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Membership type: full

Nasr Rihab

Country of origin: Lebanon Currently in: Lebanon, Beirut General field of specialization: Biological Systems and Organisms
Academic Background


2019 Biological Systems and Organisms
Research and Profession

Current Research Activities

Medical and Health Sciences incl Neurosciences

My primary research interests include the development of targeted therapies for leukemias with a focus on the specific targeting of leukemic stem cells. The outcome of her research has led to the discovery of several targeted therapies for leukemias and to the elucidation of the mechanisms of action of some existing therapies. We have recently demonstrated the preclinical efficacy of a drug combination that aims to provide cure of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. My second research interest concerns the role of microRNA in cancer specifically breast cancer, and their role as biomarkers to predict early onset breast cancer.

Research Keywords: 
breast cancer
Targeted Therapy

Publications resulting from Research: 

1. Guillemin, Marie-Claude ; Nasr, Rihab ; De The, Hugues. Pharmaceutical Compositions Useful For The Treatment Of Cancers, In Particular Acute Myeloid Leukemia And Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. European Patent Application, April 2011. Patent number: EP2303255
2. Guillemin, Marie-Claude ; Nasr, Rihab ; De The, Hugues. Pharmaceutical Compositions Useful For The Treatment Of Cancers, In Particular Acute Myeloid Leukemia And Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. Patent Cooperation Treaty Application, December 2009. Patent number: WO09147169

J. Antoun, R. Nasr, N. Zgheib. Use of technology in the readiness assurance process of team based learning: paper, automated response system, or computer based testing.
Computers in Human Behavior. 2015. 46: 38-44.
2. Nasr RR, Hmadi RA, El-Eit RM, Iskandarani AN, Jabbour MN, Zaatari GS, Mahon F, Pisano CC, Darwiche ND. First and corresponding author
ST1926, an orally active synthetic retinoid, induces apoptosis in chronic myeloid leukemia cells and prolongs survival in a murine model. Int J Cancer. 2014 Dec 29. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29407.
3. Farah J. Nassar, Maya El Sabban, Nathalie K. Zgheib, Arafat Tfayli, Fouad Boulos, Mark Jabbour, Nagi S. El Saghir, Rabih Talhouk, Ali Bazarbachi, George Calin, Rihab Nasr. Senior corresponding author. miRNA as Potential Biomarkers of Breast Cancer in the Lebanese Population and in Young Women: a Pilot Study. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 18;9(9):e107566
4. El Eit, Rabab; Iskandarani, Ahmad; Saliba, Jessica; Jabbour, Mark; Mahfouz, Rami; Bitar, Nizar; El Ayoubi, Hanadi; zaatari, Ghazi; Mahon, Francois-Xavier; de Thé, Hugues; Bazarbachi, Ali; NASR, Rihab. Senior corresponding author. Effective targeting of chronic myeloid leukemia initiating activity with the combination of arsenic trioxide and interferon alpha. Int J Cancer. 2014 Feb 15;134(4):988-96.
5. El Hajj H, Khalil B, Ghandour B, Nasr R, Shahine S, Ghantous A, Abdel-Samad R, Sinjab A, Hasegawa H, Jabbour M, Hall WW, Zaatari G, Dbaibo G, Pisano C, Bazarbachi A, Darwiche N Pre-clinical efficacy of the synthetic retinoid ST1926 for treating adult T cell
leukemia/lymphoma. Blood. 2014 Jul 17. pii: blood-2014-03-560060. [Epub ahead of print]
6. Saliba J, Deleuze-Masquéfa C, Iskandarani A, El Eit R, Hmadi R, Mahon FX, Bazarbachi A, Bonnet PA, Nasr R. Senior corresponding author. EAPB0503, a novel imidazoquinoxaline derivative, inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in chronic myeloid leukemia cells. Anticancer Drugs. 2014 Jan 23. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:
7. Nasr, R., Marcais, A., Hermine, O. , Bazarbachi, A. Focus on treatment of HTLV-I-associated adult T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma (Article) [Mise au point sur le traitement des leucémies/lymphomes T de l'adulte liés au retrovirus HTLV-I] Hematologie. Volume 20, Issue 2, March-April 2014, Pages 97-110.
8. Ahmad Hamad, Zeyad Sahli, Maya El Sabban, Maha Mouteirik and Rihab Nasr. Senior corresponding author. Emerging Therapeutic Strategies For Targeting Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Stem Cells. Stem Cell international. Vol. 2013, Article ID 724360, 12 pages, 2013. Doi:10.1155/2013/724360.
9. Ablain J, Nasr R, Zhu J, Bazarbachi A, Lallemand-Breittenbach V, de Thé H. How animal models of leukaemias have already benefited patients. Mol Oncol. 2013 Apr;7(2):224-31.
10. Hajj HE, Nasr R, Kfoury Y, Dassouki Z, Nasser R, Kchour G, Hermine O, de Thé H, Bazarbachi A. Animal models on HTLV-1 and related viruses: what did we learn?
Front Microbiol. 2012;3:333.
11. Nasr R.*, Bazarbachi A. * co-corresponding author. [Chronic myeloid leukemia: "archetype" of the impact of targeted therapies] Pathol Biol (Paris). 2012 Aug;60(4):239-45
12. Kfoury Y, Nasr R, Journo C, Mahieux R, Pique C, Bazarbachi A. The multifaceted oncoprotein Tax: subcellular localization, posttranslational modifications, and NF-κB activation. Adv Cancer Res. 2012;113:85- 20.
13. Dos Santos GA, Abreu E Lima RS, Pestana CR, Lima AS, Scheucher PS, Thomé CH, Gimenes-Teixeira HL, Santana-Lemos BA, Lucena-Araujo AR, Rodrigues FP, Nasr R, Uyemura SA, Falcao RP, de Thé H, Pandolfi PP, Curti C, Rego EM. (+)α-Tocopheryl succinate inhibits the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I and is as effective as arsenic trioxide or ATRA against acute promyelocytic leukemia in vivo. Leukemia. 2012 Mar;26(3):451-60
14. Ablain J, Nasr R, Bazarbachi A, de Thé H. The drug-induced degradation of oncoproteins: an unexpected Achilles' heel of cancer cells? Cancer Discov. 2011 Jul;1(2):117-27.
15. Nasr R, Hajj HE, Kfoury Y, de Thé H, Hermine O, Bazarbachi A. Controversies in Targeted Therapy of Adult T Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma: ON Target or OFF Target Effects?
Viruses. 2011; 3(6): 750-69.
16. El Hajj H, El-Sabban M, Hasegawa H, Zaatari G, Ablain J, Saab ST, Janin A, Mahfouz R, Nasr R, Kfoury Y, Nicot C, Hermine O, Hall W, de Thé H, Bazarbachi A.
Therapy-induced selective loss of leukemia-initiating activity in murine adult T cell
leukemia. J Exp Med. 2010; 207(13):2785-92.
17. Nasr R, de Thé H. Eradication of acute promyelocytic leukemia-initiating cells by PML/RARA-targeting. Int J Hematol. 2010; 91(5): 742-7.
18. Nasr R, Lallemand-Breitenbach V, Zhu J, Guillemin MC, de Thé H.Therapy-induced PML/RARA proteolysis and acute promyelocytic leukemia cure. Clin Cancer Res. 2009. 15(20): 6321-6326.
19. Rihab Nasr, Marie-Claude Guillemin, Philippe Rousselot, Hugues de Thé.
L'éradication des cellules souches leucémiques de la leucémie aiguë à promyélocytes
passe par la dégradation de PML/RARA. Hématologie. 2009. 15(1): 15-8.
20. Nasr R, Guillemin MC, Ferhi O, Soilihi H, Peres L, Berthier C, Rousselot P,
Robledo-Sarmiento M, Lallemand-Breitenbach V, Gourmel B, Vitoux D, Pandolfi PP, Rochette-Egly C, Zhu J, de Thé H. Eradication of acute promyelocytic leukemia-initiating cells through PML-RARA degradation. Nat Med. 2008 Dec;14(12):1333-42.
21. Lallemand-Breitenbach V, Jeanne M, Benhenda S, Nasr R, Lei M, Peres L, Zhou J, Zhu J, Raught B, de Thé H. Arsenic degrades PML or PML-RARalpha through a SUMO-triggered RNF4/ubiquitin mediated pathway. Nat Cell Biol. 2008 May; 10(5): 547-55.
22. Kfoury Y, Nasr R, Favre-Bonvin A, El-Sabban M, Renault N, Giron ML, Setterblad N, Hajj HE, Chiari E, Mikati AG, Hermine O, Saib A, de Thé H, Pique C, Bazarbachi A.
Ubiquitylated Tax targets and binds the IKK signalosome at the centrosome. Oncogene. 2008; 27(12): 1665-76.
23. Zhu J*, Nasr R*, Pérès L, Riaucoux-Lormière F, Honoré N, Berthier C, Kamashev D, Zhou J, Vitoux D, Lavau C, de Thé H. * equal contribution. RXR is an essential component of the oncogenic PML/RARA complex in vivo. Cancer cell , 2007; 12: 23-35.
24. Dbaibo GS, Kfoury Y, Darwiche N, Panjarian S, Kozhaya L, Nasr R, Abdallah M, Hermine O, El-Sabban M, de Thé H, Bazarbachi A. Arsenic trioxide induces accumulation of cytotoxic levels of ceramide in acute promyelocytic leukemia and adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma cells through de novo ceramide synthesis and inhibition of glucosylceramide synthase activity. Haematologica. 2007 Jun;92(6):753-62.
25. Vitoux D, Nasr R, de The H. Acute promyelocytic leukemia: new issues on pathogenesis and treatment response. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2007;39(6):1063-70.
26. Zhou J, Pérès L, Honoré N, Nasr R, Zhu J, de Thé H. Dimerization-induced corepressor binding and relaxed DNA-binding specificity are critical for PML/RARA-induced immortalization. PNAS. 2006 Jun 13 ; 103(24) : 9238-43.
27. Nasr R, Chiari E, El-Sabban M, Mahieux R, Kfoury Y, Abdulhay M, Yazbeck V,
Hermine O, de Thé H, Pique C, Bazarbachi A. Tax ubiquitylation and sumoylation control critical cytoplasmic and nuclear steps of NF-kappaB activation. Blood. 2006 May 15;107(10):4021-9.
28. Kfoury Y, Nasr R, Hermine O, de Thé H, Bazarbachi A. Proapoptotic regimes for HTLV-I-transformed cells: targeting Tax and the NF-kappaB pathway. Cell Death Differ. 2005 Aug;12 Suppl 1:871-7.
29. Nasr R, El-Sabban ME, Karam JA, Dbaibo G, Kfoury Y, Arnulf B, Lepelletier Y,
Bex F, de Thé H, Hermine O, Bazarbachi A. Efficacy and mechanism of action of the proteasome inhibitor PS-341 in T-cell lymphomas and HTLV-I associated adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. Oncogene. 2005 Jan 13;24(3):419-30.
30. Bazarbachi A, Ghez D, Lepelletier Y, Nasr R, de Thé H, El-Sabban ME, Hermine
O. New therapeutic approaches for adult T-cell leukemia. Lancet Oncol. 2004 Nov;5(11):664-72.
31. Bazarbachi A, Abou Merhi R, Gessain A, Talhouk R, El-Khoury H, Nasr R, Gout O, Sulahian R, Homaidan F, de Thé H, Hermine O, El-Sabban ME. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I-infected cells extravasate through the endothelial barrier by a local angiogenesis-like mechanism. Cancer Res. 2004 Mar 15;64(6):2039-46.
32. Darwiche N, Hatoum A, Dbaibo G, Kadara H, Nasr R, Abou-Lteif G, Bazzi R,
Hermine O, de Thé H, Bazarbachi A. N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide induces growth arrest and apoptosis in HTLV-Itransformed cells. Leukemia. 2004 Mar;18(3):607-15.
33. Nasr R, Rosenwald A, El-Sabban ME, Arnulf B, Zalloua P, Lepelletier Y, Bex F, Hermine O, Staudt L, de Thé H, Bazarbachi A. Arsenic/interferon specifically reverses 2 distinct gene networks critical for the survival of HTLV-1-infected leukemic cells. Blood. 2003 Jun 1;101(11):4576-82.
34. Darwiche N, El-Sabban M, Bazzi R, Nasr R, Al-Hashimi S, Hermine O, de Thé H, Bazarbachi A. Retinoic acid dramatically enhances the arsenic trioxide-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in retinoic acid receptor alpha-positive human T-cell lymphotropic virus type-I-transformed cells. Hematol J. 2001 Mar;2(2):127-135.
35. El-Sabban ME, Nasr R, Dbaibo G, Hermine O, Abboushi N, Quignon F, Ameisen
JC, Bex F, de Thé H, Bazarbachi A. Arsenic-interferon-alpha-triggered apoptosis in HTLV-I transformed cells is associated with tax down-regulation and reversal of NF-kappa B activation. Blood. 2000 Oct 15;96(8):2849-55.
36. Shamseddine A, Taher A, Jaafar H, Haidar JH, Nasr R, Arzoumanian V, Salem Z, Bazarbachi A. Interferon alpha is an effective therapy for congenital dyserythropoietic anaemia type I. Eur J Haematol. 2000 Sep;65(3):207-9.
37. Bazarbachi A, Nasr R, El-Sabban ME, Mahé A, Mahieux R, Gessain A, Darwiche N, Dbaibo G, Kersual J, Zermati Y, Dianoux L, Chelbi-Alix MK, de Thé H, Hermine O.
Evidence against a direct cytotoxic effect of alpha interferon and zidovudine in HTLV-I
associated adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma. Leukemia. 2000 Apr;14(4):716-21.
38. Bazarbachi A, El-Sabban ME, Nasr R, Quignon F, Awaraji C, Kersual J, Dianoux L, Zermati Y, Haidar JH, Hermine O, de Thé H. Arsenic trioxide and interferon-alpha synergize to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I-transformed cells. Blood. 1999 Jan 1;93(1):278-83.

Current profession

Current professional activities type: 
Associate Professor in the department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology. Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut. My main professional activities include: - research, teaching of Master and PhD students as well as Med I and Med II students. I also serve on many committees of the Faculty of Medicine.


American Society of Hematology

Presentation given

Cancer Epidemiology And Cancer Research In The Middle East: A Lebanese Perspective.
Northwestern University, USA
Event: Global Health Lecture
Effective Therapeutic Targeting of Leukemia Initiating Cells in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
Muscat 13- 15 December 2014
Event: 2nd Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine symposium, organized by National Academy of Sciences and hosted by The Research Council of Oman
Breast Cancer Research: Updates from Lebanon
Purdue University, USA
Event: 4th International Breast Cancer Prevention Symposium: Genes, the environment and Breast Cancer Risk.
Effective Therapeutic Targeting of Leukemia Initiating Cells in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.
Lebanese University, Lebanon
Event: 2nd Stem Cell Medical and Educational Symposium
When Science and Women Meet
Beirut, Lebanon
Event: Women on the Front Lines by May Chidiac Foundation
Effective Targeting of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Initiating Activity with the Combination of Arsenic Trioxide and Interferon Alpha
Hadath, Lebanon
Event: Immunology and Stem Cell Research meeting. Lebanese University, Doctoral School of Sciences & Technology and faculty of Science
Can microRNA signature predict early onset breast cancer in the Lebanese population?
SAUMUR, France
Event: Int'l Breast Cancer and Prevention Symposium.
Prizes, Grants and Awards

Other Awards

May 2015
The Franco-Lebanese Scientific research Excellence award
This award is given by the Legion of Honor in Lebanon in collaboration with the French Institute in Beirut. (Prix d’excellence scientifique franco-libanais, Société des Membres de la Légion d'Honneur S.M.L.H. et l’institut Français)
Mar 2015
Arab-American Frontiers Fellowship, US NAS
a travel fellowship awarded by the National Academy of Sciences
Oct 2014
UNESCO L’OREAL “for Women in Sciences” Levant and Egypt Fellowship
UNESCO L’OREAL “for Women in Sciences” Levant and Egypt Fellowship
Dec 2013
Selected as one of the top 7 Arab women for the year 2013 by Sayidati magazine
followed my research on Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, I was Selected as one of the top 7 Arab women for the year 2013 by Sayidati magazine
Nov 2011
Research Excellence Award for Best Research programme in Biomedicine
Research Excellence Award for Best Research programme in Biomedicine by Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum, DOHA, Qatar.
Jun 2015
This is a competitive research award on my research project on breast cancer in lebanon and epigenetic modifications as biomarker for early onset disease