Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences | American University of Sharjah

Science for a Healthy and Sustainable Future

Head Of Department

Welcome to the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences.

In an ever-changing world, we aim to equip our students with the skills required to improve the lives of people and the health of our planet. Our programs align with the global mission to transform our world and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, as adopted by the United Nations. These goals aim to mobilize global efforts to end poverty, foster peace and protect the planet. Through the multidisciplinary expertise of our highly qualified faculty and staff, our Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences leverages the many strengths of these disciplines in research and teaching, to foster sustained future growth in all areas.|-BREAK-|

To achieve this, we offer programs in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, and environmental sciences and sustainability, as well as a pre-med track for those interested in pursuing a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree according to the North American Model of medical education.

We welcome students from the UAE and around the world to apply to our innovative degree programs. We look forward to sharing our enthusiasm with you and working collaboratively towards solving global challenges.

Join one of our programs to enhance people’s quality of life, innovate life-improving technologies, protect the environment, and contribute to a better world.

Amin F. Majdalawieh, PhD
Head of Department


Bachelor of Science in Biology
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences and Sustainability
Minor in Biology
Minor in Environmental Policy
Minor in Environmental Sciences
Pre-med Track


Dr. Mohamed Yehia Abouleish
PhD, Tennessee Technological University, United States
Dr. Imad Abu-Yousef
PhD, McGill University, Canada
Professor Mohammad Al-Sayah
PhD, University of Alberta, Canada
Dr. Aaron Bartholomew
PhD, College of William and Mary, United States


Applied Chemistry and Catalysis
  • Treatment of spent caustic using modified nanomaterials with ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents (Dr. Mustafa Khamis)
  • Data driven of ionic liquids as phase change materials (Dr. Mustafa Khamis)
  • Nanomaterials for catalytic applications (Dr. Sofian Kanan)
Chemical Sensors and Biosensors
Coastal and Marine Ecology
  • Innovative use of remote technology to assess macrofauna in coastal ecosystems, sponsored by Emirates Nature-WWF in collaboration with Umm Al Quwain Environmental Authority (Dr. Ivonne Bejarano)
  • A multidisciplinary study of oyster beds as bioindicators of current environmental and societal challenges in coastal areas of the UAE, in collaboration with EPAA and Emirates Nature-WWF (Dr. Ivonne Bejarano, Dr. Fatin Samara, Dr. Mohamed Abouleish, Dr. Sandra Knuteson)
  • Pearl of Sharjah: benthic and fish communities in Sir Bu Nair protected area, sponsored by Emirates Nature-WWF in collaboration with EPAA and the Emirates Marine Environment Group (Dr. Ivonne Bejarano)
  • Sea turtle nesting ecology in Sir Bu Nair island, funded by the EPAA (Dr. Ivonne Bejarano, Dr. Fatin Samara)
  • Decoding biodiversity of coastal lagoons in the UAE: The use of eDNA to inform management, in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island, Emirates Nature-WWF and Sharjah EPAA (Dr. Ivonne Bejarano)
  • The importance of hydrodynamic variability in maintaining Sharjah’s diverse coral reefs, in collaboration with NYU Abu Dhabi (Dr. Aaron Bartholomew)
  • The vegetation of the United Arab Emirates’ Gulf coast: Description and analysis of the current state, in collaboration with Universitat Politècnica de València (Dr. Aaron Bartholomew)
Environment, Nutrition and Human Health
  • Comprehensive study on an emerging global threat: chemical, environmental, social and health assessment of alternative tobacco products (Dr. Fatin Samara, Dr. Sarah Dalibalta)
  • The role of the environment on predisposition to diseases, such as asthma and PCOS, prevalent within the UAE (Dr. Sarah Dalibalta)
  • The effectiveness of physical activity interventions on cardiovascular disease and diabetes (Dr. Sarah Dalibalta)
  • The role of genetics and epigenetics on cardiovascular disease within the UAE population (Dr. Sarah Dalibalta)
  • Dietary habits and the risk of disease in the UAE youth (Dr. Sarah Dalibalta)
  • Studying the immunomodulatory and anti-cancer properties of various natural products, spices, herbs and other food additives (Dr. Amin Majdalawieh)
  • Metabolomic study applications in veterinary studies and food quality control (Dr. Lucia Pappalardo)
Materials for Biomedical Applications
  • Antibacterial effects of micelle-clay complexes, ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents against bacterial and amebae for real life applications (Dr. Mustafa Khamis)
  • Preparation of cellulose fibers modified with nanoparticles as antimicrobial fabrics and contamination sensors (Dr. Mohammad Al-Sayah)
  • Development of polymer composites for fabrication of implantable neural electrodes (Dr. Mohammad Al-Sayah).
  • Design and preparation of nano-carriers for drug delivery systems (Dr. Mohammad Al-Sayah).
  • Green synthesis of metal nanoparticles and evaluation of their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities (Dr. Amin Majdalawieh)
Materials for Energy Applications
  • Electrolytes, dyes and perovskite materials in third generation photovoltaic cells (Dr. Mustafa Khamis)
  • Design and preparation of porous polymers for application in lithium ion batteries (Dr. Oussama El-Kadri)
Materials for Environmental Applications
  • Metal nanoclusters doped zeolites for water treatment applications (Dr. Sofian Kanan, Dr. Fatin Samara)
  • Development of Porous Organic Polymers for CO2 and iodine gas storage. (Dr. Oussama El-Kadri)
  • Regeneration of novel adsorbents by high oxidation state heavy metals and organic dyes (Dr. Mustafa Khamis)
  • Dual uses of naturally occurring materials for oil and gas produced water treatment and corrosion inhibition of Carbon Steel production assets (Dr. Mustafa Khamis)
  • Pulsed laser deposited substrate coatings on femtosecond laser-nanostructured steel meshes for durable superhydrophobic/oleophobic functionalities for produced water treatment (Dr. Mustafa Khamis)
  • Medium entropy alloys for effective corrosion inhibition (Dr. Mustafa Khamis)
Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Understanding the molecular mechanisms that link macrophage-driven inflammation to conditions such as heart disease (atherosclerosis), obesity and cancer (Dr. Amin Majdalawieh)
  • Understanding the molecular interactions underlying the signaling pathways involved in macrophage cholesterol homeostasis (Dr. Amin Majdalawieh)
  • Isolation and synthesis of natural products and new organic pharmaceuticals (Dr. Amin Majdalawieh)
  • Stereodivergent complexity-to-diversity strategy en route to the synthesis of nature-inspired motifs as anticancer and antimicrobial pharmaceutics (Dr. Amin Majdalawieh)
  • Novel research in diagnosis and treatment of avian respiratory fungal disease in falcon patients (Dr. Lucia Pappalardo)
Pollution, Environment and Climate Change
Systems Neuroscience
  • Understanding the structure and function of cortical circuits in the adult ferret visual cortex (Mustela putorius furo) (Dr. Reem Khalil)
  • Revealing the anatomical organization of visual cortical circuits throughout development and their differential rate of refinement in the ferret (Mustela putorius furo) (Dr. Reem Khalil)
  • Using topological data analysis (TDA) for neuronal clustering and classification (Dr. Reem Khalil) in collaboration with the AUS Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and The Dioscuri Center for Topological Data Analysis, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Revealing differences in pyramidal cell morphology across visual cortical areas (Dr. Reem Khalil)
  • Investigating the role of sleep in mood disorders in mice, in collaboration with NYU Abu Dhabi (Dr. Reem Khalil)
  • Developing novel additive manufacturing methods to 3D print neural structures, in collaboration with University of Michigan-Dearborn (Dr. Reem Khalil)


The Chemistry Building (CHM), which hosts the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, was recently remodeled and refurbished with state-of-the-art labs and facilities including seven labs for undergraduate lab courses and five labs for research and instruments.

Basic and Teaching Instruments
  • Solution calorimeter
  • Bomb calorimeter
  • Surface tension analyzer
  • Polarimeter
  • Density meter
  • Microwave digester – extractor
  • Temperature jump apparatus
  • Stopped-flow kinetics analyzer
  • Flame photometer
Advanced and Research Instruments
  • FTIR spectrophotometer
  • Spectrofluorometer
  • UV-VIS (double beam) spectrophotometers
  • Atomic absorption spectrophotometer
  • Inductively coupled mass spectrometer (ICP-MS)
  • Gas chromatographs (GC)
  • Ion-liquid chromatograph (ILC)
  • High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • Flash chromatography
  • GC-MS-TD spectrometer
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer (NMR)
  • Cyclic voltameter
  • Electro-chemical analyzer (ECA)
  • Physisorption analyzer
  • Thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA)

Faculty in our department also have access to advanced research instruments in the Materials Science and Engineering Lab (such as SEM-EDX, AFM and DSC) and Biomedical Engineering lab (such as inverted fluorescence microscope).

BCE Spotlight

(Video courtesy of Sharjah Government Media Bureau)

His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), inaugurates new chemistry, biology, and environmental sciences laboratories in the AUS College of Arts and Sciences.


(Video courtesy of UAE Pavilion and Assemble Films)

Dr. Oussama El Kadri is a professor of Chemistry at the Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences Department of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is an innovator and here he talks about his research on Porous Organic Polymers, a new technology that can help absorb CO2 and other toxic gases from fossil fuels to make the use of fossil fuels safer.


Alumni from the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences are making a name for themselves in leading organizations in the Middle East and around the world.



Astra Zeneca

Baxter International Inc.

BGI Group

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Environment and Protected Areas Authority

Health Services Laboratories

International School of Choueifat

Janssen Pharmaceuticals


Weill Cornell Medicine


Boston University

Dubai Police

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA)

International Flavors and Fragrances

King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre

Liwa International School

UAE Minstry of Education

University of Basel, Switzerland

University of California, Riverside

Virginia Commonwealth University

Environmental Sciences

Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO)

Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC)


Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)

Emirates Environmental Group

Emirates Wildlife Society (WWF)

Green Planet

Parsons Overseas Limited

Petrofac International Ltd.

Hear from our Students and Alumni

Contact Us

Head of Department
Dr. Amin Majdalawieh
Tel +971 6 515 2429
[email protected]

Biology: [email protected]
Chemistry: [email protected]
Environmental Sciences: [email protected]

Administrative Assistant
Sharon Arugay
Tel +971 6 515 2411
Fax +971 6 515 2450
[email protected]  

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