The School of Arts & Sciences

Department of Natural Sciences

Ralph Abi-Habib

Dr. Ralph J. Abi-Habib is an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at LAU’s Department of Natural Sciences in Beirut. He joined LAU as a full-time faculty member in spring 2009.

His research interests include the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis, identification of selectable tumor markers, selective targeting of tumor cells and the development of tumor-selective fusion toxins for the treatment of solid and hematological malignancies. His research work has been published in conference presentations and international journals, and it has been acknowledged internationally.


  1. Audi H, Azar D, Mahjoub F, Farhat S, El-Masri Z, El-Sibai M, Abi-Habib RJ, Khnayzer RS. Cytotoxicity modulation of ruthenium(II) tris-bathophenanthroline complexes with systematically varied charge. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry 351 (2018) 59-68.
  2. Azar DF, Audi H, Farhat S, El-Sibai M, Abi-Habib RJ, Khnayzer RS. Phototoxicity of strained Ru(ii) complexes: is it the metal complex or the dissociating ligand? Dalton Trans. 2017 Jul 27. doi: 10.1039/c7dt02255g.
  3. El-Boubbou K, Azar D, Bekdash A, Abi-Habib RJ. Doxironide Magnetic Nanoparticles for Selective Drug Delivery to Human Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Accepted for publication at the Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, March 2017.
  4. Dimassi S, Salloum G, Saykali B, Khoury O, Liu SH, Leppla SH, Abi-Habib RJ, El-Sibai M. Targeting the MAP Kinase Pathway in Astrocytoma Cells using a Recombinant Anthrax Lethal Toxin as a way to Inhibit Cell Motility and Invasion. Int J Oncol. 2016 May;48(5):1913-20.
  5. Bekdash A, Darwish M, Timsah Z, Kassab E, Ghanem H, Najjar V, Ghosn M, Nasser S, El-Hajj H, Bazerbachi A, Liu SH, Leppla SH, Frankel AE, Abi-Habib RJ. Phospho-MEK1/2 and uPAR Expression Determine Sensitivity of AML Blasts to a Urokinase-Activated Anthrax Lethal Toxin (PrAgU2/LF). Transl. Oncol. 2015 Oct; 5(8):347-357.
  6. 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. Journal of Neuro-oncology. 2015 Mar;122(1):75-85
  7. Tawil M, Bekdash A, Mroueh M, Daher CF, Abi-Habib RJ. Wild Carrot Oil Extract is Selectively Cytotoxic to Human Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2015 Feb;16:761-767
  8. Tanios R, Bekdash A, Kassab E, Stone E, Georgiou G, Frankel AE, Abi-Habib RJ. Human recombinant arginase I(Co)-PEG5000 [HuArgI(Co)-PEG5000]-induced arginine depletion is selectively cytotoxic to human acute myeloid leukemia cells. Leuk Res. 2013 Nov;37(11):1565-71
  9. Kassab E, Darwish M, Timsah Z, Liu SH, Leppla SH, Frankel AE and Abi-Habib RJ. Cytotoxicity of Anthrax Lethal Toxin to Human Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells is Non-apoptotic and Dependent on Extracellular Regulated Kinase 1/2 Activity. Tranl. Oncol. 2013 Feb;6(1):25-32.
  10. Denmeade SR, Egerdie B, Steinhoff G, Merchant R, Abi-Habib RJ, Pommerville P. Safety and efficacy of intraprostatic injection of PRX302, a PSA-activated pore-forming toxin, for the targeted treatment of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms secondary to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Eur. Urol. 2011 May;59(5):747-54.
  11. Mikati MA, Zeinieh M, Abi-Habib RJ, Rahmeh A, El-Sabban M, Usta J, Dbaibo G. Changes in sphingomyelinases, ceramide, Bax, Bcl(2), and caspase-3 during and after experimental status epilepticus. Epilepsy Research, 2008 Oct;81(2-3):161-6.
  12. Singh R, Browning JL, Abi-Habib RJ, Wong K, Williams SA, Merchant R, Denmeade SR, Buckley TJ, Frankel AE. Recombinant prostate-specific antigen proaerolysin shows selective protease sensitivity and cell cytotoxicity. Anticancer Drugs. 2007 Aug;18(7):809-16.
  13. Abi-Habib RJ, Singh R, Leppla SH, Greene JJ, Ding Y, Berghuis B, Duesbery NS, Frankel AE. Systemic anthrax lethal toxin therapy produces regression of subcutaneous human melanoma tumors in athymic nude mice. Clinical Cancer Research. 2006 Dec 15;12(24):7437-43.
  14. Abi-Habib RJ, Singh R, Liu S, Bugge TH, Leppla SH, Frankel AE. A urokinase-activated recombinant anthrax toxin is selectively cytotoxic to many human tumor cell types. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2006 Oct;5(10):2556-62.
  15. Abi-Habib RJ, Urieto JO, Liu SH, Leppla SH, Duesbery NS, Frankel AE. BRAF status and MEK1/2 activity indicate sensitivity of melanoma cells to anthrax lethal toxin. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2005 Sep;4(9):1303-10.
  16. Westcott MM, Abi-Habib RJ, Cohen KA, Willingham MC, Liu SH, Bugge TH, Leppla SH, Frankel AE. Diphtheria toxin-murine GMCSF-induced hepatotoxicity is mediated by Kupffer cells. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 3 (12): 1681-1689, 2004.
  17. Abi-Habib RJ, Liu SH, Bugge TH, Leppla SH, Frankel AE. A urokinase activated-recombinant diphtheria toxin targeting the granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor is selectively cytotoxic to human acute myeloid leukemia blasts. Blood, 104 (7): 2143-2148, 2004.
  18. Mikati M, Abi-Habib RJ, Sabban M, Dbaibo G, Kurdi R, Kobeissi M, Assaad W. Status epilepticus induced apoptosis: evidence for NMDA receptor activation and ceramide dependent mechanisms. Epilepsia, 44 (3): 282-291, 2003.

Academic Degrees 


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