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Faculty of Medicine (FM)
Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Physiology

The newly established Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Physiology represents one of the largest Basic Biomedical Science units in the Faculty of Medicine.

The department is a result of a dynamic grouping of different disciplines that include gross anatomy, embryology, histology, neuroanatomy, cell biology and organs and systems physiology. The morphological and physiological sciences are essential disciplines for the understanding of human biology and, in essence, form the foundation for studies of function and disease processes. They are, therefore, a requisite and a corner stone for the practice of medicine. The primary goal of the Department is to continue pursuing a high level of excellence in the teaching to professional and undergraduate students in health-related fields and to sustain quality research.

In line with the University mission and within the overall objectives of the Faculty of Medicine, the mission of the Department is to emphasize programs with a strong correlation between structure and function and to focus on integration of cellular and molecular biology with the biology of cells organized as tissues, organs, organ systems and organisms. The Department strives to meet the following objectives:

  • Impart to undergraduate medical, nursing and allied health students, the basic knowledge and skills in the morphological and physiological sciences and cell biology.
  • Offer selective rotations in surgical and applied morphology and physiology to interns, residents and fellows at different stages of their training.
  • Promote the advancement of biomedical sciences through basic research by offering a graduate training program in the morphological and physiological sciences, neuroscience and cell biology for those candidates planning for teaching and research careers.
  • Offer specialized and specific medical diagnostic services.
  • Undertake collaborative research programs within AUB and national and international institutions and organizations.
  • Offer services through consultancy work and participation in national, regional and international committees or affiliation programs

We envisage that by the end of our restructuring, recruiting and renovating our physical facilities, the Department will occupy a central and pivotal role in medical education and a leading position in state of the art of biomedical research.

Teaching of anatomy, histology and physiology was the basis of medicine since the inception of the Medical Department at the Syrian Protestant College in 1967, now known as Faculty of Medicine at the American University of Beirut. The Arab version of the text books of anatomy (التوضيح في علم التشريح) and of physiology (أصول الفيسيولوجيا) by John Wortabet (one of the founders of the Medical School) written in the early 1870s, constituted a landmark in the history of arabization of modern science.

These disciplines were later re-organized into three separate departments: Anatomy and Embryology, Histology and Neuroanatomy, and Physiology, in the year 1926 and were hosted in the Van Dyck building since 1930; They were moved to the new DTS building of the Faculty of Medicine in 1975 and occupied the basement and the first and second floors. In 1967, the Departments of Anatomy and Histology were merged together into the Department of Human Morphology that was chaired by Dr. Adel Afifi till the year 1985. This new Department was responsible for teaching anatomy, embryology, neuroanatomy, cell biology and histology.

As a result of the recent restructuring of the basic medical sciences, the Departments of Human Morphology and Physiology were merged together in 2010 under the new Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology. 

Faculty Members

  • Dr. Nayef Saadé, Professor and Chairman
  • Dr. Anwar Bikhazi, Professor
  • Dr. Adel Birbari, Professor
  • Dr. Assaad Eid, Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Marwan El-Sabban, Professor
  • Dr. Abdo Jurjus, Professor
  • Dr. Rihab Nasr, Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Doureid Oueidat, Part-time Faculty
  • Dr. Asad Zeidan, Assistant Professor 

Clinical Associates

  • Dr. Kassem Barada
  • Dr. Jose Chidiac
  • Dr. Ahmad Hussari
  • Dr. Abdul-Ghani Kibbi
  • Dr. Fadi Mourad
  • Dr. Abdallah Rebeiz
  • Dr. Raya Saab


  • Dr. Inaya Abdallah, Research Associate
  • Hicham Daouk, Senior Technician
  • Maroun Jabbur, Laboratory Attendant
  • Elie Maamari, Diener
  • Nabih Mheidly, Technician
  • Bassem Najem, Senior Technician
  • Nawal Rawwas, Technician
  • Farah Shamaa, Research Assistant
  • Talar Terzian, Secretary
  • Sawsan Zeidan, Administrative Assistant
  • Rateb Zeineddine, Associate Technician
  • Nadine Zwainy, Research Assistant

The department offers teaching to Medical, Paramedical (Nursing and Medical Laboratory), and graduate students.

Medicine I Students (Includes a total of 29 credits)

  • Gross Anatomy HUMR 207 (7 cr.)
  • Neuroanatomy HUMR 208 (3 cr.)
  • Basic Histology HUMR 209 (6 cr.)
  • Basic Neuroscience IDTH 208 (6 cr.)
  • Cell Physiology PHYL 210 (3 cr.)
  • Neurophysiology PHYL 208 (3 cr.)
  • Homeostasis PHYL 200 (2 cr.)
  • Cardiovascular Physiology PHYL 202 (2 cr.)
  • Metabolism PHYL 204 (3 cr.)

Paramedical Students (Includes a total of 7 credits)

  • Human Morphology HUMR 246 (3 cr.)
  • Human Physiology PHYL 246 (4 cr.)

The Graduate Program
In addition to courses taught to medical students, teaching for graduate students includes several courses in advanced research topics, methodology and tutorials, seminars and research projects for the MS and MS-MD degrees.

  • Methods in Morphology HUMR 310 (2 cr.)
  • Anatomy Tutorial HUMR 312 (2 cr.)
  • Directed Reading and Research HUMR 313 and PHYL 390 (1-3 cr.)
  • Research Seminar HUMR 314/315 (1 cr.)
  • Biology of Nerve and Muscle HUMR 319
  • Human Morphology for graduate students HUMR 346 (4 cr.)
  • Elective in Human Morphology HUMR 260
  • Elective in Basic Neuroscience HUMR 261
  • Advanced Physiology PHYL 311-312 (2 cr.)
  • Physical Methods in Physiological Research PHYL 313-314 (2 cr.)
  • Perspectives in the Physiological Sciences PHYL 317 (2 cr.)
  • Electrophysiology of Excitable Cells PHYL 324 (1 cr.)
  • Projects in Physiology PHYL 391-392 (2 cr.)
  • Elective in Physiology PHYL 260
  • MS Thesis HUMR 397/398 and PHYL 397/398 (9 cr.)

MS degrees in three different majors are offered by the Department: Human Morphology (Cell and Tissue Biology), Physiology, and the Interfaculty Graduate Neuroscience Program.

The department boasts a very active research program that encompasses diverse topics ranging from cancer biology to stem cell and regenerative medicine, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and kidney physiology and neuroscience.

Members of the department maintain collaborative research activities with many institutions in Lebanon and with research groups in prestigious institutions in Europe and North-America.

An impressive amount of research grants is awarded to members affiliated to the Department, and the best research productivity in Lebanon during the last decade is scored by members of the Department and their close collaborators.

The following research projects are being pursued:

  • The role of different sensory nerve fiber groups in neuropathic pain.
  • Spinal and supraspinal mechanisms underlying pain-relieving effects of spinal cord stimulation.
  • Inflammatory cytokines levels and their mRNA expression in the small intestine in experimental models of ulcerative colitis and the role of the enteric nervous system.
  • Effect of Botox on burn wind healing in a rat animal model.
  • The role of estrogen in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in animal models.
  • The role of angiogenesis in HHV-8 associated primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and targeted therapy in vivo using NOD/SCID mice inoculated with PEL cells: BC-3 and BcBl-1.
  • Modulation du profil d'expression génique des cellules endothéliales durant l'extravasation des cellules tumorale.
  • Proposal for the development of bone marrow extract.
  • Bionic man: R&D masterplan - in situ tissue engineering.
  • Water-pipe tobacco smoke: toxicant exposure and effects.
  • Role of omega-3 PUFA on cardiomyopathy in normal and diabetic rat hearts.
  • Evaluation of in vitro anti-cancer activity and in vivo toxicity of two novel gemcitabine derivatives.

Contact Us 

  • Diana Tamari Sabbagh (DTS) Building - AUB, 1st Floor - Room # 1-33 or 2nd Floor - Room 2-33
  • Telephone: 00961-1-350000 ext. 4750/1 or 4800/1
  • Email: or
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