Michella Ghassibe Sabbagh

Assistant Professor of Biology

Since I started my journey in research and over the last 20 years, the development and application of genetics has revolutionized the field of science.

When I first started my PhD in Human Genetics, Sanger sequencing was still performed manually. Shortly after, we shifted to an automated fashion via sequencing machines.

More important advances came to make it increasingly possible to identify various genetic traits that predispose people to more widespread health problems including diabetes and heart disease, the most common of all life threatening diseases among Lebanese.

Today, I believe that next-generation sequencing (NGS) introduces one of the most popular NGS applications, whole genome sequencing, developed from the expansion of human genomics. In order to study these traits and ultimately try to prevent them, the laboratory of human genetics at LAU has been generating massively high throughput sequencing data to bear on research questions, enabling a new era of genomic research on complex diseases in the Lebanese population.

I have been really enjoying that part of my work and I am especially happy I brought the experience I have gained as well as my commitment to efficiency to the team at LAU.

Outside of the office, I am an avid reader and I love to travel. On weekends, you might find me at the local bookstore or traveling to different places, seeing different people and being introduced to different cultures.


  1. P Brouillard, L Boon, J Mulliken, O Enjolras, M Ghassibe & al. Mutations in a Novel Factor Glomulin are Responsible for Glomuvenous Malformations (“Glomangiomas”). Am J Hum Genet 2002;70(4):866-74
  2. M Ghassibe & al. Interferon regulatory factor-6: a gene predisposing to isolated cleft lip with or without cleft palate in the Belgian population. Eur J Hum Genet 2005;13:1239-42
  3. Ghassibe-Sabbagh M & al. FAF1, a gene that is disrupted in cleft palate and has conserved function in zebrafish. Am J Hum Genet 2011; 88:150-161
  4. M Ghassibe-Sabbagh & al. Genetic and environmental influences on total plasma homocysteine and its role in coronary artery disease risk. Atherosclerosis 2012; doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.02.035
  5. M Ghassibe-Sabbagh & al. Multivariate epidemiologic analysis of type 2 diabetes mellitus risks in the Lebanese population. Diabetol Metab Syndr 2014 Aug 21;6(1):89. doi: 10.1186/1758-5996-6-89.
  6. Platt DE, Ghassibe-Sabbagh M & al. Caffeine Impact on Metabolic Syndrome Components Is Modulated by a CYP1A2 Variant. Ann Nutr Metab. 2016;68(1):1-11.
  7. Milane A, Khazen G, Zeineddine N, Amro M, Masri L, Ghassibe-Sabbagh M & al. Association of coronary artery disease and chronic kidney disease in Lebanese population. Int J Clin Exp Med 2015; 15;8(9):15866-77.
  8. Deek R, Nasser J, Ghanem A, Mardelli M, Khazen G, Salloum AK, Abchee A, Ghassibe-Sabbagh M, Zalloua P. Genome-wide association analysis of HDL-C in a Lebanese cohort. PLoS One. 2019 Jun 18;14(6):e0218443. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218443.
  9. Ghassibe-Sabbagh M & al. Gestational diabetes mellitus and macrosomia predispose to diabetes in the Lebanese population. J Clin Transl Endocrinol. 2019 Feb 20;16:100185. doi: 10.1016/j.jcte.2019.100185
  10. Layal Abi Farraj, Wassim Daoud Khatoun, Naji Abou Chebel, Victor Wakim, Katia Dawali, Michella Ghassibe-Sabbagh. Clinical, genetic, and molecular characterization of hyperphosphatasia with mental retardation: a case report and literature review. Diagnostic Pathology. 2019; 14 (1): 123

Academic degrees

  • Manipulation et biologie cellulaire du poisson zèbre “zebrafish”, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven- Leuven, Belgium (2009)
  • Médecine et Science des animaux de laboratoire, Certificat Maître d’expérience, Université catholique de louvain, Brussels, Belgium (2008)
  • PhD thesis in Biomedical Sciences, Laboratory of Human Molecular Genetics, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium (2007)
  • Basic Gene Mapping/Linkage Analysis Course, Max Delbrueck Center, Berlin, Germany  (2003)
  • Course in BIO-Computing with BEN, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussel, Belgium (2002)
  • Diplôme d’études approfondies (DEA) in Biochemistry and Human Cellular Biology, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium (2002)
  • Masters in Animal biology, option Physiology, Faculty of Sciences II, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon (2000)