Muriel Tahtouh Zaatar

Chair of the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences and Associate Professor of Biology

School of Arts & Sciences

Department of Biological and Physical Sciences


PhD in Immunology-Physiology & Biology of Organisms, Lille I University, France (with high honors)
MS in Genetics, Saint Joseph University of Beirut
BS in Natural Sciences, Saint Joseph University of Beirut

Dr. Muriel Zaatar joined AUD in 2022 as Associate Professor of Biology and was appointed Acting Chair of the Biological and Physical Sciences Department shortly thereafter.

Before joining AUD, Dr. Zaatar was the founding faculty of the Biology Pre-Med Program at the University of Balamand Dubai. During her time at University of Balamand Dubai, she organized a series of initiatives to prepare students for their MCAT, and she worked closely with students on a number of research projects that culminated in international peer-reviewed journal publications. Her accomplishments earned her the position of Acting Chief Academic Officer, where she oversaw the university’s academic agenda.

From a community engagement perspective, Dr. Zaatar established partnerships and MOUs with a variety of institutions in the UAE, including the Dubai Police, the Dubai Academic Health Corporation, Mai Dubai, and Imdaad. She is a Dubai Investments “Sustainability Champion” and supervised community engagement initiatives in her capacity as the chair of the Community Engagement Committee. She also has experience with clinical trials in the fields of dermatology, cardiology, transplantation, pulmonology, and ophthalmology in the corporate sector, which allows her to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

Dr. Zaatar’s main research interests are in immunology, neuroimmunology, and physiology. In recent years, her collaborative research work with Harvard University, American University of Beirut, and University of Balamand Lebanon has been on cytokines-related diseases. With her research colleagues, she is investigating the role of Asthma associated T helper 2 cytokines in delaying or reducing atherogenesis with cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of mortality in the UAE and the world. She has also published on the impact of IL-13 on Leishmaniasis, which is a global major health issue.

She has received multiple national and international awards for her research work, including an award for her review on “The new functions of the complement factors associated with inflammation mechanisms in the Central Nervous System.”

In addition to being a member of the American Association of Immunologists and the Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences reviewing Committee, she serves as external examiner/jury president for the evaluation of postgraduate students’ theses at the University of Balamand Lebanon and is pursuing the senior executive leadership program at Harvard Business School.

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