American University of Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon

The American University of Beirut ; Arabic: الجامعة الأميركية في بيروت‎) is a private, secular, and independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. Degrees awarded at the American University of Beirut are officially registered with the New York Board of Regents.The university is ranked as the number one university in Lebanon and among the top 250 universities in the world by the QS World University Rankings.The American University of Beirut is governed by a private, autonomous Board of Trustees and offers programs leading to Bachelor's, Master’s, MD, and PhD degrees. It collaborates with many universities around the world, notably with Columbia University, George Washington University Medical School in Washington, DC; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the University of Paris. The current president is the American epigraphist, philologist, and cultural anthropologist, Peter Dorman.The American University of Beirut boasts an operating budget of $300 million with an endowment of approximately $500 million. The campus is composed of 64 buildings, including the American University of Beirut Medical Center , 5 libraries, 3 museums and 7 dormitories. Almost one-fifth of AUB's students attended secondary school or university outside of Lebanon before coming to AUB. AUB Graduates reside in approximately 100 countries worldwide. The language of instruction is English. Wikipedia.

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A method for a determining of risk for development of cardiovascular disease by measuring levels of the at least gene of interest is disclosed. The method may identify subjects with moderate albuminuria and diagnosis or predict cardiovascular disease several years before either of these outcomes is detectable by present methodologies.

News Article | May 23, 2017

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Three individuals have been elected to the board of directors of Philadelphia-based National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI). Lending their experience and insight to the nation’s leading source of human organs, cells and tissues for research are Shawn Blackburn, CEO, YPrime, Malvern, PA; Sulayman Dib-Hajj, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Yale School of Medicine and VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT; and Megan Kasimatis Singleton, JD, MBE, CIP, Assistant Dean and Director of the Human Research Protection Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Blackburn, Dib-Hajj and Singleton were elected on May 16 to three-year terms on the NDRI board. Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, Chair of the NDRI Board and President of Shepherd University shared that, “ Shawn Blackburn’s expertise in technology to support research, Dr. Dib-Hajj’s research accomplishments and experience utilizing human tissue for research and Megan Singleton’s knowledge and experience in law, bioethics and human subject protections will be invaluable to advancing the mission of NDRI.” Bill Leinweber, NDRI’s President and Chief Executive Officer, adds, “The caliber of our new board members speaks to the significant transformative work being advanced by our organization. We are honored to have these highly respected professionals commit their time and talents to the mission of NDRI.” Blackburn is a co-founder of YPrime, a clinical trial software company focused on creating innovative solutions for researchers running global clinical trials in all therapeutic areas. Under Blackburn’s leadership, YPrime has experienced exponential growth with offices in Pennsylvania and North Carolina and additional staff based in five countries. Dib-Hajj’s research has centered on the molecular basis of excitability disorders in humans including pain, with a focus on the role of voltage-gated sodium channels in the pathophysiology of these disorders, and as targets for new therapeutics. He has published more than 160 primary papers and reviews, and has established national and international collaborations with both academic and pharmaceutical groups. Dib-Hajj received his undergraduate educated from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and his PhD from The Ohio State University. In her current role, Singleton is responsible for oversight and direction of the staff that support the seven Johns Hopkins Medicine Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). She earned her law degree from Temple University and Masters in bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a frequent presenter on a range of human research protection issues. The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is the nation’s leading source of human tissues, cells and organs for scientific research. A not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization founded in 1980, NDRI is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, public and private foundations and organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations. NDRI is a 24/7 operation that partners with a nationwide network of over 130 tissue source sites (TSS), including organ procurement organizations (OPO), tissue banks, eye banks, and hospitals. The TSS, are distributed throughout the USA, in 45 states, with concentrations in major metropolitan areas on both the east and west coasts. Their wide geographic distribution allows NDRI to provide biospecimens from donor populations with diverse demographics and also facilitates the timely and efficient provision of fresh tissues directly to researchers across the country. By serving as the liaison between procurement sources and the research community, NDRI is uniquely positioned to support breakthrough advances and discoveries that can affect advances in the treatment and cure of human diseases.

The Multi-Device Continuum and Seamless Sensing Platform for Context Aware Analytics provide a platform for continuous sensing across multiple devices towards a unified target. The Multi-Device Continuum and Seamless Sensing Platform provides a platform for extracting, loading, integrating, and tracking related data across multiple smart devices capable of integrating with internal and external sensors, such as wearable devices. The Multi-Device Continuum and Seamless Sensing Platform develop context aware solutions, which are targeted at automated recognition of context extracted from users devices, as people are often always interacting with a digital device such as phone, tablet, or desktop.

Euro-Mediterranean policies, as well as research on them, have been characterized by a Euro-centric approach based on a narrow geopolitical construction of the Mediterranean. Moreover, stakeholders, policy instruments, and policy issues have been defined from a European standpoint, marginalizing the perspectives and needs of local states and people, and ignoring the role played by new and powerful regional and global actors. In an increasingly multipolar world, overcoming this Euro-centric approach is key for Europe to play a more meaningful role in the region. Thus, MEDRESET aims to reset our understanding of the Mediterranean and develop alternative visions for a new partnership and corresponding EU policies, reinventing a future role for the EU as an inclusive, flexible, and responsive actor in the region. This will be achieved through an integrated research design which is in three phases: it 1) de-constructs the EU construction of the Mediterranean, 2) counters it by mapping the region on the geopolitical level and in four key policy areas (political ideas, agriculture and water, industry and energy, migration and mobility) alongside a three-dimensional framework (stakeholders, policy instruments, policy issues), which directly feeds into 3) a reconstruction of a new role for the EU, enhancing its ability to exert reflexive leadership and thus its relevance in the region. Embedded in an interdisciplinary research team, as well as in a civil society and media network, MEDRESET evaluates the effectiveness and potential of EU policies by investigating whether current policies still match the changing geopolitical configuration of the Mediterranean area. The perceptions of EU policies and the reasons for their successes or failures are assessed by surveying top-down and bottom-up stakeholders on both shores of the Mediterranean. Country-tailored policy recommendations for the EU will be given for four key countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Dietrich A.,American University of Beirut | Audiffren M.,University of Poitiers
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2011

We present here a comprehensive, neurocognitive model to account for the psychological consequences of acute exercise. There is a substantial amount of disparate research and the proposed mechanistic explanation meaningfully integrates this body of brain and behavioral data into a single, unified model. The model's central feature is a cascading, two-step process. First, exercise engages arousal mechanisms in the reticular-activating system. This activation process, which involves a number of neurotransmitter systems, has several interrelated effects on cognition and emotion but, in general, has evolved to facilitate implicit information processing. Second, exercise disengages the higher-order functions of the prefrontal cortex. This deactivation process, which is caused in part by resource limitations, also has several interrelated effects but, in general, has evolved to keep the inefficient explicit system and unhelpful emotional processes from compromising the implicit system's functioning when optimal motor execution is needed most. In this article, we review evidence in support of this reticular-activating hypofrontality (RAH) model of acute exercise and place it into a larger evolutionary context. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INT-07-2015 | Award Amount: 2.40M | Year: 2016

The Middle East and North Africa Regional Architecture: mapping geopolitical shifts, regional order and domestic transformations -the MENARA Project- will study the geopolitical order in the making in the South and East Mediterranean Countries and the Middle East amid all deep-reaching social and political changes unfolding since 2010. The project aims at describing the main features of the regional geopolitical order, its origins, and evolution; identifying and mapping the decisive domestic, regional and global actors, dynamics and trends; building future scenarios for 2025 and 2040; and informing EU policies and strategies. It will examine whether, where and when conflict and/or cohesion dynamics prevail, the level and depth of regional fragmentation and the effects of regional and domestic processes on global dynamics and vice versa. This will be achieved by analysing ideational and material factors (national, sub and supra-national identities; religion and politics; global identities; demography; energy; economy; military; environment) and by conducting in-depth research on specific case studies on ongoing dynamics at three different levels (domestic, regional and global). All this research will be based on quantitative and qualitative methods -including fact finding missions on the ground, interviews, focus groups, Delphi surveys - and innovative foresight techniques. Research will be accompanied by pioneering dissemination methods willing to increase the projects impact not only over the specific academic community and policy-making circles but also over broader general public. This will include the translation of research results into accessible deliverables such as audio-visuals, futures notes series, infographics and interactive maps, and a Massive Open Online Course.

Kaafarani B.R.,American University of Beirut
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2011

Discotic liquid crystals (DLCs) have been exploited in opto-electronic devices for their advantageous properties including long-range self-assembling, self-healing, ease of processing, solubility in a variety of organic solvents, and high charge-carrier mobilities along the stacking axis. An overview of DLCs and their charge-carrier mobilities, theoretical modeling, alignment, and device applications is addressed herein. The effects of alignment on charge-carrier properties of DLCs are discussed. Particular attention is devoted to processing techniques that achieve suitable alignment of DLCs for efficient electronic devices such as zone-casting, zone melting, Langmuir-Blodgett deposition, solution-casting on preoriented polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), surface treatment, IR irradiation, application of a magnetic field, use of sacrificial layers, use of blends, application of an electric field, and others. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Boustany R.-M.N.,American University of Beirut
Nature Reviews Neurology | Year: 2013

Since the discovery of the lysosome in 1955, advances have been made in understanding the key roles and functions of this organelle. The concept of lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) - disorders characterized by aberrant, excessive storage of cellular material in lysosomes - developed following the discovery of α-glucosidase deficiency as the cause of Pompe disease in 1963. Great strides have since been made in understanding the pathobiology of LSDs and the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs). The NCLs are neurodegenerative disorders that display symptoms of cognitive and motor decline, seizures, blindness, early death, and accumulation of lipofuscin in various cell types, and also show some similarities to 'classic' LSDs. Defective lysosomal storage can occur in many cell types, but the CNS and PNS are particularly vulnerable to LSDs and NCLs, being affected in two-thirds of these disorders. Most LSDs are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, with the exception of X-linked Hunter disease, Fabry disease and Danon disease, and a variant type of adult NCL (Kuf disease). This Review provides a summary of known LSDs, and the pathways affected in these disorders. Existing therapies and barriers to development of novel and improved treatments for LSDs and NCLs are also discussed. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Khishfe R.,American University of Beirut
Journal of Research in Science Teaching | Year: 2012

The study investigated the relationship of high school students' understandings about nature of science (NOS) aspects and their argumentation skills in relation to two controversial socioscientific issues. The study was conducted in five schools selected from different geographical areas in Beirut, Lebanon. Participants were 219 grade 11 students. Students in all the schools were administered a survey that consisted of two scenarios that addressed the controversial socioscientific issues about genetically modified food and water fluoridation. The two scenarios were followed by questions relating to argumentation and NOS. The study used a mixed methods approach where quantitative and qualitative measures were employed. Analysis involved participants' views of the target NOS aspects (subjective, tentative, and empirical) and their argumentation components (argument, counterargument, and rebuttal). The Pearson analyses showed strong correlations between the counterargument, compared to argument and rebuttal, and the three NOS aspects. Further, the chi-square analyses showed significant differences in participants' argumentation skills and NOS understandings between the two scenarios. Qualitative data from questionnaires and interviews further confirmed these findings. Two central implications for the teaching of NOS and argumentation skills were discussed in terms of highlighting the role of counterarguments and considering contextual factors that involve issue exposure and familiarity, prior content knowledge, and personal relevance. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Agency: GTR | Branch: MRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 389.40K | Year: 2016

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is the largest insurer for hospitalizations in Lebanon, covering 52% of citizens and about 240,000 hospital admissions annually. Typical patients are those who are unable to afford health insurance, are unemployed or self-employed, are older than 64 years, or have a chronic disease (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, cancer). To provide these services, the MoPH contacts with 135 public and private hospitals. Since 2001 the reimbursement rate paid to hospitals by the ministry was determined by the results of a hospital accreditation process. However, over the past several years evidence has accumulated that this was not an effective way to manage the relationship between the MoPH and hospitals. Importantly, the ministry has imperfect information on the performance of hospitals. In 2014 the MoPH began a transition away from the accreditation-only contracting system, and towards one based on performance, including patient outcomes. The main purpose of this research is to develop a performance-based contracting (PBC) system between the MoPH and hospitals in Lebanon, and evaluate its impact on patients and the health system. Such contracting means that the ministry would reward hospitals that perform better by paying them a higher base rate per patient. We will investigate what factors may affect hospital performance and how hospitals responded to this intervention. There has been much work on PBC in health services over the past two decades. However the evidence to support its benefit to patients and cost-effectiveness presents mixed results. One of the main reasons for this is the limited number of strongly designed studies. Recent evidence from England and the United States has also found that positive effects such as reduced readmissions and mortality may be limited to the short-term, and underlined the importance of PBC measurement, context and design. In low/middle-income countries (LMIC) evidence is still more limited, though PBC holds much promise as it may have larger impact on health outcomes given the potential to improve. However this also means it may have larger unintended or negative consequences, and should be designed with great care and close monitoring of impact. In designing PBC, it is important to determine how performance will be measured and how we would evaluate its impact. In our research, at the patient level we will look at changes in patient readmissions for specific conditions, which could indicate inadequate treatment, hospital-acquired infections, or other causes. We will also look at the proportion of patients admitted to each hospital in terms of their age and presence of chronic diseases, as some hospitals may cherry-pick and avoid patients with more complex conditions. We will also develop a patient satisfaction questionnaire, and use it to measure the satisfaction of patients that would be representative of the hospital they were treated at. At the health system/hospital level we will look at the utilization and cost of different services, as well as how complex are the cases being admitted to each hospital (case-mix). We will compare the results for these performance indicators before and after implementation of PBC, and investigate any changes. We will also interview a sample of hospital managers to understand how hospitals responded to PBC and what changes they may have made to affect their performance, such as better application of clinical guidelines, increased training or incentives to the health workforce. We will actively share our research findings with stakeholders and the public through various channels including developing knowledge translation materials and events such as seminars and policy roundtables. The knowledge gained will be used to inform future PBC development in Lebanon and similar initiatives in LMICs.

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