Our mission concurs with that of the University where the focus would be mainly on education which includes teaching and research. The department will pursue, using present day methods the teaching of and research in, Microbiology and Immunology and their applications in health and disease. The training for research along the lines of critical thinking and analysis, creativity and innovation, in order to achieve continuous excellence in advanced research in the field, and in pursuing studies/research towards the MS, PhD and/or MD degrees.History
As early as in 1894, when this University was called Syrian Protestant College, a practical course of bacteriology was given to fourth year medical students for 2 hours a week during the second term. The course was taught by Dr. H. Graham, and was “designed to be an aid in making correct and scientific diagnoses”. The available facilities for teaching bacteriology during this period were described as follows: “The laboratory occupies a fire-proof incubating house and one wing of Medical Hall. It is furnished with steam and dry sterilizers, incubators, apparatus for the examination and cultivation of germs found in air, earth and water, and all the necessary instruments for bacteriological investigation. In addition to a number of microscopes for the use of students, there is a Carl-Zeiss microscope with a complete system of apochromatic lenses and compensating eye-pieces, and the necessary apparatus for micro-photography and projection by the same maker. The cabinet contains a collection of slides of morbid tissue”.
In 1907, the number of hours allotted for teaching of the course was raised to “10 hours a week, for part of the second term”. The course was given to the third year medical students. In 1911, Dr. N. Ardati took charge of teaching of bacteriology in the Medical School.
In 1919, the teaching of bacteriology was shifted from third year to second year medicine. The course included 32 lectures and 64 laboratory hours, and was described as follows: “The principles of bacteriology are presented and a systematic study is made of the character of the more common bacteria. The students are taught to detect and differentiate the various micro-organisms, to grow and isolate bacteria, to prepare culture media and to use the different apparatus of the bacteriological laboratory. The course also includes serum-diagnose and water analysis”. This is the first description of the course where growth and isolation of micro-organisms are mentioned.
Dr. Ardati continued teaching bacteriology up until 1924, when Drs. L. W. Parr and R. Bellama took it over. At this time bacteriology was taught in a department known as Department of Bacteriology, Pathology, Hygiene and Parasitology. In 1925, upon completion of the construction of the Pathology Building on the Hospital Grounds, the Department was transferred to the building under the same name. It would be interesting to note that Dr. P. Lepine, who later became head of virus section at Pasteur Institute in Paris, was associated to this department during 1925-26, as adjunct professor of pathology and morbid anatomy.
In 1926, the number of hours for teaching bacteriology was raised from 32 lectures to 48 lectures, keeping the laboratory hours the same. In the middle twenties, the name of the Department was changed into Department of Bacteriology, Hygiene and Parasitology, thus leaving the Department of Pathology on its own. Dr. Parr continued to be the head of the Department until 1931.
In 1930, Dr. D. Berberian joined the staff and a year later Dr. E. W. Dennis arrived from the U.S. as a head of this Department. Under these two people the Department made considerable progress along the line of teaching as well as in research. In 1935, the name of the Department was again changed, this time into Department of Bacteriology and Parasitology. The numbers of lectures in bacteriology were raised to 80 and laboratory hours to 112.
During the World War period both the quality of teaching and of research suffered because of the amount of time spent for production of biological products. Vaccine production continued after the end of the Second World War.
After the Departure of Drs. Dennis and Berberian soon after the termination of World War II, the Department of Bacteriology and Parasitology was operated under various heads, including Drs. A. Pipkin, E. Rixk, J. Watson, R. Dowdeswell. Likewise, during the same period the Department of Clinical Pathology, which was formerly incorporated with the Department of Bacteriology and Parasitology, was founded under a new director. Finally, in 1952, the Department of Bacteriology and Parasitology was split into separate divisions under their respective names.
In 1953, a major advance appeared in the history of the Department by the creation of a division for virus studies. Concomitant with the introduction of this new branch of microbiology in the Department, the teaching of bacteriology to medical students was considerably modified, to include a number of lectures and laboratory hours dealing with viruses and rickettsiae. Since 1953, the number of hours allotted for teaching of viruses had increased considerably and this relatively new branch of science had attained more importance in the teaching of microbiology to medical students. Likewise, research along this line had gained more importance, and had been particularly intensified during the past few years. In 1954, the name of the Department was changed into Department of Bacteriology and Virology under the chairmanship of Dr. Garabed Garabedian.
The period between 1954 to 1975 was initiated by a combination of circumstances which, when combined, brought about a new impetus through research, graduate education, surveillance of endemic diseases and increase in faculty participation. Thus, opportunity was made available for overseas specialty training. For a certain period of time the Department offered Microbiology Courses for students in Agriculture, Nutrition, Public Health and Nursing in addition to Medical and Graduate courses. Grants were obtained to establish laboratory procedures for the diagnosis of epidemic and endemic viral, rickettsial and parasitic diseases. Activation of a graduate program encouraged the participation of students in advanced basic education and specialty training. During this period the faculty included Dr. Garabed Garabedian, Dr. Robert Matossian, Dr. Joseph Hatem (served for 3 years), Dr. Adnan Dajani (served for 3 years), Dr. Artin Malakian (served for 6 years), Dr. Nassim Nabbut and Dr. Marwan Uwaydah. This phase reached its maximum efficiency in the early seventies when the Department, in the Medical Center was endowed with fresh equipment and greater space. It came to gradual halt with the war, in 1975.
The Department’s teaching activities were mainly bacteriology, virology and to a certain extent Immunology. When the Department of Tropical Heath (School of Public Health) was phased out at the start of the war Dr. George Frayha, Mr. Mtanious Koussa and Mr. Salim Lutfallah (Parasitologists) of the Department of Tropical Health were transferred to the Department of Bacteriology and Virology and were given the responsibility to teach Parasitology and Mycology. As a result of this addition the name of the Department was changed to the Department of Microbiology in 1977. In the same year Dr. Alexander Abdelnoor (Immunologist and Microbiologist) joined the Department. Soon after, Dr. Garabed Garabedian (Chairman) passed away and Dr. Robert Matossian repleaced him, first as Acting Chairman and then as Chairman. The war affected in a negative manner, the activities of all Departments.
There was drainage of faculty and the department was left with Drs R. Matossian, Alexander Abdelnoor and Marwan Uwaydah (part time). Teaching activities were pursued at regular course in spite of hardships and insecure conditions. Research activities and the M.S. graduate program were also maintained. In addition, an extension of the M.S. graduate program was established at Off Campus Program (OCP). The laboratory facilities at Hospital Notre Dame de Secours (HNDS) were utilized. Dr. Alex Abdelnoor served as coordinator of this activity as well as coordinator of the affiliation agreement between AUBMC and HNDS. These activities were discontinued when OCP was phased out.
Dr. Matossian retired in 1992 and Dr. Abdelnoor replaced him as a Chairman of the Department. At this point teaching and research in Immunology in the Department was developed and the name of the Department was changed to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Ghassan Matar, Dr. Elias Rahal, and Dr. Mohammad Sayegh joined the Department and Drs. Ghassan Al-Awar and Nabil Nassar from the Division of Infectious Diseases became Associates. Dr. Marwan Uwaydah suddenly passed away in 2008. In 2010, the name of the Department was changed to the Department of Experimental Pathology, Immunology and Microbiology.
- Dr. Alexander Abdelnoor, Professor and Chairperson
- Dr. Mohamed Sayegh, Professor
- Dr. Samia Khoury, Professor
- Dr. Ghassan Matar, Professor
- Dr. Nabil Nassar, Professor
- Dr. Ghassan Al-Awar, Assistant Professor
- Dr. Elias Rahal, Assistant Professor
- Nayla Akl, MS, Senior Technician
- Marie Therese Khairallah, MS, Technician
- Mary Risk, MLT, Technician
- Shames Younes, Secretary
- Marwa Chehab, MS
- Fadi El-Rami, MS
- Layal Fayad, BS
- Ahmed Sabra, MS
Research grants have been obtained from the Medical Practice Plan (MPP), University Research Board (URB), National Council for Scientific Research (NCSR), Pharmaceutical Companies, Donation from the US Department of Defense (DOD), and more recently from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)/US State Department, Lebanese Ministry of Health/WHO/CDC/PulseNet.
Collaboration in research is encouraged and has been done both among members of the department and members of other departments. More recently we have gone beyond borders and have initiated collaboration with scientists at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).
Please refer to GOOGLE SCHOLAR, SCOPUS, and PUBMED for publications by faculty members of the department.
Members of the department serve or have served on a number of faculty and university committees. These include the FM Advisory Committee, FM Academic Committee, FM Graduate Committee, FM Research Committee, Medicine II Class Teaching Committee, Organ Transplantation Committee, Kidney Transplantation Committee, Infection Control Committee, Curriculum Committee, University Senate, Senate Steering Committee, Board of Graduate Studies.
- Syrian Protestant College, Catalogue for the year 1901-1902
- Syrian Protestant College, Catalogue for the year 1907-1908
- Syrian Protestant College, Catalogue for the year 1920-1921
- Syrian Protestant College, Catalogue for the year 1924-1925
- Syrian Protestant College, Catalogue for the year 1929-1930
- Dr. Garabed Garabedian’s files