The School of Arts & Sciences

Department of Natural Sciences

Mirvat El-Sibai

Dr. Mirvat El-Sibai is an associate professor of biology at LAU’s Department of Natural Sciences in Beirut. She joined LAU as a full-time faculty member in 2010.

Her research interests include deciphering the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways behind cancer metastasis. Her laboratory studies brain tumor and breast cancer cells in vitro and in patients, in order to identify and target the proteins regulating their invasive and metastatic ability. Her research on the actin cytoskeleton, PI3K and Rho GTPases in cancer cell motility has been published in international journals and meetings and has been acknowledged internationally.  (


  1. Shebaby WN, Bodman-Smith KB, Mansour A, Mroueh M, Taleb RI, El-Sibai M, Daher CF. Daucus carota Pentane-Based Fractions Suppress Proliferation and Induce Apoptosis in Human Colon Adenocarcinoma HT-29 Cells by Inhibiting the MAPK and PI3K Pathways.J Med Food. 2015 Jan 19. [Epub ahead of print] 
  2. Khoury O, Ghazale N, Stone E, El-Sibai M, Frankel AE, Abi-Habib RJ.  Human recombinant arginase I (Co)-PEG5000 [HuArgI (Co)-PEG5000]-induced arginine depletion is selectively cytotoxic to human glioblastoma cells J Neurooncol. 2015 Jan 8. [Epub ahead of print] 
  3. Shebaby WN, Mroueh M, Bodman-Smith K, Mansour A, Taleb RI, Daher CF, El-Sibai M. Daucus carota pentane-based fractions arrest the cell cycle and increase apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Oct 10;14:387. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-387. 
  4. Khoury N, El-Hayek S, Tarras O, El-Sabban M, El-Sibai M, Rizk S. Kefir exhibits anti‑proliferative and pro‑apoptotic effects on colon adenocarcinoma cells with no significant effects on cell migration and invasion.Int J Oncol. 2014 Nov;45(5):2117-27. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2014.2635. Epub 2014 Sep 3. 
  5. Saykali BA, El-Sibai M. Invadopodia, regulation, and assembly in cancer cell invasion.Cell Commun Adhes. 2014 Aug;21(4):207-12. doi: 10.3109/15419061.2014.923845. Epub 2014 Jun 16. 
  6. Nasrallah A. and El-Sibai M. Colorectal Cancer Causes and Treatments: A minireview. Open Colorectal Cancer Journal pp 1-4 Published Date: 21 February, 2014. [DOI: 10.2174/1876820201407010001]
  7. Al-Dimassi S., Abou-Antoun T. and El-Sibai M. Cancer Cell Resistance Mechanisms: A minireview. Clinical and Translational Oncology (2014) DOI: 10.1007/s12094-014-1162-1.
  8. Hanna S., Khalil B.D., Saykali B., Nasrallah A., Sobh R., Nasser S. and El-Sibai M. StarD13 is a Tumor Suppressor in Breast Cancer Needed for Cell Motility and Invasion. Int J Oncol. 2014 May;44(5):1499-511. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2014.2330. Epub 2014 Mar 7.
  9. Najm P. and El-Sibai M. Palladin regulation of the actin structures needed for cancer invasion. Cell Adh Migr. 2013 Jan 1;8(1). [Epub ahead of print] Review.
  10. Khalil B.D., Hanna S., Saykali, B.A., El-Sitt S., Nasrallah A., Marston D., El-Sabban M., Hahn K.M., Symons M., and El-Sibai M. The regulation of RhoA in focal adhesions by StarD13 is essential for astrocytoma cell motility. Exp Cell Res. 2013 Dec 10
  11. Nasrallah A., Saykali B., Al-Dimassi S., Khoury N., Hanna S. and El-Sibai M. The Effect of StarD13 on Colorectal Cancer Proliferation and Invasion. Oncol Rep. 2013 Nov 20. doi: 10.3892/or.2013.2861
  12. Hanna S. and El-Sibai M. Signaling networks of Rho GTPases in cell motility Cellular Signalling, review. Cell Signal. 2013 May 11. doi:pii: S0898-6568(13)00124-1. 10.1016/j.cellsig.2013.04.009
  13. El-Sitt S. and El-Sibai M. The Star of the DLC family. J Recept Signal Transduct Res. 2013 Jan 15.
  14. Shebaby W., El-Sibai M., Bodmann- Smith K., Karam M.C., Mroueh M. and Daher C.F. The antioxidant and anticancer effects of Wild Carrot oil extract. Phytother Res. 2012 Jul 20. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4776
  15. El-Sitt S., Khalil B.D., Hanna S., El-Sabban M., Fakhreddine N., and El-Sibai M. DLC2/StarD13 plays a role of a tumor suppressor in astrocytoma. Oncol Rep. 2012 Aug;28(2):511-8. doi: 10.3892/or.2012.1819. Epub 2012 May 17
  16. Khalil B.D. and El-Sibai M. Rho GTPases in primary brain tumor malignancy and invasion (Review). J Neurooncol. 2012 Apr 19.
  17. Bahnan W., Koussa J., Younes S., Abi Rizk M., Khalil B., El-Sitt M., Hanna S., El-Sibai M. and Khalaf R.A. Deletion of the Candida albicans PIR32 results in increased virulence, stress response, and upregulation of cell wall chitin deposition. Mycopathologia. 2012 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print].
  18. Alwan A.; Youhanna S.C.; Platt D.E.; El-Sibai M.; Yerezian J.S.; Deeb M.; Khazen G.; Saade S.; Zreik T.G.; El Bayeh H.; Maalouf A.; Abchee A. and Zalloua P.A. ALOX5AP Gene Variants Show Differential Association with Coronary Artery Disease In Different Populations. Journal of Community Genetics, 2010. DOI: 10.1007/s12687-010-0015-z.
  19. Haber M, Platt DE, Badro DA, Xue Y, El-Sibai M, Bonab MA, Youhanna SC, Saade S, Soria-Hernanz DF, Royyuru A, Wells RS, Tyler-Smith C, Zalloua PA; The Genographic Consortium. Influences of history, geography, and religion on genetic structure: the Maronites in Lebanon. Eur J Hum Genet. 2011 Mar;19(3):334-40. Epub 2010 Dec
  20. Abchee A., El-Sibai M., Youhanna S.C., Estephan H., Makhoul N.J., Puzantian H., Sawaya J., Nasrallah A., Rebeiz A.G., Zreik T.G., Azar S.T. and Zalloua P.A. The I allele of The Angiotensin Converting Enzyme I/D Polymorphism Confers Protection against Coronary Artery Disease. Coron Artery Dis. 2010 Mar 17.
  21. Wu H, Shekar SC, Flinn RJ, El-Sibai M, Jaiswal BS, Sen KI, Janakiraman V, Seshagiri S, Gerfen GJ, Girvin ME, Backer JM. Regulation of Class IA PI 3-kinases: C2 domain-iSH2 domain contacts inhibit p85/p110alpha and are disrupted in oncogenic p85 mutants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2009 Dec 1
  22. El-Sibai M., Platt DE, Haber M, Xue Y, Youhanna SC, R. Wells RS, Izaabel H, Sanyoura MF, Harmanani H, Bonab MA, Behbehani J., Hashwa F., Tyler-Smith C, Zalloua PA and The Genographic Consortium. Geographical aspects of the Y-chromosomal genetic landscape of the Levant: a coastal-inland contrast. Ann Hum Genet. 2009 Aug 16.
  23. Zalloua PA, Platt DE, El-Sibai M., Khalife J, Makhoul N, Haber M, Xue Y, Izaabel H, Bosch E, Adams SM, Arroyo E, López-Parra AM, Aler M, Picornell A, Ramon M, Jobling MA, Comas D, Bertranpetit J, Wells RS, Tyler-Smith C; The Genographic Consortium. Identifying Genetic Traces of Historical Expansions: Phoenician Footprints in the Mediterranean. Am J Hum Genet. 2008 Oct 29. Featured in NYTimes and several other media outlets (Reuters, associated press, Washington post, BBC etc.)
  24. El-Sibai M., Pertz, O., Pang, H., Yip, S.C., Lorenz, M., Symons, M., Condeelis, J.S., Hahn, K.M., and Backer, J.M. RhoA/ROCK-mediated switching between Cdc42- and Rac1-dependent protrusion in MTLn3 carcinoma cells. (2008) Exp. Cell Res. 314:1540-52
  25. Sarmiento C., Yamaguchi H., Wang W., El-Sibai M., DesMarais V., Holman H.A., Kitchen S., Alberts A. and Condeelis J.S. The role of WASP family members and Formins in actin reorganization in cell protrusions. J Cell Biol. 2008 Mar 24;180(6):1245-60.
  26. Sidani M., Wessels D., Mouneimne G., Ghosh M., Goswami S., Sarmiento C., Wang W., Kuhl S., El-Sibai M., Backer JM., Eddy R., Soll D. and Condeelis J. Cofilin determines the migration behavior and turning frequency of metastatic cancer cells. J Cell Biol. 2007 Nov 19;179(4):777-91.
  27. El-Sibai M, Nalbant P, Pang H, Flinn RJ, Sarmiento C, Macaluso F, Cammer M, Condeelis JS, Hahn KM, Backer JM. Cdc42 is Required for EGF-Stimulated Protrusion and Motility in Carcinoma Cells. J Cell Sci. 2007 Oct 1;120(Pt 19):3465-74.
  28. El-Sibai M.*, Yip SC*, Coniglio S.J., Mouneimne G., Eddy R.J., Drees B.E., Neilsen P.O., Goswami S., Symons M., Condeelis J.S and Backer J.M. The Distinct Roles of Ras and Rac in PI 3-Kinase Dependent Protrusion During EGF-Stimulated Cell Migration. J Cell Sci. 2007 Sep 1;120(Pt 17):3138-46.
  29. El-Sibai M and Backer J. Phospholipase Cγ negatively regulates Rac/Cdc42 activation in antigen-stimulated mast cells. Eur J Immunol. 2007 Jan;37(1):261-70
  30. El-Sibai M*, Yip SC*, Hill KM, Wu H, Fu Z, Condeelis JS, Backer JM. Over-expression of the p110beta but not p110alpha isoform of PI 3-kinase inhibits motility in breast cancer cells. Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2004 Nov;59(3):180-8.
  31. Homaidan FR, El-Sabban ME, Chakroun I, El-Sibai M, Dbaibo GS. IL-1 stimulates ceramide accumulation without inducing apoptosis in intestinal epithelial cells. Mediators Inflamm. 2002 Feb;11(1):39-45.

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