Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna-9208, Bangladesh

Dr. S M Abdul-Awal

Dr. S M Abdul-Awal is a Bangladeshi circadian biologist who has experience of conducting research on plant developmental genetics, circadian clock, signal transduction, abiotic stressRNAi, plant genetic transformation, micropropagation, and computational biology (NGS data analysis). After completing undergraduate studies from Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Discipline, Khulna University, Bangladesh Dr. Awal was offered a lecturing position due to achieve top merit position in the department. He studied for a Master of Molecular Biology at the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium under VLIR scholarship and performed his master’s dissertation entitled ‘Mechanism and modes of application of systemic RNAi in Insects’ at Professor Jozef Vanden Broeck’s Molecular Developmental Physiology and Signal Transduction Laboratory. He moved to University of Cambridge, UK and joined Professor Alex Webb’s Circadian Signal Transduction Laboratory as a Ph.D. student under IDB-Cambridge Commonwealth Trust (CCT) Scholarship. During his Ph.D. studies, he investigated the role of cADPR- and Ca2+-based signaling pathway that regulates the period of the circadian oscillator in Arabidopsis. In addition, a significant part of his Ph.D. studies was focused on the identification and characterization of ADP-ribosyl cyclase in Arabidopsis (Abdul-Awal et al., 2016; Plant Physiology). Afterwards, he joined Harmon Lab at UC Berkeley, USA as a postdoctoral researcher under Fulbright Fellowship where he investigated the role of Gigantea (GI; clock protein) in blue light regulation of flowering and hormone metabolism genes in Sorghum bicolor. He identified protein partners of GI protein that contribute to flowering time in Sorghum (Abdul-Awal et al., 2020; Plant Direct).

Dr. Awal is a member of American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) and reviewer of ‘Plant Physiology’ Journal. He is currently working as a Professor in the Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Discipline, Khulna University, Bangladesh and keen to establish collaboration with the scientific community around the globe.


Ph.D. Plant Sciences

Churchill College, University of Cambridge, UK.


Master of Molecular Biology (Cum Laude)

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.


B.Sc. in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (Distinction, Merit Position: 1st )

Khulna University, Bangladesh.

Circadian Clock, Stress Physiology, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Plant Developmental Genetics and Computational Biology.

Current Research Project/Collaboration

SL Title Research Role Awarded Date Completion Date Funding Agency
1 Identification of the role of Tif3 in gene expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae under different conditions from publicly available RNA-seq data Principal Investigator November 2021 National


Sept., 2018-July 2020


















UC Berkeley, USA.

Postdoctoral Researcher, Plant Gene Expression Center, Dept. of Plant and Microbial Biology.

Advisor: Dr. Frank G. Harmon

Research Title: The role of Gigantea (GI) protein in blue light regulation of flowering and hormone metabolism genes in Sorghum bicolor.

·         Characterised Sbgi-ems1 mutant for growth and flowering time both in SD/LD photoperiods.

·          Analysed growth performance of Sbgi-ems1 mutant under the low intensity blue light.

·         Measured the expression of flowering time and growth promoting genes both in SD/LD photoperiods by RT-PCR.

·         Identified the interacting protein partners of GI by Y2H and Confocal Microscopy.

·         Identified the relationship between SbGI and SbGA2OXs family

·          Mentored undergraduate and high school students for their research projects.

University of Cambridge, UK.

Graduate Student, Dept. of Plant Sciences.

Advisor: Professor Alex Webb

·         Developed three different methods to assay the ADP-ribosyl cyclase  activity.

·         Screened 35 Arabidopsis clock mutants for ADP-ribosyl cyclase activity, cytosolic calcium ([Ca2+]cyt) oscillation and [Ca2+]cyt level.

·         Identified the regulators of ADP-ribosyl cyclase through pharmacological studies and biochemically characterised the enzyme.

·         Partially purified the protein though classical biochemical approaches and developed affinity column in collaboration with Dr Cann (University of Durham, UK) to explore the sequence through mass spectrometry.

·         Teaching Laboratory Demonstrator for undergraduate lab practicals in Biology of Cells and Physiology of Organisms (Guard Cell Signaling, Photosynthesis and Plant Defence System) at the University of Cambridge, UK.


Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.

Masters Thesis Student, Dept. of Biology.

Advisor: Professor Zozef Vanden Broeck

·         Investigated the effect of exogenous injection of dsRNA to down regulate the acetylcholine esterase (AChE) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), the potential target sites for insecticide in desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria).

·         Resequenced all ESTs of AChE & nAChR to verify the consensus sequence.

·         Designed primer and applied sense and antisense primer in PCR reaction to generate a transcription template for the production of dsRNA.

·         Analysed the effect of RNAi by RT-PCR.

coming soon...

coming soon...


1. S M Abdul-Awal (2021). Manual on Nursery of Selected Mangrove Tree Species. Solidaridad Network Asia, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


1. S. M. Abdul-Awal, J. Chen, Z. Xin and F. G. Harmon (2020). A sorghum gigantea mutant attenuates florigen gene expression and delays flowering time. Plant Direct, 4(11): e00281.

2. T. J. Hearn, C. M. Marti, S. M. Abdul-Awal, C. R. Stanton, R. M. Moeller, M. J. Haydon, F. L. Theodoulou, M. A. Hannah and Alex A. R. Webb (2018). BIG regulates dynamic adjustment of circadian period in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology, 178(1): 358-371.

3. S. M.Abdul-Awal, Carlos T. Hotta, Matthew P. Davey, Antony N. Dodd, Alison G. Smith and Alex A.R. Webb (2016). NO-mediated [Ca2+]cyt increases depend on ADP-ribosyl cyclase activity in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, 171: 623-631.

4. S. M. Abdul-Awal, Sonia Nazmir, Sonia Nasrin, Tauhidur R. Nurunnabi and Shaikh J. Uddin (2016). Evaluation of pharmacological activity of Hibiscus tiliaceus. SpringerPlus, 5: 1209.

5. Sudarshan Chatterjee, Madhuri Haque, M. S. Rahman, Hossen M. Jamil, Naznin Akhtar, S. M. Abdul-Awal, Md. Shahedur Rahman and Sikder M. Asaduzzaman (2016). Conservation Pattern, Homology Modeling and Molecular Phylogenetic Study of BMP Ligands. Trends in Bioinformatics, 9(2): 70-80.

6. M. S. Rahman, Hossen M. Jamil, Naznin Akhtar, S. M. Abdul-Awal and Sikder M. Asaduzzaman (2016). Conversation between Mitochondria and Nucleus: Role of FEN1 and ING1 in Association with the Ringmaster PCNA. Bioscience and Bioengineering Communications, 2(2): 112-116.

7. M. N. Hasan, A. Ansari, M. S. Z. Shahriar, M. N. K. Azam and S. M. Abdul-Awal (2011). In Vitro seeds germination and plantlets development of Silvius appendiculatus (Orchidaceae). Int. J. Sustain. Crop Prod., 6(2): 1-5.

8. F. Akter, S. M. Abdul-Awal and S. M. M. Rahman (2009). Effect of growth regulators on in vitro multiplication of Dianthus (D. chinensis). South Asian Journal of Agriculture, 4 (1&2): 116-122.

9. S. M. Abdul-Awal, M. J. Alam, M. R. Ali, M. N. Hasan, M. S. R. Basunia and S. M. M. Rahman (2005). In Vitro propagation of pointed gourd (Trichosanthes dioica Roxb.) from shot tips.  Biotechnology, 4(3): 221-224.

Plant Physiology

Algal & Fungal Biotechnology


Research Methodology

  • Plant Physiology
  • Algal & Fungal Biotechnology
  • Research Methodology