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Drs. Samia Khoury and Malek Tabbal recipients of national Research Excellence Award
7/24/2017
Safa Jafari Safa  |  Office of Communications  |  media@aub.edu.lb  | 

​​Dr. Khoury​ receiving the award

AUB Professors Samia Khoury and Malek Tabbal were two out of six scientists honored at the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) seventh Research Excellence Award ceremony. The official ceremony was held at the Grand Serail under the patronage of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, represented by Minister of Education and Higher Learning Marwan Hamadeh. Distinguished scientists were honored in the following fields: Medical, Biological, and Public Health Sciences; Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Engineering and Basic Sciences; and Human and Social Sciences.

“Each of the researchers being honored today bears a history of successes and innovation,” said Minister Marwan Hamadeh. “This seventh Research Excellence Award, set to the highest international academic standards, stands as the most elite annual academic research prize and as proof that despite any rising tensions within or without our borders, we thrive with distinctions in every field and remain leaders of thought, culture, and humanity.”

Before announcing the award winners for this year, Dr. Mouin Hamzeh, Secretary General of CNRS, commended “the important academic partnerships” the Council has with research universities in Lebanon. “We thank our partner universities that work hand-in-hand with us in our initiatives to develop research and academic life in Lebanon,” he said. “We appreciate their trust, and we renew our commitment to respect the highest degrees of transparency, objectivity, credibility, and sustainability in our collaboration.”

The Council selected AUB’s Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research, Director of Abu-Haidar Neuroscience Institute (AHNI), and Director of Nehme and Therese Tohme Multiple Sclerosis Center, Dr. Samia Khoury, as the recipient of the Medical, Biological, and Public Health Sciences award. Dr. Khoury received the award for her fundamental contribution in understanding the mechanisms of regulation/tolerance in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The report recommending Dr. Khoury’s name, without reservation, explained the research impact as: “performing clinically relevant bench research and conducting clinical trials. Her interest in translating her work in animal models to human studies, led her to develop several clinical trials for Multiple Sclerosis.”

Dr. Khoury has also made significant contributions in the study of peripheral immune responses in MS patients and their correlation with clinical and radiologic evidence of disease activity and published several papers in this area of research. She is recognized as a world leader in MS, and has trained tens of investigators who are now active leaders in MS and Immunology research. 
 

​Dr. Tabbal receiving the award

Associate Dean of AUB’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and Professor of Physics, Dr. Malek Tabbal, was awarded the Engineering and Basic Sciences award. Dr. Tabbal was recommended by the Council for his fundamental contribution to the development and understanding of the physico-chemical properties of innovative materials synthesized using advanced laser and plasma based techniques. The recommendation report stated Dr. Tabbal’s citation record, which exceeds 1500 citations, and an h-index of 18 according to Google Scholar as measures of his research impact. The majority of the students who have done their research work under Dr. Tabbal’s supervision have published their work in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Malek is a pioneer in the design and development of synthetic materials, has been teaching at AUB since 1997, and served as Chair of the Department of Physics, before serving for the last eight years as Associate Dean in FAS. He also serves as Director of two of AUB’s largest scholarship partnerships, with USAID and the Al Ghurair Foundation.

“Today, we celebrate true scientific excellence, and the celebration of its recipients is richly deserved.  But we are reminded that it is only through the unapologetic and determined pursuit of excellence and new knowledge that we can help Lebanon take advantage of its true natural resource, its remarkable people, in developing a genuinely sustainable knowledge economy,” said President Fadlo Khuri. “Samia and Malek are shining examples of the enduring impact of AUB on the excellence that we aspire to as we strive for a better future for all the citizens of Lebanon and the Arab World.”
Story Highlights
  • ​​AUB Professors Samia Khoury and Malek Tabbal were two out of six scientists honored at the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) seventh Research Excellence Award ceremony.
  • The official ceremony was held at the Grand Serail under the patronage of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, represented by Minister of Education and Higher Learning Marwan Hamadeh. Distinguished scientists were honored in the following fields: Medical, Biological, and Public Health Sciences; Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Engineering and Basic Sciences; and Human and Social Sciences.
 
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