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Faculty of Medicine (FM)
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

The Department of Biochemistry offers a 2-year graduate program leading to a master’s degree in Biochemistry that involves a formal course work and a thesis level of independent research. The objectives of the program are to train students in biomedical research, introduce them to the various cellular and biochemical pathways, regulatory mechanisms that govern and maintain steady state and homeostasis, as well as recent developments in molecular biology and biotechnology. In addition, the program promotes self-learning and develops the ability of the students to: pose questions, identify a problem, postulate a hypothesis, set an experimental approach for solving the problem and draw conclusions ultimately. Thus upon completion of the program, a graduate student will have the ability to critically analyze, apply and communicate knowledge/information. The academic qualifications including the research training of the graduating students would allow them to successfully pursue higher education (MD or PhD), teach in a high school, hold a research position in a medical or research Lab, or work in a pharmaceutical company or biotech company.

Applicants, BS graduates, who fulfill the admission requirements stated in the university catalogue, are accepted into the program on regular basis, on probation or as prospective student. Students are supposed to successfully complete at least 21 credit hours of required (15 cr) and elective courses; pass a comprehensive exam and a 9-credit equivalence of a thesis work (Bioc 319-320, 9cr.)


  • Dr. Ayad Jaffa, Professor and Chairperson, Assistant Dean for Intramural Programs
  • Dr. Fuad Ziyadeh, Professor of Biochemistry, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine
  • Dr. Aida Habib Abdul Karim, Professor of Biochemistry
  • Dr. Fadi Bitar, Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry
  • Dr. Rose Mary Boustany, Professor of Biochemistry and Pediatrics
  • Dr. Nadine Darwiche, Professor of Biochemistry
  • Dr. Ghassan Dbaibo, Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry
  • Dr. Georges Nemer, Associate Professor of Biochemistry
  • Dr. Julnar Usta, Professor of Biochemistry
  • Dr. Mazen Kurban, Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics.
  • Dr. Pierre Khoueiry, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
    • Staff

      • Samira Kadi, Administrative Assistant
      • Yolla Bou Moughlabey, Senior Technician
      • Mohammad Iskandar, Technician

      Required courses include:

      • Basic Biochemistry (Bioc 300, 6cr.)
      • Developmental Biochemistry (Bioc 302, 3cr.)
      • Signal Transduction of G-Proteins coupled receptors (Bioc 304, 3cr.)
      • Immunology (MIBI 310, 3cr.)

      In addition, students have the option to select any of the following elective courses (at least 6 credits):

      • Departmental Electives
        • Biochemical research (Bioc 305, 3cr.)
        • Eicosanoids in vascular biology and Inflammation (Bioc 306, 2cr.)
        • Biochemical methods (Bioc 307-308, 4cr.)
        • Proteins and enzymes (Bioc 309, 2 cr.)
        • Advanced Biochemistry (Bioc 313, 3 cr.)
        • Mitochondria: genetics, proteins and disease (Bioc.314, 2 cr)
        • Biochemistry Tutorial (Bioc 311-312, 2cr.)
        • Bioinformatics (Bioc 316, 1 cr.)
        • Bioinformatics tools and applications in genomics (Bioc 326, 2 modules, 1 cr. each)

      • Non-Departmental Electives
        • Molecular biology of Cancer (Biol 335, 3cr.)
        • Metabolism (PHYL 304, 3cr.)
        • Medical Statistics (EPHD 325, 3cr.
        • Signal transduction (Biol 333, 3cr.)

        As far as their thesis work, students must have hands-on bench experience and do independent research work supervised by one of the full-time faculty members and / or in collaboration with clinical associate members of the department. As stated in the AUB catalogue, approval of thesis topic, title and members of committee must be obtained from the graduate committee at least two semesters prior to thesis defense.

        The Department of Biochemistry has all the necessary equipment required for research studies in molecular biology, cell culture, enzymology, protein fractionation, analysis and purification. The close location of the department to the Faculty of Medicine CORE FACILITIES (Molecular Biology, Protein, Cell Culture, Confocal, Animal house), and Bioinformatics laboratory allow students to have further accessibility to major shared equipment. More equipment are also available in the Central Scientific Research Facility of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

        The departmental faculty have always nurtured and encouraged the basic-clinical research work. The close proximity to the hospital has facilitated sample acquisition for basic research of clinical relevance. Several of the ongoing research is in collaboration with physicians in the hospital, in addition to other collaborations with international centers in the United States, Canada, Europe and the region.

        Throughout the years, the department has successfully been able to get funded intramurally and extramurally. The cumulative departmental research funds have been of the order of $ 50-60 thousand /year which include personnel (part time research assistants) and supplies.

        Graduate students in the department are encouraged to participate in regular research meetings, discuss experimental designs, present data sessions, and seminars. The diverse yet complementary research interests of the faculty provide the students with a comprehensive exposure to variety of topics including: enzymology and protein purification to protein–protein interaction, signaling mechanisms, as well as molecular and genetic analysis of human diseases.

        Contact Us

        • Diana Tamari Sabbagh (DTS) Building - AUB, 4th Floor - Room # 433
        • Telephone: 00961-1-350000 ext. 4870/1
        • Email:
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