FAFS Plant Pathologists Reunion

The Department of Agriculture organized a gathering for alumni of the Plant Protection program at FAFS. These alumni completed their MS under the supervision of Dr. Abou Jawdah and were granted full scholarships to proceed with their PhD studies abroad.

The alumni met with the FAFS Plant Protection/Pathology graduate students and encouraged them to carry on with their PhD studies especially that their former PhD advisors in the USA expressed interest in accepting more students from AUB. The students and alumni engaged in discussions on research, education and other accomplishments in the USA and each alumnus was invited for a short talk.

FAFS alumnus, Dr. Peter Abrahamian, currently a post-doctoral associate, received his doctorate degree in Plant Pathology from the University of Florida (UF). He shared his experience with the students during a hands on workshop on bioinformatics.​

Other prominent FAFS graduates who attended the gathering were Dr. Choa El Mohtar and Dr. Hagop Atamian, who also completed their PhD studies in the USA. Dr. El Mohtar earned a degree in Plant Pathology from University of Florida and is currently a faculty member at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Florida. He is currently a lead researcher working on virus vector-mediated gene silencing and RNA-interference technology for potential use in combating an invasive citrus disease (Citrus greening / Huanglongbing) recently spread in Florida. Dr. Atamian completed his PhD at the University of California (UC), Riverside, and is currently an assistant professor at Chapman University in Orange, California. His research at UC-Riverside was published in Nature, one of the world’s top academic and scientific journals. ​

In addition, other alumni, Jamil Samsatly, Patil Tawidian, Rewa Seblani and Samia Hamati are currently pursuing their PhD studies in the USA and Canada.

Our current Plant Protection/Pathology graduate students were impressed by the alumni’s experiences and education, which inspired them to pursue their PhD studies and contribute to the welfare of their communities.