American University of Beirut

Speakers and Moderators Women in Data Science (WiDS) Webinar @AUB


  • Veronic de Puysseleyr
    Research Scientist, Inari

veronic.pngVeronic is a research scientist at Inari, a biotech company that aims to transform plant breeding and to make our agriculture system more climate resilient and respectful of the environment so that it can continue to feed the growing global population. Prior to joining Inari, she was a data scientist at Orionis Biosciences, an early stage drug discovery company with a main focus in oncology and immunotherapies. Her main interest lies in the statistical analysis of multi-omics datasets.

  • Marinka Zitnik
    Assistant Professor, Harvard University

marinka.pngMarinka Zitnik is an Assistant Professor at Harvard University with appointments in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Harvard Data Science. Dr. Zitnik has published extensively in top ML venues (e.g., NeurIPS, ICLR, ICML) and leading journals (e.g., Nature Methods, Nature Communications, PNAS). She has organized numerous conferences in the nexus of AI, deep learning, drug discovery, and biomedical AI at leading conferences (NeurIPS, ICLR, ICML, ISMB, AAAI, WWW), where she is also in the organizing committees. Her research won best paper and research awards from the International Society for Computational Biology, International Conference on Machine Learning, Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award, Amazon Faculty Research Award, Roche Alliance with Distinguished Scientists Award, Rising Star Award in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Next Generation in Biomedicine Recognition, being the only young scientist who received such recognition in both EECS and Biomedicine.

  • Dr Maliha Hashmi
    C-level Healthcare Executive | Global Health Leader | Board Member | Public Speaker and Author | WEF Global Future Council Expert | V2O Delegate of G20 Presidency| Forbes Magazine Contributor

maliha.pngDr. Maliha Hashmi is one of the Top Seven Most Talented Female Health Leaders of the MENA region.Sheis well-known as one of the dedicated and esteemed leaders in the region who has committed herself to bringing positive change, wellness and growth to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Dr. Maliha Hashmi served as the Executive Director and Co-Head of the Health, Wellbeing and Biotech Sector at NEOM, where she also served as the Executive Director for all Strategic Partnerships. Dr. Maliha Hashmi also served as the Deputy Chair of the NEOM Covid-19 Leadership Taskforce. She also has Senior Advisory roles in various KSA entities where she advises on healthcare and education.Dr. Maliha Hashmi serves as a Board Member of the prestigious Advisory Board for Arab Health: the largest multi-disciplinary congress in the MENA Region. Dr. Maliha Hashmi is also a Board Member of the Halal Certification Authority part of the Saudi Food Drug Authority. Dr. Hashmi also serves as a Leading Expert & Council Member for the Prestigious Global Future Council on Health & Healthcare at the World Economic Forum.Furthermore, Dr. Maliha Hashmi serves as a Leading Expert & Council Member for theGlobal Future Council on Longevity at the World Economic Forum. Dr. Hashmi is a also a Leading Expert and Council Member for the Emerging Technologies Councils in the MENA Region which is part of the Big Innovation Center, an award winning global innovation technology think tank. Dr. Maliha Hashmi, is also an esteemed delegate of the V20, where V20 is a global platform of value experts and practitioners that has come together on the sidelines of the G20 presidency to actively engage with the process of theGroup of Twenty (G20). She is also a regular contributor for Forbes. Dr. Maliha Hashmi has held Senior Executive roles in various sectors and globally renowned organizations and is a well-known name in the region for health & wellbeing. Dr. Maliha Hashmi received her Doctorate and Master’s Degrees from Harvard and MIT. Dr. Maliha Hashmi is listed as one of the top 20 women in the Nation in the United States of America for her achievements making it into the Who’s Who in America List.

  • Lama Nachman
    Intel Fellow, Director of Intelligent Systems Lab
lama.pngLama Nachman is an Intel fellow and Director of Intelligent Systems Research Lab in Intel Labs. Her research is focused on creating contextually aware experiences that understand users through sensing and sense making, anticipate their needs and act on their behalf. She leads a multi-disciplinary team of researchers that explore new user experiences, sensing systems, algorithms and applications and transfer these capabilities to biz units to impact future Intel products. Lama has 26 years of experience in the areas of context aware computing, multi-modal interactions, sensor networks, computer architecture, embedded systems and wireless technologies. One of the most notable achievements of Nachman’s career is an Intel collaboration with Professor Stephen Hawking. Beginning in 2012, she led a team of researchers who developed a new software platform and sensing system to help Hawking communicate. Subsequently, she also led the effort to take that technology to the open source community, enabling people with disabilities worldwide to communicate using limited input and live as independently as possible. Prior to joining Intel, Lama has held senior positions at Ubicom Inc, Weave Innovations and Microsoft Corporation. Lama received her MS and BS in computer engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Nadine Hachach-Haram, BEM
    NHS surgeon, lecturer and clinical entrepreneur

nadine.pngDr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, BEM, the recipient of the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours ,is an NHS surgeon, lecturer and clinical entrepreneur. Nadine drew on her passion for innovation, education and global surgery to found Proximie, a digital healthcare platform aiming to improve access to surgical care and to scale clinical expertise through training. Through its patented platform,clinician scan virtually ’scrub-in,’to any clinical setting to visually and practically interact, analyse and collaborate anywhere in the world. They can provide a real-time virtual presence, have content overlaid, use augmented reality, and see multiple views of the operation as well as other clinical information -giving a feeling of being in the room and provide safe, accessible and high-qualitycare to every patient around the world. Proximie has enjoyed significant success with early adoption by major medical institutions and device companiesand has been covered by news agencies aroundthe world. Dubbed by CNN the "Future of Surgery," Proximie has gone from strength to strength and won multiple awards including Foreign Press Association Science Story of the Yearand Red Herring Top 100.Nadine has been selected as an Endeavor entrepreneur, isa member of the Royal College of Surgeons’ Commission on the Future of Surgery, consisting of some of the country’s leading doctors, engineers, data experts, managers, and patient representatives with the objective to investigate the advances that will transformsurgery over the next 20 years, and Faculty at Singularity & Exponential Medicine. She is also the Clinical lead forInnovation at Guys & St Thomas’ Hospital When she isn’t working, Nadine spends her time with her husband and three children in London.


  • ​​Mariette Awad, PhD, 
    WiDSAUB co-ambassador, Associate Professor, MSFEA

Prof. Mariette Awad is an associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the American University of Beirut. Her book “Efficient Learning Machines: Theories, Concepts and Applications for Engineers and Systems”, published in 2015, is among the most open source downloaded books for Summer 2020 according to Springer Nature. She has more than 100 patents, conferences and journals articles and she is managing multimillions grants and multidisciplinary international collaborations.  She is a founding member of the UN ESCWA Knowledge Hub in Beirut and assists in solving central problems related to the knowledge management and decision support processes in the region. She is a WIDS ambassador and she has lead a hackathon, an AI summer school, and founded WIE affinity student group at AUB and the WIE Lebanon chapter. Prior to her academic position, she was with IBM System and Technology group where she earned management recognition, several business awards, and multiple patents. Her current research interests include machine learning, data analytics and internet of things. ​

  • ​​Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan, MD, MPH, FRCP
​Professor of Medicine, Founding Director of Calcium Metabolism and Osteoporosis Program, and WHO Collaborating Center for Metabolic Bone Disorders Scholars in Health Research Program at American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Dr. Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan is Professor of Medicine, Physician-Scientist, at the American University of Beirut (AUB), Beirut, Lebanon. She is founding Director of the Calcium Metabolism and Osteoporosis Program, WHO Collaborating Center for Metabolic Bone Disorders, and of the Scholars in HeAlth Research Program at AUB. Dr. El-Hajj Fuleihan obtained her MD degree from the American University of Beirut (AUB), completed residency and fellowship training at the New England Deaconess and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston. She holds a master in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, Clinical Effectiveness concentration. She is the PI/PD on multiple investigator initiated grants, including the NIH D43 capacity-building grant, awarded a 5-year competitive renewal (2020-2025). Dr. El-Hajj Fuleihan’s laboratory focuses on generating evidence on the pathophysiology, prevention, and treatment of hypovitaminosis D, osteoporosis, and other metabolic bone disorders. She leads a team that conducts clinical trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses, and translates findings into prevention and treatment strategies. She closely collaborates with the Ministry of Health officials and international experts to generate evidence-based national and international care pathways. These include guidance and guidelines on metabolic bone diseases, by OSTEOS, ISCD, IOF, ASBMR and the Endocrine Society. She led the IOF Middle East Africa audit, launched FRAX Lebanon, the first fracture risk calculator in the Middle East. She has mentored over 64 postgraduate trainees and junior faculty; several are pursuing careers in clinical translational research, at AUB, or in the US. 
Dr. El-Hajj Fuleihan has published on her topics of interest in over 190 publications, mostly peer reviewed original investigations, chapters, invited reviews, and penned invited several Editorials, Scientific Position Statements, and commentaries in the New England of Medicine, and Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Nature Reviews Endocrinology. Dr. El-Hajj Fuleihan is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, and recipient of several awards including the 2013 International Society of Clinical Densitometry John P. Bilezikian Global Leadership Award, the 2016 Endocrine Society International Excellence in Endocrinology Laureate Award, and the 2017 Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health Award of Merit. She served as Clinical Science Chair, Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting 2019; and serves a three year term on its board of directors. She also holds a lifelong appointment as the Bernard Lown Scholar in the Department of Global Health and Population, at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health.​

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