Interim Associate Provost Hala Muhtasib is Professor of Cell Biology at the American University of Beirut. She received her BS and MS in Biology from AUB and her PhD from Kansas State University. She joined AUB in 1994 as Assistant Professor. In 2004 she was promoted to Professor and served as the Chair of Department of Biology in 2006-2009, Acting Director of Office of International Programs in 2013-2014, and Chair of the Enrollment Management Unit (EMU) from 2012-2015. In 2014, she assumed a secondary appointment in the Faculty of Medicine to develop the Center for Drug Discovery, a center that will ultimately create developmental paths to new discoveries in the drug discovery field at AUB to help in the advancement of therapies.
Hala Muhtasib has extensive experience in Administration and has served on many faculty and university committees during her time at the University. As Chair of EMU, she helped support institutional best practices in key areas of new student recruitment, and promoted student-centered services which contribute to the environment for learning and living at AUB.
Hala Muhtasib research interests are in the field of cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy, particularly in what relates to the study of plant-derived compounds. She has explored novel drugs that inhibit the mechanisms involved in cancer such as naturally occurring plant tannins, vitamin E, and essential oils of the Lebanese sage plant, thymoquinone extract from black seed and extracts from Lebanese indigenous plants, all of which are ingested regularly by humans and thus may hold promise as anticancer agents. Her efforts have been directed towards understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of various anticancer agents using cellular biology techniques as well as an emerging array of molecular technologies. She has published over 85 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, and 11 book chapters, and has received several grants and awards for her efforts to advance the field of natural product drug discovery and drug delivery. She has mentored more than 30 Master’s students at AUB and guided many into doctoral studies and successful careers.