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Steering Committee

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BCBCB Steering Committee
Chair:  Suad Joseph, University of California, Davis  


American University of Beirut

Hala Muhtasib, Interim Associate Provost and Professor of Cell Biology

Interim Associate Provost Hala Muhtasib is Professor of Cell Biology at the American University of Beirut. She received her BS and MS in Biology from AUB and her PhD from Kansas State University. She joined AUB in 1994 as Assistant Professor. In 2004 she was promoted to Professor and served as the Chair of Department of Biology in 2006-2009, Acting Director of Office of International Programs in 2013-2014, and Chair of the Enrollment Management Unit since 2012.  In 2014, Hala Muhtasib was appointed in the Faculty of Medicine to develop the Center for Drug Discovery, a center that will ultimately create developmental paths to new discoveries in the drug discovery field at AUB to help in the advancement of therapies.  Since 2012, Hala Muhtasib has been Chair of Enrollment Management Unit where she supports institutional best practices in new student recruitment, and student-centered services.

Hala Muhtasib is a prominent scholar in the study of the role of natural products in cancer prevention and therapy.  She has published on mechanisms of action of anticancer drugs. She is the recipient of three research achievement awards, Suad Al-Sabbah, Abdul Hameed Shoman Prize for Young Arab Researchers, and ISESCO Science Prize for contributions in Biology. She is the recipient of the Farouk Jabr Award for outstanding scientific research. She is the recipient of a one million dollar grant from the Qatar National Research Foundation. She recently received funding from the National German Foundation (DFG), Swedish Research Council (Sweden), and Medical Practice Plan (AUB) to advance the field of natural product drug discovery and drug delivery. 


American University in Cairo 

Ehab Abdel-RahmanVice Provost for Research and Acting Director of Yousef Jameel Science and Technology Research Center

Ehab Abdel-Rahman holds a doctoral degree in physics from University of Utah, USA. Professor Abdel-Rahman joined AUC in September 2006 as an assistant professor of physics. He received tenure and promoted to associate professor rank in 2010. In 2010, Professor Abdel-Rahman was elected as the chair of the Department of Physics, and in April 2011, he was appointed to serve as the associate dean for graduate studies and research and the director of Yousef Jameel Science and Technology Research Center at the School of Sciences and Engineering. Prior to joining AUC, Professor Abdel-Rahman was an assistant professor of physics at Helwan University, Egypt (2004 - 2006), as well as a research assistant professor (2002 - 2003) and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah. In July 2013, Professor Abdel-Rahman was appointed the associate provost for research and continued to be the director of Yousef Jameel Science and Technology Research Center.

His area of specialty is thermoacoustics (he developed a high efficiency, innovative and simple power block for concentrated solar power) and concentrated solar power.. He has a distinguished 13-year career in thermoacoustics, solar energy, materials and photonics research. He has published more than 70 technical papers and reports and holds five U.S. patents. He served as Egypt’s energy expert in Egypt’s research collaboration with the EU team from 2007 to 2009.

Professor Abdel-Rahman is the founder of four technology transfer offices in four Egyptian Universities. He authored and managed several EU and international projects. He is also the recipient of AUC Excellence in Teaching Award (2009) and the President’s Distinguished Services Award, among many other awards and recognitions.


American University of Sharjah 

Khaled Assaleh, Interim Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies

Khaled Assaleh joined American University of Sharjah in 2002 and currently serves as the Interim Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies. The Office of Research and Graduate Studies administers and monitors internal and external research and consultancy grants, promotes interdisciplinary and collaborative research and ensures ethical and responsible research practice through the Institutional Review Board. The office also coordinates and oversees the academic operations of the university's graduate programs.

From 2011 to 2014, Dr. Assaleh served as the Director of Graduate Studies. He also served as the Vice President of the AUS Faculty Senate in the academic year 2006-2007. Dr. Assaleh holds the rank of Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, where he teaches courses in the areas of signal processing and pattern recognition. His research interests include bio-signal processing, biometrics, speech and image processing, and pattern recognition. Dr. Assaleh is a senior member of the IEEE.

Dr. Assaleh holds 11 US patents and has published over 100 articles in signal/image processing and pattern recognition and their applications. He has served on the organization committees of several international conferences including ISSPA, ICCSPA, MECBME and ISMA. He has also served as a guest editor for several special issues of journals.

Dr. Assaleh received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA, in 1993. He then worked as a Research Professor at the CAIP Center of Rutgers University for one year. From 1994 through 2002, he had a career in industry as a Senior Staff Engineer with Motorola, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona, and as an Engineering Group Leader and with Rockwell Semiconductor Systems (Conexant/Skyworks) in Newport Beach, California.


Lebanese American University (LAU)


Fuad A. HashwaProfessor of Microbiology and Biotechnology and Coordinator of EU-Erasmus Mundus Exchange Program

Since graduation with a Ph.D. in November 1972 from the University of Goettingen, Fuad Hashwa has taught graduate and undergraduate Biology and specifically Microbiology, Cell Biology & Developmental Biology courses at various universities in Germany, Jordan, the United States, and Lebanon.  Fuad Hashwa’s experience in graduate studies (MSc and Ph.D.) stemmed out of the numerous research projects mostly carried out in the environmental and applied fields of Microbiology.

His past and current research interests are in:

  • Biotechnology and Industrial Microbiology of agricultural liquid and solid waste products and conversion to useful products and Biogas
  • Bio-treatment, re-mediation and recycling of liquid wastes rich in organic compounds
  • Environmental impact studies (Impact on fresh and marine water resources)
  • Water Microbiology of Aquatic Environments (fresh, saline and marine)
  • Biological and Chemical Pollution studies on Aquatic Environments
  • Drinking water Microbiology of aquifers and reservoir 

University of California, Davis

Suad Joseph, Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies, Chair of BCBCB Steering Committee

Most of Dr. Joseph's anthropological field research has focused on her native country, Lebanon. Her early work investigated the politicization of religious sects in Lebanon leading up to the civil war in 1975--questions of ethnicity and state, local community organization and development. That work led her to consider the impact of women's visiting networks on local and national politics, and the relationships between local communities, community organizations and the state. Joseph developed a long-term research program on the interface of gender, family and state in the Middle East, with a focus on Lebanon, with comparative work in Iraq. Central to this research program has been her work theorizing culturally situated notions of "self", "rights", "citizenship" in the context of different political regimes and in the context of the pressures and processes of globalization. She is carrying out a long-term research project following a cohort of children in a Lebanese village, observing, as they grow, how they learn their notions of rights, responsibilities, nationality, citizenship; how these notions come to be gendered; and how the notions are transferred from family arenas into political/public arenas. The project includes analysis of citizenship, family and transnationalism as these families have migrated to the US and Canada over the course of the study.  She leads a project analyzing the representation of Arabs, Muslims, Arab American and Muslim Americans in major American Print News Media.  Prof. Joseph is the founder of the Middle East Research Group in Anthropology (which evolved into the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association), founder of the Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS) and the Arab Families Research Group.  She founded and directs a six-university consortium including the American University of Beirut, the American University in Cairo, the Lebanese American University, Birzeit University, the American University of Sharjah, and UC Davis.  She was president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America in 2010-2011. She is co-founder and founding president of the Arab American Studies Association and co-founder of the Association for Middle East Anthropology.  She is General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures.  She has edited or co-edited 8 books, and published over 100 articles in journals and books.  She has been a faculty at the University of California, Davis since 1976 where she is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies, and is founding Director of the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program, and where she was awarded the UC Davis Prize – the largest undergraduate teaching and research prize in the United States.


Birzeit University

Henry R. Giacaman (Jaqaman), Vice President for Academic Affairs, Birzeit University and UNESCO Chair in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Professor Henry R. Jaqaman is the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the holder of the UNESCO Chair in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Birzeit University. Born in Bethlehem, Palestine, he received his PhD in Theoretical Physics in 1977 from Rutgers University in the USA. His main research interests are related to investigating the properties and the equation of state of hot hadronic matter. Professor Jaqaman has spent several years as a visiting research scientist at several research centers including the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Hahn-Meitner Institute in Berlin, Germany and the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, USA. He previously served as Dean of Graduate Studies at Birzeit University.

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