American University of Sharjah

Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences

Department of biology chemistry

Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Professor and Chancellor

Dr Kjerfve

PhD in Marine Sciences, Louisiana State University, USA

Dr. Björn Kjerfve's scientific expertise is coastal and estuarine physical oceanography. He has published 12 books and 250 scientific journal papers, book chapters, and reports. His research includes problem-solving in estuarine and coastal waters as well as climate change and has attracted $20 million in research funding for 90 projects. He has conducted field research along the East and Gulf coasts of the USA, in the Caribbean, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Thailand, Malaysia, Sweden, the Arabian Gulf, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. A member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, he has held academic positions at universities in the US, Sweden, Brazil and Australia.

Dr. James E. Gannon

Dr James Edward Gannon

Professor and Head of Department

PhD in Biological Sciences, University of Houston, USA

James E. Gannon has taught and conducted research in the field of microbiology at the University of Montana, Missoula and most recently at the American University of Integrated Science, School of Medicine, Sint Maarten. He has also served as associate and assistant dean of Academics at each university, respectively. He has received several awards for teaching and research throughout his career including three Fulbright Senior Scholar Awards. His research interests are centered in applied microbiology. He teaches parasitology, medical microbiology and environmental microbiology.

Dr. Mohamed Abouleish


Associate Professor

PhD in Environmental Science (Chemistry), Tennessee Technological University, USA

Mohamed Abouleish worked in the environmental industry at an instrumental company (Shimadzu in USA), and taught chemistry and environmental science at several universities, including Tennessee Technological University. His areas of research and teaching interest are environmental protection and management; policies and regulations; water, wastewater, drinking water and pharmaceutical water; solid waste and wastewater treatment; environmental trace analysis; environmental ethics, risk and social issues; and sustainability.

Dr. Imad Abu-Yousef



PhD in Organic Chemistry, McGill University, Canada

Imad A. Abu-Yousef pursued a post-doctoral fellowship in polymer chemistry at McGill University. Prior to joining AUS, he served on the faculty of several universities. He is the recipient of numerous research awards. His teaching interests are in the areas of general chemistry, organic chemistry and spectroscopy. His main research interests include sulfur chemistry, organic electrochemistry, polymer chemistry, photocatalysis, medicinal chemistry and synthesis of new organic polychalcogenides.

Dr. Mohammad Al-Sayah



PhD in Organic Chemistry, University of Alberta, Canada

Mohammad Al-Sayah had post-doctoral research experience in chemical biology and bioorganic chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute, USA. His current areas of research are focused on supramolecular chemistry, including chemical sensors and nanoscience, while his teaching interests are general chemistry, organic chemistry and nanotechnology.

Dr. Aaron Bartholomew

no image profile


PhD in Marine Science, College of William and Mary, USA

Aaron Bartholomew has taught general biology, ecology, evolution, fish biology, marine biology and senior research. His areas of research include coral and coral reef fish communities of Dubai, artificial reefs, predator /prey / habitat relations and marine ecology in general. Prior to his academic career, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the National Marine Fisheries Service in Miami, Florida, USA.

Dr. Sarah Dalibalta


Assistant Professor

PhD in Cell Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Leicester, UK

Sarah Dalibalta pursued her post-doctoral training at the University of Oxford, UK. Her research areas of interest lie in investigating the structure and function of ion channels by using novel electrophysiological and mutagenesis techniques. She has expertise in a broad spectrum of electrophysiological recordings that she has used to study cardiovascular disorders such as Long QT syndrome as well blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia. Her teaching interests are in the areas of physiology, pharmacology, genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry.

Dr. Oussama El-Kadri


Associate Professor

PhD in Inorganic Chemistry, Wayne State University, USA

Oussama El-Kadri worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California Los Angeles, USA. His teaching interests are in the areas of inorganic chemistry, material chemistry and nanotechnology. His research interests are in the area of inorganic synthesis with focus on the development of metal complexes that can be used as ALD precursors and in ethylene polymerization.

Dr. Yehya El-Sayed

no image profile

Associate Professor

PhD in Analytical Chemistry,City University of New York, USA

Yehya El-Sayed was a senior scientist at Donaldson Company Inc and taught at City College of the City University of New York. His teaching interests are in environmental science, analytical chemistry and general chemistry. His research interests include air and liquid filtration, development of new adsorbent materials and understanding adsorption mechanisms, the impact of smoking on health and environment, microporous activated carbon from date seeds, fast and reliable analytical methods for analysis of fuel in soil.

Dr. Fawwaz Jumean


Professor Emeritus

PhD in Physical Chemistry, City University of New York

Fawwaz Jumean has taught general chemistry, chemical thermodynamics,
chemical kinetics, physical and biophysical chemistry, physical chemistry
laboratory. He also taught graduate courses in quantum chemistry, physical
chemistry of macromolecules and molecular spectroscopy. His research
interests include electro-optics, solution thermodynamics and surface
chemistry. As BCE administrator during the period 1998-2015, he oversaw the
development of the department’s curricula and its three degree programs.

Dr. Sofian Kanan



PhD in Inorganic and Environmental Chemistry, University of Maine

Sofian Kanan worked as a research associate at the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology, University of Maine, and as a senior chemist at Sensor Research and Development Corporation. His teaching interests are in the areas of inorganic chemistry, environmental chemistry and applied spectroscopy. His research interests focus on developing new material properties through the use of surface chemistry. His work centers on the development and use of different spectroscopic techniques to probe reactions at the solid/liquid and solid/gas interfaces. It aims to relate molecular surface chemistry and macroscopic properties of materials.

Dr. Mustafa Khamis

Dr Mustafa Khamis


PhD in Physical Chemistry, University of California–Davis, USA

Mustafa Khamis served as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, and Dean of Scientific Research at Al-Quds University. Dr. Khamis has taught a wide range of courses, ranging from general chemistry and physical chemistry to quantum chemistry and environmental chemistry. His research interests fall in the area of pure and applied research that includes wastewater treatment and reuse in agriculture, heavy metal removal, the fate of pharmaceuticals in the environment as well as solution thermodynamics and kinetics.

Dr. Reem Khalil

no image profile

Assistant Professor

PhD in Neuroscience, City University of New York, USA

Reem Khalil pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in the biology department at City University of New York, USA. Her teaching interests include general biology, human anatomy and physiology, as well as neurobiology. Her main research interests lie in examining the neurophysiology and neuroanatomy of the mammalian visual cortex, with a specific focus on the developmental refinement of visual circuits. She has expertise in performing anatomical tracer injections, as well as immunohistochemical staining methods on frozen brain sections.

Dr. Sandra Knuteson

Dr Sandra Knuteson


PhD in Environmental Toxicology, Clemson University, USA

Sandra Knuteson has taught basic environmental science and environmental chemistry for non-science students, environmental toxicology, environmental monitoring and analysis (laboratory), and environmental management and assessment. She also has advised senior research projects. Her area of research focuses on monitoring the environmental quality of local ecosystems, including freshwater wadis and coastal marine wetlands.

Dr. Amin Majdalawieh


Associate Professor

PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Canada

Amin Majdalawieh served as an instructor at several universities in Halifax, Canada and pursued a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Dalhousie University. His teaching interests are in biochemistry, genetics, immunology, cell and molecular biology, cell signaling, general biology, human anatomy and physiology. He received several research awards. His main research interests include cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis), cancer, obesity, signal transduction, inflammation, natural products and nutritional immunology.

Dr. Lucia Pappalardo


Associate Professor

PhD in Biophysics, Syracuse University, USA

Lucia Pappalardo has an extensive research background on the analysis of three-dimensional structures of biologically active molecules by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). She has worked as Research Associate and Fellow at the Scripps Research Institute, Max Planck Institute, CNR, Stockholm University and Syddansk University. At AUS, she has worked on the removal and recovery of heavy metals from wastewaters by using local sand. She started a collaboration program with Princeton University on metabolomics studies by NMR. Her teaching interests are physical chemistry, general chemistry and biophysics/biochemistry.

Dr. Fatin Samara


Associate Professor

PhD in Environmental/Analytical Chemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo, USA

Fatin Samara did her post-doctoral work at the Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. Her current areas of teaching interest are environmental science, environmental chemistry and toxicology. Her areas of research interest include the study and toxicology assessment of persistent organic pollutants in the environment (food, sediment/soil and air).

Nedal Abu-Farha

no image profile

Senior Chemistry Laboratory Specialist

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Yarmouk University, Jordan

Nedal Abu-Farha has more than 15 years’ experience in teaching and research, including 12 years at the Hashemite University, Jordan. He has experience in instrumental, physical, organic, inorganic and industrial chemistry laboratories He has been involved in research projects that required the use of analytical methods and instrumentation.

Sharon Arugay

no image profile

Administrative Assistant

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Saint Paul University, Philippines

Sharon Arugay's career started as an accounts management analyst at the Home Development Mutual Fund, Philippines. She also worked as a marketing and registrations assistant at a private university in the UAE before she joined AUS.

Thouraya Ghalayini

no image profile

Chemistry Laboratory Specialist

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, American University of Sharjah, UAE

Prior to joining AUS as a full-time chemistry laboratory specialist, Thouraya Ghalayini was employed at the American University of Beirut.

Thomas Job

Thomas job

Lab Manager and Instructor

Master of Science in Chemistry, North Eastern Hill University, India

Thomas Job was a scientific officer at the Regional Sophisticated Instrumentation Centre. He then joined La Trobe University, Melbourne, as a research scholar. He joined AUS in 2000. His main expertise is in advanced scientific instrumentation. He supervises and manages chemistry and environmental sciences staff and laboratories.

Nicy Kallely

no image profile

Chemistry Laboratory Instructor

Master of Science in Chemistry, Mahatma Gandhi University, India

Nicy Kallely was a research fellow at National Institute of Oceanography, India. Prior to joining AUS, she taught university-level chemistry for more than eight years at the Dubai American Academy and the Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi.

Mohammed Nazeeruddin Sayeed

no image profile

Chemistry Laboratory Instructor

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Nazeeruddin Sayeed was a research scientist at the Center for Environment and Water at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia. His research interest is in photocatalysis and environmental chemistry.

Priya Raghu


Chemistry Laboratory Instructor

Master of Science in Chemistry, Mangalore University, India

Priya Raghu has taught chemistry for more than 15 years at institutions such as Mangalore University, St. Agnes College, Mangalore, and AUS. Her teaching areas include general, organic and analytical chemistry as well as chemical instrumentation.

Ziad Sara

no image profile

Chemistry Laboratory Specialist

Master of Science in Chemistry, Yarmouk University, Jordan

Ziad Ahmad Sara worked at the research and development lab of Jordanian Pharmaceutical Manufacturing for eight years. Prior to joining AUS, he was employed for two years at the Institute of Applied Technology, UAE.

Daniel Tobias


Senior Biology Laboratory Instructor

Master of Science in Zoology, University of the Philippines

Daniel Tobias, Jr. has taught undergraduate courses in biology and zoology at Mindanao State University and De La Salle University in the Philippines. He has also worked at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. At AUS, he instructs general and advanced biology labs. He supervises and manages biology staff and laboratories. His interests include animal development, teratology, histopathology and microbiology.

Mohammad Shehab

Mohammad Shehab

Chemistry Laboratory Instructor

Master of Science in Chemistry, Yarmouk University, Jordan

Mohammad K. Shehab taught chemistry at Yarmouk University and Jordan University of Science and Technology. His teaching areas include instrumental chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, quantitative chemistry and general chemistry. His main research interest is in supramolecular chemistry, including viologens and macrocyclic hosts. He has expertise in the operation of various advanced analytical instruments such as GC-MS, HPLC, IOC, ICP and NMR.