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Heba Mostafa, M.B.B.Ch., Ph.D.

Headshot of Heba Mostafa
  • Assistant Professor of Pathology

Research Interests

Genomic surveillance of viruses and the correlation between viral evolution and disease severity. Understanding the respiratory virome and developing personalized molecular diagnostic panels for immunocompromised populations. Implementing innovative molecular diagnostics in the clinical microbiology laboratory more


Dr. Heba Mostafa completed her M.D. at the Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt in 2004 which was followed by a period of training and residency in clinical pathology in the same place.  She then moved to the United States where she earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology in 2014 at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. During her PhD, Dr. Mostafa studied the interplay between herpes simplex virus type 1 and the host cell. This research revealed different innovative aspects about the regulation and functions of different viral encoded proteins, their interaction with host cellular factors, and how that translates to efficient viral replication, latency, and viral reactivation. This work was published as 10 peer-reviewed publications and was presented in more than 12 local and national meetings.

Dr. Mostafa followed her PhD with three years of Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. Dr. Mostafa focused on studying the pathogenesis, spread, and clearance of parainfluenza and influenza viruses in immunocompromised host in a research that was conducted in collaboration with the experts in the field of influenza and infectious disease transplant. This work dissected, in details, the immune determinants that initiate viral clearance and recovery in immunocompromised models. This research was published as 5 peer-reviewed publications and 5 abstracts in national and local meetings.

At the completion of her research fellowship, Dr. Mostafa completed a two year Clinical Microbiology Fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), Rochester, NY.   During her time at URMC, Dr. Mostafa was involved in implementing whole genome sequencing, that included next generation sequencing (Illumina) and long read (Nanopore) in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Using whole genome sequencing, Dr. Mostafa characterized the predominant extended spectrum beta lactamase enzymes (ESBLs) in more than 160 regionally collected E. coli isolates and published an extensive collection of innovative complete multi- drug resistant plasmids to the public data bases. Dr. Mostafa also used whole genome sequencing to investigate hospital outbreaks and characterize esoteric pathogens. Her work was published/ under revision as three peer- reviewed papers. At the completion of her Clinical Microbiology Fellowship she became board-certified in Medical Microbiology by the American Board of Medical Microbiology. 

Dr. Mostafa was welcomed as Assistant Professor of Pathology and Director of the Molecular Virology section of the Medical Microbiology Laboratory in July, 2019.  In her short time at Johns Hopkins she has submitted multiple grants and has initiated several interdisciplinary research collaborations. Dr. Mostafa is developing a research program that will focus on implementing whole genome sequencing in the clinical virology laboratory with emphasis on studying the viral genomic evolutionary events that correlate with enhanced virulence. more


  • Assistant Professor of Pathology

Departments / Divisions



  • M.B.B.Ch.; Alexandria University, Faculty of Medicine (Egypt) (2004)
  • Ph.D.; University of Kansas (Kansas) (2014)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

Mostafa HH, Taffner S, Malek A, Wang J, Hardy DJ, and Pecora ND. Genome sequence of a Facklamia hominis isolate from a patient with urosepsis. Microbiol Resour Announc. 2019 Apr 25;8(17). pii: e00100-19. doi: 10.1128/MRA.00100-19

Mostafa HH, Thompson TW, Konen AJ, Haenchen SD, Hilliard JG, Macdonald SJ, Morrison LA, Davido DJ. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Mutant with Point Mutations in UL39 Is Impaired for Acute Viral Replication in Mice, Establishment of Latency, and Explant-Induced Reactivation. J Virol. 2018 Jan 10. pii: JVI.01654-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01654-17

Marathe BM*, Mostafa HH*, Vogel P, Pascua PNQ, Jones JC, Russell CJ, Webby RJ, Govorkova EA. A pharmacologically immunosuppressed mouse model for assessing influenza B virus pathogenicity and oseltamivir treatment. Antiviral Res. 2017 Dec;148:20-31. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2017.10.021. Epub 2017 Oct 31

*First author equal contribution

Mostafa HH, Vogel P, Srinivasan A, Russell CJ. Dynamics of Sendai Virus Spread, Clearance, and Immunotherapeutic Efficacy after Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Imaged Noninvasively in Mice. J Virol. 2018 Jan 2;92(2). pii: e01705-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01705-17. Print 2018 Jan 15

Mostafa HH,  Loben Sels JM, Davido DJ: HSV-1 upregulates p35, alters CDK-5 localization, and stimulates CDK-5 kinase activity during acute infection in neurons. J Virol. 2015 doi: 10.1128/JVI.00106-15

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