the occurrence and prevalence of tetracycline and beta lactam-resistant bacteria in catfish aquaculture. Currently, Dr. Nawaz is collaborating with scientists from FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) to investigate the role of efflux pumps in antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation, and colonization of uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Due to his expertise in antimicrobial resistance, Dr. Nawaz served as the lead scientist on the FDA Antimicrobial Resistance Steering Committee (ARSC). Twice as a member of ARSC, he participated in briefing the FDA Commissioner on FDA’s activity regarding the Public Health Service Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. He was also invited by previous FDA Commissioner, Dr. Henney and the Associate Commissioner for Food Protection, Dr. Jeff Farrar, to brief them on the resistance mechanisms of FQ-resistant Campylobacters in poultry. Dr. Nawaz served as the NCTR representative on the Committee for the Advancement of FDA Sciences (CAFDAS) and currently serves as the Center representative on the FDA’s High Impact Pathogen Committee. On numerous occasions Dr. Nawaz was invited to serve as a reviewer for the Office of Science and Office of Women’s Health Research Grants and as a guest reviewer for the Journals of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Biodegradation, and Food Microbiology.

Research Interests

Dr. Nawaz’s research interests and expertise include:

  • microbial metabolism
  • physiology
  • biochemistry
  • molecular biology
  • food safety.

He has applied state-of-the-art technologies, such as Next-Generation DNA sequencing methodologies to unambiguously detect an assortment of point mutations in the quinolone-resistance determining regions of various enzymes involved in bacterial DNA synthesis that confer resistance to FQ antibiotics. Dr. Nawaz’s research team is also involved in the application of state-of-the-art bioinformatics to study antibiotic-DNA-protein complexes that contribute to the prevalence of drug resistance. Regularly, he uses biochemical, molecular, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis techniques to characterize bacterial isolates from aquaculture, animal, and human clinical ecosystems. Currently, Dr. Nawaz’s laboratory is studying the crucial role of efflux pumps in biofilm-mediated antibiotic resistance, as well as the colonization of uropathogenic E. coli and the identification of suitable efflux pump inhibitors that could safely reduce or eliminate the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in the ecosystem.

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

American Society for Microbiology
1997 – Present

High Impact Pathogen
2013 – Present

National Antimicrobial Resistance Steering Committee
2007 – 2013

Selected Publications

Draft Genome Sequences of Two Methicillin-Resistant Clinical Staphylococcus aureus Isolates.
Khan S., Iram S., Nawaz M., Xu J., and Marasa B.
Genome Announc. 2016, 4:eO1396-15.

Detection and Functionality of the CdtB, PltA, PltB from Salmonella enterica serovar Javianadisclaimer icon
Mezal E., Bae D., Khan S., Erickson B., Nawaz M., and Khan A.
Int. J. Advance Res. 2015, 3: 1021-1029.

Draft Genome Sequence of Multidrug-Resistant Enterococcus faecium Clinical Isolate VRE3, with a Sequence Type 16 Pattern and Novel Structural Arrangement of Tn1546.
Khan S., Sung K., Marasa B., Min S., Kweon O., Nawaz M., and Cerniglia C.
Genome Announc. 2015, 3(4).

Characterization of Novel Mutations Involved in Quinolone Resistance in Escherichia coli Isolated from Imported Shrimp.
Nawaz M., Sung K., Khan S., Nawaz S., and Steele R.
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2015, 45(5):471-6.

Isolation and Characterization of Multidrug-Resistant Klebsiella spp. Isolated from Shrimp Imported from Thailand.
Nawaz M., Khan S., Tran Q., Sung K., Adamu I., and Steele R.
Int J Food Microbiol. 2012, 155(3):179-84.

Molecular Characterization of Fluoroquinolone Resistant Aeromonas spp. Isolated from Imported Shrimp.
Shakir Z., Khan S., Sung K., Khare S., Khan A., Steele R., and Nawaz M.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012, 78(22):8137-41.

Molecular Characterization of High-Level Ciprofloxacin-Resistant Salmonella enterica with Multiple Antibiotic Resistance and Class 1 Integrons Isolated from Imported Foods.
Akiyama T., Khan A., Nawaz M., and West C.
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2012, 39(3):263-4.

Lysozyme as a Barrier to Growth of Bacillus anthracis Strain Sterne in Liquid Egg White, Milk and Beef.
Sung K., Khan S., Nawaz M., Cerniglia C., Tamplin M., Phillips R., and Kelley L. 
Food Microbiol. 2011, 28(6):1231-4.

Detection of Type III Secretion System Virulence and Mutations in gyrA and parC Genes Among Quinolone-Resistant Strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolated from Imported Shrimp.
Tran Q., Nawaz M., Deck J., Foley S., Nguyen K., and Cerniglia C.
Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2011, 8(3):451-3.

Plasmid-Mediated Quinolone Resistance in Pseudomonas putida Isolates from Imported Shrimp.
Tran Q., Nawaz M., Deck J., Nguyen K., and Cerniglia C. 
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011, 77(5):1885-7.

Detection and Characterization of Virulence Genes and Integrons in Aeromonas veronii Isolated from Catfish.
Nawaz M., Khan S., Khan A., Sung K., Tran Q., Kerdahi K., and Steele R. 
Food Microbiol. 2010, 27(3):327-31.

Molecular Characterization of Tetracycline-Resistant Genes and Integrons from Avirulent Strains of Escherichia coli Isolated from Catfish.
Nawaz M., Khan A., Khan S., Sung K., Kerdahi K., and Steele R.
Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2009, 6(5):553-9.

The Survivability of Bacillus anthracis in Processed Liquid Eggs.
Khan S., Sung K., Nawaz M., Cerniglia C., Tamplin M., Phillips R., and Kelly L.
Food Microbiol. 2009, 26(2):123-7.

Heteroresistance to Vancomycin and Novel Point Mutations in Tn1546 of Enterococcus faecium ATCC 51559.
Khan S., Sung K., Layton S., and Nawaz M. 
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2008, 31(1):27-36.

Isolation and Characterization of Tetracycline-Resistant Citrobacter spp. from Catfish.
Nawaz M., Khan A., Khan S., Sung K., and Steele R.
Food Microbiol. 2008, 25(1):85-91.

Characterization of Class 1 Integron Resistance Gene Cassettes in Salmonella enterica Serovar Oslo and Bareily from Imported Seafood.
Khan A., Cheng C., Van T., Summage C., Nawaz M., and Khan S. 
J Antimicrob Chemother. 2006, 58(6):1308-10.

Biochemical and Molecular Characterization of Tetracycline-Resistant Aeromonas veronii Isolates from Catfish.
Nawaz M., Sung K., Khan S., Khan A., and Steele R.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006, 72(10):6461-6.

Isolation and Characterization of Fluoroquinolone-Resistant Escherichia coli from Poultry Litter.
Khan A., Nawaz M., Khan S., Summage C., and Lin, J.
Poult Sci. 2005, 84(1):61-6.

A Simple and Efficient Triton X-100 Boiling and Chloroform Extraction Method of RNA Isolation from Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative Bacteria.
Sung K., Khan S., Nawaz M., and Khan A.
FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003, 229(1):97-101.

Molecular Characterization of Fluoroquinolone-Resistant Campylobacter spp. Isolated from Poultry.
Nawaz M., Khan S., Khan A., Nayak R., Steele R., Paine D., and Jones R.
Poult Sci. 2003, 82(2):251-8.

Human Health Impact and Regulatory Issues Involving Antimicrobial Resistance in the Food Animal Production Environmentdisclaimer icon
Nawaz M., Erickson B., Khan A., Khan S., Pothuluri J., Rafii F., Sutherland J., Wagner R., and Cerniglia C.
Regulatory Health Perspectives. 2001, 1 (1): 1-7.

Contact Information
Mohamed Nawaz
(870) 543-7121
Technology & Discipline
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