Lab of Dr. Ghassan Dbaibo

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link to Dr.Db​aibo​'s​ FMIS Profile ​

Research Areas

  • The Role of Sphingolipids in the Stress Response.
  • The Role of Ceramide in the Inflammatory/Immune Response:
  • Vaccine-preventable pediatric infectious diseases
  • Primary immunodeficiency

Research Project

Basic Research:

  • The role of the sphingolipid ceramide in mediating apoptosis in the context of cancer chemotherapy and irradiation and its relationship to the tumor suppressor p53.
  • The regulation of ceramide and other sphingolipids by viral infections and the regulation of viral replication by ceramides. The viruses studied include human papilloma virus, adenovirus, human T cell leukemia virus, and influenza virus.
  • The adaptive role of dihydroceramide and dihydroceramide desaturase in chronic hypoxia.
  • Modulation of cellular ceramide levels by cytokines and the regulation of the immune response by ceramide, especially, the effect on protein kinase C theta.
  • Mechanisms of virulence of Streptococcus pneumonia and correlation with specific serotypes.
  • Mechanisms of breakthrough infections in rotavirus-vaccinated children.
  • Molecular mechanisms of primary immunodeficiency diseases.


Clinical Research:

  • Vaccine and antiviral clinical trials.
  • National surveillance program for invasive pneumococcal disease to determine serotypes, antimicrobial resistance, and other epidemiological characteristics.
  • Multicenter surveillance for influenza infections to determine circulating types, antiviral resistance, and epidemiological characteristics.
  • Epidemiology of rotavirus infections and determination of predominant genotypes.
  • National epidemiology and serogroup determination of meningococcal infections.
  • National Neonatal Screening Program for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases (NaSPID) to determine the prevalence of severe combined immunodeficiency in Lebanon.
  • Prevalence and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance.

Selected Publications

Genomic alterations in p53-dependent apoptosis induced by γ-irradiation of Molt-4 leukemia cells. 
Hage-Sleiman R, Bahmad H, Kobeissy H, Kobeissy F, and Dbaibo G
PLoS One 12(12): e0190221 (2017).

Rotavirus Genotypes and Vaccine Effectiveness From a Sentinel, Hospital-based, Surveillance Study For Three Consecutive Rotavirus Seasons in Lebanon. 
Ali Z, Harastani H, Hammadi M, Reslan L, Ghanem S, Hajar F, Sabra A, Haidar A, Inati A, Rajab M, Fakhouri H, Ghanem B, Baasiri G, Gerbaka B, Zaraket H, Matar GM, and Dbaibo G
PLoS One 11(8):e0161345 (2016).

Ceramide inhibits PKCq by regulating its phosphorylation and translocation to lipid rafts in Jurkat cells. 
Hage-Sleiman R, Hamze AB, El-Hed AF, Attieh R, Kozhaya L, Kabbani S, Dbaibo G
Immunologic Research 64(4):869-86 (2016).

Vaccine prevention of mild and moderately severe influenza in children. 
Jain VK, Rivera L, Zaman K, Espos, Jr RA, Sirivichayakul C, Quiambao BP, Rivera-Medina DM, Kerdpanich P, Ceyhan M, Dinleyici EC, Cravioto A, Yunus M, Chanthavanich P, Limkittikul K, Kurugol Z, Alhan E, Caplanusi A, Durviaux S, Boutet P, Ofori-Anyinam O, Chandrasekaran V, Dbaibo G (Corresponding author), and Innis BL.
New England Journal of Medicine 369(26):2481-91 (2013). 

Prospects and Challenges in the Introduction of Human Papillomavirus Vaccines in the Extended Middle East and North Africa Region.
Jumaan A, Ghanem S, Taher J, Braikat M, Al Awaidy S, and Dbaibo GS
Vaccine 31, supplement 6: G58-G64 (2013)

Research Grants

​Title: Regulation of cellular ceramide levels by p53-activated pathways in the apoptotic stress response.
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: National Science Foundation, USA​​
Year: 2001-2004
Title: Influenza vaccine clinical trials (total 3 trials, >750 subjects)
Role:​ Principal Investigator
Source: MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline​
Year: 2004-2005, 2010-2013​

​Title: Lebanese Inter-hospital Pneumococcal Surveillance Program (LIPSP)
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: PneumoADIP, Pfizer
Year: 2005-2022​​
​Title: Role of ceramide in adenoviral infection (3 separate grants).
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: Medical Practice Plan, University Research Board, Lebanese National Council For Scientific Research
Year: 1998-2010

​Title: Ceramide regulation of protein kinase C theta (2 separate grants).
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: Medical Practice Plan, University Research Board, Lebanese National Council For Scientific Research
Year: 2003-2009
​Title: Establishment of an infectious diseases research core facility at the American University of Beirut, Faculty of Medicine.
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: Department of Defense, USA
Year: 2008-2013

Title: Harvard-Middle East Collaborative Network on Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases.
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: Dubai Harvard Foundation For Medical Research
​​Year: 2009-2014​

​Title: The role of dihydroceramide desaturase and the dihydroceramide/ceramide rheostat in the in vitro and in vivo adaptive response to hypoxia.
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: Medical Practice Plan, University Research Board, CEDRE
Year: 2016-2018

​Title: Surveillance and characterization of influenza in Lebanon.
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: Sanofi-Pasteur
Year: 2016-2018​

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Thesis Project

  • Hadile Kobeissy, Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, 2014. Thesis title: “Noxa and ceramide: crosstalk between Bcl-2 family and p53-dependent ceramide accumulation in mediating intrinsic apoptosis in Molt-4 human T cell leukemia and HCT116 colon cancer cell lines".
  •  Botheina Ghandour, Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, 2014. Thesis title: “Regulation of ceramide by the novel synthetic retinoid ST1926-induced cell death in HTLV-I transformed and malignant T cells".
  •  Diana Ghizzawi, Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, 2016. Thesis title: “Ceramide regulation by E4orf4 gene during adenoviral infection".