Faculty of Health Sciences
Gretta Abou Sleiman, Ph.D.
Chairperson - Faculty of Health Sciences
Office: Block A, Room 406
Campus: Achrafieh
Extension: 277

Dr. Gretta Abou-Sleymane received her BS degree in Biology from St Joseph University (USJ), Beirut in 2001 and was awarded a scholarship from the USJ to pursue her graduate studies in the field of genetics. She then completed a Specialty Diploma in Molecular and Cellular Genetics from Institut Pasteur, Paris in 2002 followed by an MS degree in Human Genetics from Paris7 University. Dr. Abou-Sleymane obtained later her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology with an emphasis in Genetics from the University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg in 2006 and was working in the human genetics team supervised by Pr Jean-Louis Mandel at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC). Her research focused on pathogenic mechanisms of polyglutamine expansion diseases and mainly on transcriptional deregulations associated with Huntington’s disease and Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 7. During her PhD training, she also obtained a University Diploma in Statistics from the University Louis Pasteur in 2005.


Dr Abou Sleymane was appointed as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences - AUST in 2008, became the coordinator of the graduate programs in 2010 and the chairperson of the department of Laboratory Science and Technology in 2013. Dr. Abou-Sleymane teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Genetics and Cell & Molecular Biology and conducts research in the field of Genetics. In addition to polyglutamine expansion diseases, her research interests in human genetics include the mutational screening of Keratoconus with the aim of improving the diagnosis and treatment of this corneal disease. The work on Keratoconus started few years ago at AUST and is currently carried out in collaboration with Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine. Dr Abou-Sleymane interests in genetics cover Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) as well. In this context, Dr Abou-Sleymane has established the GMOs testing laboratory at AUST. A first comprehensive GMOs analysis in Lebanon including screening, identification and quantification is currently being performed in the laboratory on a broad range of samples. The team is also developing a novel cost-effective testing strategy to face the challenge of GMOs diversity. The GMOs laboratory has acquired the ISO 17025 accreditation and has become a reference laboratory for GMOs research, testing and training in Lebanon and the region. Moeover, Dr Abou-Sleymane had an instrumental role in establishing the network of GMOs laboratories in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, “MENANGL”, and is currently coordinating a capacity building training and proficiency assessment for 18 laboratories in the MENA region. She is also participating in the BiodiverSEEDy project conducted by the Norvegian center for Biosafety, GenOk.


Dr Abou-Sleymane has been appointed to the UN Roster of Biosafety Experts and is a member of the Lebanese National Committee for Biotechnology and Biosafety.  She is also member of Pasteur Institute of Paris Alumni and the coordinator of the Lebanese division.

Selected Papers and Publications

  • Agapito-Tenfen S.Z, Lopez F.R, Mallah N, Abou-Sleymane G, Trtikova M, Nodari R.O and Wickson F. Transgene flow in Mexican maize revisited: Sociobiological analysis across two contrasting farmer communities and seed management systems. Ecology and Evolution. 2017; 7(22):9461-9472.

  • Mallah N, Obeid M, Abou-Sleymane G. Comprehensive matrices for regulatory approvals and genetic characterization of genetically modified organisms. Food Control; 2017; 80:52-58.

  • Bazakos C, Khanfir E, Aoun M, Spano T, Zein ZE, Chalak L, Riachy ME, Abou-Sleymane G, Ali SB, Kammoun N, Kalaitzis P. The potential of SNP-based PCR-RFLP capillary electrophoresis analysis to authenticate and detect admixtures of Mediterranean olive oils. Electrophoresis. 2016; 37(13):1881-90.

  • Viljoen C#, Agapito-Tenfen S#, Abou-Sleymane G#. Overview of available detection methods, including validated methods. Biosafety Clearing House. 2014 https://bch.cbd.int/onlineconferences/portal_detection/discussions.shtml#topic1 # These authors contributed equally contributed to this report.

  • Sakr J, Mallah N, Chalak L, Abou-Sleymane G. First comprehensive GMOs testing in Lebanon: screening, identification and quantification of GM soybean imports. Food Control. 2014; 36:146-152.

  • Ravache M, Abou-Sleymane G, Trottier Y. Neurodegenerative polyglutamine expansion diseases: Physiopathology and therapeutic strategies. Pathol Biol (Paris). 2010; 58(5):357-66.

  • Abou-Sleymane G, Trottier Y. Polyglutamine expansion diseases: Recent advances and therapeutic perspectives. Rev Med Genet Hum. 2010; 1:11-25.
  • Merienne K, Friedman J, Akimoto M, Abou-Sleymane G, Weber C, Swaroop A, Trottier Y. Preventing polyglutamine-induced activation of c-jun delays neuronal dysfunction in a mouse model of SCA7 retinopathy. Neurobiol Dis. 2007; 25(3):571-81.

  • Karaca M, Durel B, Languille L, Lamotte L, Tourrel-Cuzin C, Leroux L, Abou Sleymane G, Saint-Just S, Bucchini D, Ktorza A, Joshi RL. Transgenic expression of human INS gene in Ins1/Ins2 double knockout mice leads to insulin underproduction and diabetes in some male mice. Front Biosci. 2007; 12:1586-93.

  • Helmlinger D, Hardy S#, Abou-Sleymane G#, Eberlin A, Bowman AB, Gansmuller A, Picaud S, Zoghbi HY, Trottier Y, Tora L, Devys D. Glutamine-expanded ataxin-7 alters TFTC/STAGA recruitment and chromatin structure leading to photoreceptor dysfunction. PLoS Biol. 2006; 4(3):e67. # These authors contributed equally contributed to this report.

  • Abou-Sleymane G, Chalmel F, Helmlinger D, Lardenois A, Thibault C, Weber C, Merienne K, Mandel J.L, Poch O, Devys D, Trottier, Y. Polyglutamine expansion causes neurodegeneration by altering the neuronal differentiation program. Hum Mol Genet. 2006; 15(5):691-703.

  • Helmlinger D, Abou-Sleymane G, Yvert G, Rousseau R, Weber C, Trottier Y, Mandel, J.L, Devys D. Disease progression despite early loss of polyglutamine protein expression in SCA7 mouse model. J Neurosci. 2004;24(8):1881-7.


  • Abdul Kader, A.M.; Abou-Sleymane, G.; Khatib, F.; Sakr, J. and Baum, M. (2011). Laboratory Manual for the Training Course on Detection of Genetically Modified Organisms and Biosafety for Food and Agriculture. ICARDA, FAO publication, ix+151 pp.
  • AGROVOC descriptors: GMO detection, Biosafety, Biotechnology.


Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D. Molecular and Cellular Biology, Université Louis Pasteur, IGBMC, Strasbourg, France, October 2006.
  • University Diploma in Statistics, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France, June 2005.
  • M.Sc. Human Genetics, Université paris7, Paris, France, June 2002.
  • Diploma in Molecular and Cellular Genetics, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, January 2002.
  • Master degree in Cellular Biology-Biochemistry-Genetics, Université Saint Joseph, Beirut, Lebanon, June 2001.

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