Muriel Tahtouh Zaatar

Associate Professor of Biology

School of Arts & Sciences


PhD in Immunology-Physiology & Biology of Organisms, Lille I University, France (with high honors)

MS in Genetics, Saint Joseph University of Beirut

BS in Natural Sciences, Saint Joseph University of Beirut


Before joining AUD in 2022, Dr. Zaatar was the founding faculty of the Biology Pre-med Program at the University of Balamand Dubai. Dr. Zaatar strives to making students’ learning experience an enjoyable one with a passion to accompany her students in their academic journey to future professions. She established the lab infrastructure and launched several initiatives including a biology podcast series, where students presented and interacted with national and international leaders. Such interactions benefited students with career guidance and connections for research opportunities. Dr. Zaatar also established a program advisory board of prominent medical and other industry leaders. Her accomplishments allowed her to be nominated as the Acting Chief Academic Officer where she oversaw the academic agenda of the university. Prior to this experience, she has worked at institutions in Lebanon and in the UAE since 2010.


From a community engagement perspective, Dr. Zaatar established several partnerships and MOUs with several institutions including the Dubai Police, the Dubai Academic Health Corporation, Mai Dubai, and Imdaad. She organized initiatives and seminars to prepare students for their MCAT. Her steadfast drive to promote innovation, critical thinking, and research projects with her students permitted them to graduate with publications in international peer-reviewed journals. She is a sustainability champion and supervised the community engagement initiatives in her capacity as the chair of the committee.


Dr. Zaatar was also involved in clinical trials in several fields, like dermatology, cardiology transplantation, pulmonology, and ophthalmology with Novartis. This experience, along with other corporate experiences allow her to bridge the gap between academia and industry. Her main research interests are in immunology, neuroimmunology, and physiology. In recent years, her collaborative research work with Harvard University, American University of Beirut, and University of Balamand Lebanon has been on cytokines-related diseases. With her research colleagues, she is investigating the role of Asthma associated T helper 2 cytokines in delaying or reducing atherogenesis with cardiovascular disease being a leading cause of mortality in the UAE and the world. She also published about the impact of IL-13 on Leishmaniasis which is a global major health issue.


She has received multiple national and international awards for her research work, including an award for her review on “The new functions of the complement factors associated with inflammation mechanisms in the Central Nervous System.”


Dr. Zaatar completed her academic studies in Lebanon and France, and now is pursuing the senior executive leadership program at Harvard Business School.


As a member of the American Association of Immunologists and the Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences reviewing Committee, she serves as external examiner/jury president for the evaluation of postgraduate students’ theses at the University of Balamand Lebanon.