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Habibah ALmenaie (co-chair)
Research Scientist, Aridland Agriculture Department, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait
Dr. Habibah is a research scientist in the Department of Aridland Agriculture at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). She has made efforts in introducing/naturalizing and selection of drought/salinity resistant crops. She has extensive experience in field and greenhouse production, tissue culture and plant breeding. She has received the Scientific Achievement Award from KISR for outstanding contributions. Dr. Habibah’s past research interests include plant tissue culture, crop improvement and breeding in barley and potato. Other areas of interest consist of crop production under controlled environment, evaluation of Paulownia, Zizyphus, Olives, Mangroves, water conservation in greenery projects, introducing and naturalizing ornamental plants and selection of drought and salinity resistant crops. She has extensive experience in field production and integrated greenhouse management of ornamental plants, floriculture, forage, barley and wheat, water gardening, evaluation and propagation of argan tree, introduction of cassia flowering trees for landscape beautification and standardization of horticultural practices for commercial rose cut flower production.
 
Nisreen A. AL-Quraan
Assistant Professor of Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan
Nisreen AL-Quraan graduated in 1998 with Bachelor of Science degree from the Department of Biological Sciences, Yarmouk University, Jordan. She joined the graduate program in the Department of Biological sciences, Yarmouk University and received her Master of Science degree in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular biology in 2001. After completion of her MS, she worked as research and teaching assistant for two years in the Department of Biological Sciences, Yarmouk University, Jordan. On May, 2004 she joined the Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University, Alabama, USA to pursue her PhD degree in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology working on the plant abiotic stress interaction and the role of GABA shunt pathway in plant stress tolerance. She obtained her PhD Degree in August, 2008 from Auburn University, Alabama, USA. Since September 2008, Nisreen AL-Quraan has been an assistant professor in plant biochemistry and molecular biology at Jordan University of Science and Technology, JORDAN. Her research is focusing on investigating the pathways that enable plants to adapt and tolerate harsh biotic and Abiotic stress conditions. She is interested in using Biochemical and molecular biology techniques to study and characterize the GABA shunt pathway that is activated in response to the interactions between plants and its environments.
 
Mehdi Bourouba
Associate Professor, Faculty of Biology, Department of Cellular and Molecular BiologyUniversity of Sciences and Technology H. Boumediene (USTHB), Algeria
Mehdi Bourouba is Associate Professor at USTHB (University of Sciences and Technology H. Boumedienne, Algiers). He earned his PhD degree in 2005 from the Karlsruhe TK University Germany, where he worked on the role of T cell activation in inflammatory bowel disease. He held successively post-doctoral positions at Institut Gustave Roussy and Paris-7 University, France, where he respectively worked on the role of the tumors suppressor PML in HIV1 induced cell death and the role the PML-RAR oncogene in tumor stem cell development. In 2012, he was awarded the National Academy of Science grant which allowed him to study the invasive properties of nasopharyngeal carcinoma at Pr. M. Zaman Laboratory, Boston University. With his team at USTHB, he focuses his research on finding biomarkers of predictability of NPC development in Algerian patients and unraveling the role of inflammation in virus induced tumor progression. He recently published evidences of differential mechanistic processes that would drive NPC progression in Maghrebi patients and identified nitric oxide as a biomarker of tumorigenesis in untreated and relapsing NPC patients. Dr. Bourouba’s research interests also include HPV induced oral and cervical cancers. Dr. Bourouba has contributed to the development of PhD programs in cancer biology as well as of a Master educational program in safe science practices and bioethics at USTHB.
 
Rula Deeb (co-chair)
Principal civil and environmental engineer, Geosyntec Consultants, USA
Rula A. Deeb, Ph.D., is a principal civil and environmental engineer at Geosyntec Consultants, California. Her expertise includes groundwater and soil remediation with an emphasis on site closure strategies, in-situ technologies, and the environmental fate, transport and treatment of emerging contaminants. Rula has developed and implemented research programs in collaboration with scientists and engineers at universities, consulting firms and the federal government to address remedial issues at complex sites. Her research has been recognized with awards from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Water Environment Federation, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society for Microbiology, American Association of University Women, Air and Waste Management Association, and the American Chemical Society. She is the 2007 recipient of the UC Berkeley Engineering Innovation Award in the category of Outstanding Young Leader. Rula is a Board Certified Environmental Engineering Member of the American Association of Environmental Engineers.
 
Sherien Elagroudy (co-chair)
Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, Egypt
Director and Founder of Egypt Solid Waste Management Center of Excellence at Ain Shams University, Egypt
Dr. Elagroudy is an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering as well as the director and founder of Egypt Solid Waste Management Center of Excellence at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. Her Ph.D. work was primarily on modeling solid waste decomposition in bioreactor landfills. She has won the National Graduate Student Paper Award for her Ph.D. conducted at Ryerson University, Canada, from Canadian Geotechnical Society. She has been selected as the L’Oreal UNESCO Arab Fellow for 2013 and the best young scientist at her department. She is also a member of the Global Young Academy as well as a steering committee member to establish Egypt Young Academy of Science. She has published several journal papers and book chapters and serves as a reviewer for several key journals. She is currently engaged in several research grants in the field of solid waste management, waste to energy and wastewater treatment. Research interests involves optimization of anaerobic digestion process, production of refuse derived fuel from waste and low-cost sustainable wastewater treatment technologies using industrial wastes. For 14 years, she has coupled research experience with industrial work with National and International Counterparts. She serves as a solid waste expert at Chemonics Egypt Consultants and has been involved in several projects in solid waste and hazardous waste management.
 
Hesham Hamoda
Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Attending Psychiatrist, Boston Children's Hospital, USA
A native of Egypt and a graduate of Kuwait University Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Hamoda completed a psychiatry residency at the Harvard South Shore program followed by a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Children's Hospital Boston/ Harvard Medical School. He also holds a Masters in Public Health Degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is currently an attending psychiatrist at Children's Hospital Boston and an Instructor at the Harvard Medical School. His research is focused on applying advanced brain imaging techniques to study mental illness in children and working on Public Health initiatives in the Middle East that promote mental health in children. He has over 35 publications and poster presentations and his accomplishments have been recognized through local, national and international awards. Dr. Hamoda has also been active in Non-Govermental organizations and community work. He was elected as the projects director of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), co-founded 2 Organizations working in development in Egypt; American Board Certified Doctors for Egypt (ABCDE) and Egypt NEGMA. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Egypt Cancer Network and the Harvard Arab Alumni Association where he is responsible for relationships with Harvard University. He resides in Boston with his wife Hoda who is a physician and an Assistant Professor at Boston University and his children Omar and Ali.
 
Joy Ward                                            
Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, USA
Joy Ward obtained both her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees at Duke University. Her Ph.D. research increased our understanding of how plants will respond to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide over multiple generations and with genetic change. She also conducted post-doctoral work at the University of Utah with James Ehleringer where she studied the ancient physiology of glacial plants using stable carbon isotope techniques. More generally, she is interested in understanding how global change factors such as rising atmospheric carbon dioxide, changing precipitation regimes, and increasing temperatures will alter the physiology, population structure, and evolution of plants. In addition to studying how plants will respond to future changes, she also continues to investigate how plants responded to past global change factors, particularly limiting carbon dioxide levels during the last glacial period (approximately 20,000 years ago). She currently is curating a large pack-rat collection that contains numerous glacial plants from the southwestern United States, representing one of the finest collections of glacial plants in existence.
 
Muhammad H. Zaman
Associate Professor, Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Medicine, Boston University, USA 
Muhammad H. Zaman is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Associate Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Director of Kilachand Honors College at Boston University. He is also the Director of Lab for Engineering Education and Development at Boston University. Prof. Zaman got his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 2003 where he was a Burroughs-Wellcome Graduate Fellow in Interdisciplinary Sciences. After his Ph.D. he was a Herman and Margaret Post-Doctoral Fellow at MIT from 2003-2006. His lab focuses on developing new experimental and computational technologies for high value healthcare problems in both the developing and developed world.
Prof. Zaman is actively involved in two areas of research, the first is developing a quantitative understanding of tumor formation and tumor metastasis and the second is in developing robust and affordable diagnostic technologies for the developing world and is working on capacity building and engineering education in these countries as well. At BU his students and researchers have worked closely with the Center for Global Health and Development (CGHD) to develop robust, cheap and terrain-ready diagnostics and analysis toolkits for developing world settings.  Technologies developed by Prof. Zaman and his team are in various stages of implementation in multiple countries including India, Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia. His research is supported by USAID, US Pharmacopeia, Saving Lives at Birth Consortium, NIH, NSF, NRF (UAE), ARC (Australia), NCIIA, UN Economic Commission and the Coulter Foundation.