Al-Walid A. Mohsen, PhD

  • Research Professor of Pediatrics and Research Associate Professor of Human Genetics

Administrative Assistant: Brianna Karp

Al-Walid Mohsen received his undergraduate education in Biochemistry at the University of Ain-Shams, Cairo, Egypt graduating in 1982. He pursued higher education at the Auburn University, Alabama, USA, earning an MS degree in animal nutrition in 1988 and then his PhD degree in 1992 in Biochemistry, with emphasis on enzyme structure/function relationship. Mohsen continued his training as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, working on characterizing the molecular defects in isovaleric acidemia patients. He was appointed as an Assistant Professor and led discoveries of the function of previously unknown acyl-CoA dehydrogenases enzymes. With additional enzyme mechanism one-year trainings at the University of Konstanz, Germany, 1999, and the University of Leicester, UK, 2002, he continued his research career in 2004 with Jerry Vockley, MD, FACMG at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics where he continued his dedication to support characterization of the pathophysiology of fatty acid oxidation disorders. In 2009, he was awarded NIH R21 funding for MCAD deficiency therapy.

In the past few years, Mohsen has become a lead innovator of therapies for fatty acid oxidation disorders and mitochondrial energy related metabolic disorders with some resulting in patent applications. He has been recognized internationally participating in research collaboration program in Brazil and invited as Guest Associate editor for an international journal in Genetics.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1991-2011
  • Society of Inborn Errors of Metabolism, 2012-Present
  • Society for the Study of Inborn Errors of Metabolism (European Union), 2016-Present

Education & Training

  • BS, Biochemistry, Ain-Shams University (Cairo, Egypt), 1982
  • MS, Nutrition and Biochemistry, Auburn University, 1988
  • PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Auburn University, 1992
  • Postgraduate Research, Biochemical Genetics, Mayo Clinic, 1992-1995

Selected Publications

Schiff, M.*, Haberberger, B., Xia, C., Mohsen, A.-W., Goetzman, E.S., Uppala, R., Zhang, Y., Karunanidhi, A., Prabhu, D., Alharbi, H., Wang, Y., Prochownik, E., Haack, T., Häberle, J., Munnich, A., Rötig, A., Taylor, R.W., Nicholls, R.D., Kim, J.-J., Prokisch, H., and Vockley, J.*  (2015). Complex I assembly function and fatty acid oxidation enzyme activity of ACAD9 both contribute to disease severity in ACAD9 deficiency. Human Mol. Genet. 24:3238-47.

Pena L.D.*, van Calcar S.C., Hansen J., Edick M.J., Vockley, W., C., Leslie, N., Cameron C, Mohsen A.-W., Berry S.A., Arnold G.L., Vockley J.; IBEMC. (2016). Outcomes and genotype-phenotype correlations in 52 individuals with VLCAD deficiency diagnosed by NBS and enrolled in the IBEM-IS database. Mol. Genet. Met. 118:272-81.

Ghaloul-Gonzalez, L.*, Goldstein, A., Vockley, W.C., Dobrowolski, S.F., Biery, A., Irani, A., Ibarra, J., Morton, D.H., Mohsen, A.-W., and Vockley, J. (2016). Mitochondrial respiratory chain disorders in the old order Amish population. Mol. Genet. Met., 118:296-303.

Wang, W., Palmfeldt, J., Mohsen, A.-W., Gregersen, N., Vockley J.* (2016). Fasting induces prominent proteomic changes in liver in very long chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficient mice. Biochem. Biophys. Reports 8:333-39.

Bloom, K., Mohsen, A.-W., Karunanidhi, A., El Demellawy, D., Reyes-Múgica, M., Wang, Y., Ghaloul-Gonzalez, L., Otsubo, C., Tobita, K., Muzumdar, R., Gong, Z., Tas, E., Basu, S., Chen, J., Bennett, M., Hoppel, C., Vockley, J.* (2018). Investigating the link of ACAD10 deficiency to type 2 diabetes mellitus. J. Inherit. Met. Dis.41:49-57.

Leipnitz, G., Mohsen, A.-W., Karunanidhi, A., Seminotti, B., Roginskaya, V., Markantone, D., Grings, M., Mihalik, S., Wipf, P., Van Houten, B., Vockley, J.* (2018). Evaluation of mitochondrial bioenergetics, dynamics, endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria crosstalk, and reactive oxygen species in fibroblasts from patients with complex I deficiency. Nature Sci. Rep. 8:1165.

Seminotti B., Leipnitz, G., Karunanidhi, A., Kochersperger, C., Roginskaya, V.Y., Basu, S., Wang, Y., Wipf, P., Van Houten, B., Mohsen, A.-W., and Vockley, J.* (2019). Mitochondrial energetics is impaired in very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency and can be rescued by treatment with mitochondria-targeted electron scavengers. Human Mol. Genet. 28(6): 928–41.

Zhang, Y., Mohsen, A.-W., Kochersperger, C., Solo, K., Schmidt, A. V., Vockley, J., and Eric S. Goetzman1* (2019). Expression, purification, and characterization of recombinant porcine electron transfer flavoprotein for use in a microplate-based acyl-CoA dehydrogenase enzyme activity assay. Analyt. Biochem. 581: 113332

Grings, M., Seminotti B., Karunanidhi, A., Ghaloul-Gonzalez, L., Mohsen, A.-W., Wipf, P., Palmfedt, J., Vockley, and J. Leipnitz, G.* (2019). ETHE1 and MOCS1 deficiencies: Disruption of mitochondrial bioenergetics, dynamics, redox homeostasis and endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria crosstalk in patient fibroblasts. NatureSci. Rep. 9: Article number 12651:

Tcheng, M., Roma, A., Ahmed, N., Smith, R., Jayanth, P., Minden, M.D., Hurren, R., Schimmer, A.D., Bozzo, G., Hess, D., Hope, K., Rea, K., Akhtar, T.A., Mohsen, A.-W., Vockley, J., Spagnuolo, P.A.* (2019). inhibiting very long chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) induces selective leukemia cell death. Blood 134 (Supplement_1): 3922.

Ghaloul-Gonzalez, L.*, Mohsen, A.-W., Karunanidhi, A., Seminotti, B., Chong, H., Madan-Khetarpal, S., Sebastian, J., Vockley, C. W., Reyes-Múgica, M., Vander Lugt, M. T., and Vockley, J. (2019). Reticular dysgenesis and mitochondriopathy induced by adenylate kinase 2 deficiency with atypical presentation. Nature Sci. Rep. (in print).

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

Academic and Research Interests

  • Therapies for disorders of mitochondrial fatty acids b-oxidation; related to my R21 grant above
  • Therapies for disorders of branched chain amino acids
  • Shutting down FAO as a new therapeutic strategy for cancer and infectious diseases 
  • Inhibitor based chaperone therapy for metabolic disorders including galactosemia and PKU
  • Biochemical characterization of recombinant ETF of pig and other species

Research Grants

NIH R01DK078775, Inborn Errors of Long Chain Fat Metabolism (Co-I, PI: Vockley), 2007-2021, $353,697 per year.

NIH R01DK054936, Branched Chain Acyl-CoA Metabolism and Disease (Co-I, PI: Vockley), 2016-2021, $333,072 per year.