Lab of Dr. Raya Saab

Link to Dr. Raya Saab ​FMIS Profile​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Research Interests

  • ​Molecular Biology of Cancer
  • Cellular Senescence in Tumor Suppression
  • Pediatric Solid Tumors
  • Novel Therapeutic approaches in pediatric sarcoma​

Permanent Lab Memebers

  • ​​​Hassan Zalzali, PhD
  • Mohamad Harajli, M.Sc
  • Farah Ghamloush, M.Sc​

​​Selected Publications

SAHA as a therapeutic agent for rhabdomyosarcoma
Ghayad S, Rammal G, Sarkis O, Basma H, Rabeh W, Mouawad J, Karam M, Fahs A, Ghamloush F, Zalzali H, Saab R. 
Cancer Biol Ther. 2018; doi: 10.1080/15384047. 2018.1529093

Interplay between the tumor suppressors p53 and p18Ink4c in control of spermatogenesis
Zalzali H, Rabeh W, Abi Ammar R, Najjar O, Harajly M, Saab R. 
Cell Cycle 2018; 17(5): 643-651

Rhabdomyosarcoma-derived exosomes affect invasive properties of recipient cells and carry differential miRNA cargo by histologic subtype 
Ghayad S, Rammal G, Ghamloush F, Nasr R, Diab M, Chelala C, Saab R. 
Sci Rep 2016; 6:37088

The synthetic retinoid ST1926 as a novel therapeutic agent in rhabdomyosarcoma
Basma HA, Ghayad SE, Harajly M, Ghamloush F, Dweik L, El-Eit R, Zalzali H, Rabeh W, Pisano C, Darwiche N, Saab  R. 
Int J Cancer, 2016; 138(6): 1528-37

P53 restoration in induction and maintenance of senescence - differential effects in premalignant and malignant tumor cells​
Harajly M, Zalzali H, Nawaz Z, Ghayad S, Ghamloush F, Basma HA, Zainedine S, Rabeh W, Jabbour M, Tawil A, Badro D, Evan GI, Saab R. 
Mol Cell Biol, 2015; 36(3):438-51

CDK2 transcriptional repression is an essential effector in p53-dependent cellular senescence - implications for therapeutic intervention
Zalzali H, Harajly M, Ghayyad S, Ghamloush F, Evan GI, Saab R. 
Mol Cancer Res 2015; 13(1): 29-40

Temporally distinct roles for tumor suppressor pathways in cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence in Cyclin D1-driven tumor
Zalzali H, Harajly M, Abdul-Latif L, El-Chaar N, Dbaibo G, Skapek SX, Saab R. 
Mol Cancer 2012; 11: 28

​Research Grants

​​​Principal Investigator
​2017-2019
​Combined CDK and Aurora Kinase inhibition in the childhood tumor rhabdomyosarcoma. 
Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS)
​2017-2020
​Investigating CDK2 regulation and downstream effectors in tumor suppression during oncogene-induced senescence. 
American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP)
​2015-ongoing
​Molecular Guided Therapy for the treatment of patients with relapsed and refractory childhood cancers: a multi-institutional NMTRC consortium study. 
BCC consortium.  
​2015-ongoing
​Pediatric Oncology East and Mediterranean (POEM) group: Establishment of a collaborative network. 
International Outreach Program, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA
​2017-2018
​Targeted education for general practitioners with development and application of a workflow for rapid second opinion, to promote early diagnosis and referral of children with suspected solid tumors.  
American Society of Clinical Oncology- Conquer Cancer Foundation
​2014-2017
​Investigating the role of exosome-mediated paracrine signaling in rhabdomyosarcoma tumor cell. 
American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP)
​2012-2015
​Elucidating molec​ular pathways involved in cellular senescence as a tumor suppressor response. 
Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), National research Priorities Program (NPRP)
​2012-2014
​SAHA as a novel treatment of the childhood tumor rhabdomyosarcoma.  
Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS)
​2011-2014
​Investigating the roles of the DNA damage response and Cdk2 repression in Cyclin D1-induced senescence as a tumor suppressor mechanism.  
American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP)

​2010-2012
​Maintenance therapy to prevent tumor relapse in rhabdomyosarcoma.  
Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS)
​2010-2011​
​Identification of repressed genes involved in heterochromatin foci in Cyclin D1-driven senescence.  
Farouk Jabre Interfaculty Collaborative Grant, American University of Beirut
​2008-2011
​Investigation of molecular pathways of senescence as a tumor suppressive mechanism in Cyclin D1-driven pineoblastoma.  American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP)
​2010
​Developing novel therapy approaches for rhabdomyosarcoma.  The Give A Child A Toy Foundation 

​​​Co-Principal Investigator
​2018-2019
​Co-PI: Rami Mahfouz, MD 
Evaluation of familial genetic predisposition to rhabdomyosarcoma in a family with translocation-positive in two cousins.  
American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (M​​PP)
​2018-2020
​Co-PI: Noel Ghanem, PhD 
Study of the role of Rb and, combined roles of Rb and p53 pathways, during kidney development and nephrogenesis. American University of Beirut- Collaborative Research Stimulus Grant 
​2017-2018
Co-PI: Nidale Tarek, MD 
Investigating the biological and genetic characteristics of neuroblastoma in patients treated at the Children’s Cancer Center. American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP) 
​2018-2019
​Co-PI: Fouad Boulos, MD 
Evaluation of the expression of CD147 and integrin-β1 in pediatric soft tissue sarcomas, and their association with patient characteristics and outcome. 
American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP) 
​2018-2019
​Co-PI: Nidale Tarek, MD 
Evaluation of genomic pathways to tumorigenesis in two distinct primary tumors occurring in the same individual – potential for novel insight into relevant tumor suppressor pathways. 
American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP) 
​2010-2011
Investigating the influence of neuro-developmental stage on brain tumorigenesis upon in-vivo disruption of the tumor suppressors RB and p53 in neural precursor cells. 
Farouk Jabre Interfaculty Collaborative Grant, American University of Beirut

​​​Co-Investigator
​2017-2019
​PI: Pierre Khoueiry, PhD 
Integrating Next Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics for the Characterization and Functional Analysis of Super-Enhancers in Cancer Progression. ​
Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS)
​2017-2020
​PI: Humam Kaddara, PhD 
Lipocalin 2 in developme​nt and growth of Kras mutant lung adenocarcinoma. 
American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP)
​2017-2020
​PI: Pierre Khoueiry, PhD 
Deciphering the genome wide dynamics of regulatory regions during cancer progression using Next Generation Sequencing approaches. American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP)
​2016-2017
​PI: Marianne Majdalani, MD 
Spirituality among parents of children with cancer at AUBMC.
American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP)
​2010-2011
​PI: Samar Muwakkit, MD 
The Role of Pharmacogenetics in the treatment of childhood ALL
American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP)
​2008-2009
​PI: Georges Nemer, PhD 
Role of GATA transcription factors in muscle development and disease
American University of Beirut- Medical Practice Plan (MPP)​

​Awards

​2019
​Honorary Doctorate, Yerevan State Medical University, Yerevan, Armenia
​2011
​Nominated, Teaching Excellence Award, American University of Beirut
​2010
​Travel Award for abstract presentation: 2nd AACR - Dead Sea International Conference: Advances in Cancer Research. Dead Sea, Jordan
​2008  
​Travel Award for abstract presentation: 1st AACR - Dead Sea International Conference: Advances in   Cancer Research. Dead Sea, Jordan
​2003
​James Stockman III Teaching Award, Duke University Medical Center
​2003
​Deborah Kredich Teaching Award, Duke University Medical Center
​2003
​Resident Teaching Award, Duke University Medical Center​​