Dean of the School of Health Sciences
School of Health Sciences
Click here for Profile

Phone: + 961-5-601801 ext. 255
Fax: +961-5-601667

Mailing Address: Modern University for Business & Science (MUBS)
Main Campus Damour
Near Mechref Entrance

Dr. Alwan, Nisreen

Dean of the School of Health Sciences

School of Health Sciences


  • Undergraduate (Biology, AUB, Lebanon)
  • Graduate (Biology, AUB, Lebanon)
  • PhD (Natural Sciences, Goethe University/Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, Germany)


  • Winner of the 2016 American University of Beirut’s KIP Project Academic Research Award (March 2016)
  • PhD scholarship granted by the German Academic Exchange Service, “Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, DAAD” (June 2007 – March 2011)
  • SYNTHESYS grant for a research stay at the Natural History Museums in Vienna and London (March – April 2009)
  • GRADE-Goethe Graduate Academy grant for a research stay at the Natural History Museums in Vienna and London (March – April 2009)
  • SYNTHESYS grant for a research stay at the Natural History Museum, Paris (November – December 2008)
  • DAAD scholarship for attending the International Congress: Documenting, Analysing and Managing Biodiversity in the Middle East, Jordan (October 2008)
  • Graduate Assistantship Award, American University of Beirut, Lebanon (Fall 2003 – Summer 2005)
  • Deans Honor List, American University of Beirut (Spring 2002)

Short Bio

  • Dr. Nisreen Alwan received her BSc. (2003) and MSc. (2005) degrees in Biology from AUB, Lebanon. From 2005 till 2007, she worked as an instructor and a research assistant in the Biology Department at AUB. In 2011, she obtained her PhD degree in Natural Sciences from Goethe University, Germany. Since then, she has been a lecturer in the Biology Department at AUB. Currently, she is Dean of the School of Health Sciences at MUBS. Her fields of research include: · Environmental and food microbiology · Antimicrobial resistance · Taxonomy, systematics and zoogeography of Cyprinidae in the Middle East · Ecology, biology and distribution of herpetofauna in Lebanon

Current Research Projects & Grants

  • “KIP Project: The Perception of Students in Rural Schools towards Women”

The aim of this study is to explore the perception of students enrolled in Lebanese rural schools towards the role of women in their communities and the perceptions of women themselves about their status in these communities. 

  • “Freshwater Diversity Identification for Europe – FREDIE”

The project targets biological research on freshwater fishes. It is funded by the Leibniz Association Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation, Germany.

  • “Geographic, ecological and behavioral studies of the Lebanon mountain viper Montivipera bornmuelleri (Werner, 1898)”


Montivipera bornmuelleri is an endemic viper species described for the first time in Lebanon by Werner (1898). It is found mostly in Lebanese mountains from 1800 meters and higher with some records of this species in Syria. This species has been red-listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN, 2014) as endangered species (EN) due to its limited geographic range, which is estimated to be less than 20,000 km2.  

Previous studies were conducted earlier on this snake species in Sannine and Makmel Mountains between 1800 and 2200 m altitude. The habitat differences and associated reptiles species between Sannine and Makmel Mountains have raised some questions that require a more detailed study of the habitat structures in the two localities and future comparisons with habitats in the new regions to be studied.

Further work is required in this proposed study to investigate other geographic localities (e.g. Mount Hermon and the Anti-Lebanon). The ecological study of Montivipera bornmuelleri will be expanded to include a survey of new geographic locations, detailed examination of its habitat structure, spatial behavior and home range using telemetry, diet, defensive, predatory and territorial behaviors and their implications for the interaction with the local human community.

This study is carried out by Professor Souad Hraoui-Bloquet (Professor, Faculty of Sciences II, Lebanese University), Dr. Nisreen Alwan and Dr. Riyad Sadek (Assistant Professor, Biology Department, American University of Beirut).

  • “A review of Brucellosis in dairy-based food products”


The consumption of dairy-based foods may play an important role in the transmission of various food-borne diseases. Among those diseases is brucellosis, which is considered by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), as one of the most wide-spread zoonotic diseases of domestic and wild animals throughout the world. Brucellosis is a “re-emerging” disease leading to substantial economic loss as well as considerable human morbidity. It is a disease caused by several species of the genus Brucella. Brucella is a genus of Gram-negative, non-motile, non-spore forming, aerobic chemo-organotrophic, catalase-positive bacteria. Brucella organisms are coccobacilli and occur typically as intracellular parasites. Brucella is a fastidious organism, which needs specific requirements for its growth.

Based on host preferences and pathogenicity, the genus Brucella has been divided into six species: B. abortus, B. canis, B. melitensis, B. neotomae, B. ovis and B. suis. Out of these six species, only B. abortus and B. melitensis are the major pathogenic species in human beings and animals. Brucellosis can be transmitted to human beings by direct contact with materials contaminated with the organism, consumption of unpasteurized milk and milk products, and inhalation of infectious aerosols, especially by workers in abattoirs and microbiology laboratories. The most common signs and symptoms of this disease are undulant fever, weakness, chills, headache, depression and weight loss, which can persist from days to years.

Recent advances in taxonomy, isolation methods, bacterial typing, and molecular and cell biology have extended our knowledge. This review offers an up-to-date introduction to the organism with a description of virulence determinants. A detailed account of diagnosis, epidemiology and outbreaks, transmission and clinical symptoms, treatment and control of Brucellosis will be provided. 

This review is carried out by Dr. Nisreen Alwan, Ms. Nour Gebara, Mr. Edward Eid and Mr. Majed El Hechi (Biology Graduates and Medical Students, American University of Beirut).


Alwan, N., Gebara, N., Eid, E. & El Hechi, M. A review of Brucella infections (in
Alwan, N. & Krupp, F. Systematics and taxonomy of the Capoeta damascina species complex (Pisces: Teleostei: Cyprinidae) inferred from comparative morphology (in preparation).
Zareian H., Esmaeili H.R., Alwan N., and B.W. Coad (Submitted). Taxonomic reassessment and re-description of the Mond scraper, Capoeta barroisi mandica (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.
 . Green Area. سمك السلور الغازي… تأثير سلبي على السياحة والصيدAlwan N. (2016).
Alwan, N., Esmaeili, H-R., Krupp, F. (2016). Molecular Phylogeny and Zoogeography of the Capoeta damascina Species Complex (Pisces: Teleostei: Cyprinidae). PLoS ONE 11(6): e0156434. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156434
Alwan N., Zareian H., and H-R Esmaeili (2016). Capoeta coadi, a new species of cyprinid fish from the Karun River drainage, Iran based on morphological and molecular evidences. Zookeys, 572: 155-180.
Esmaeili, H-R., Zareian H., Eagderi, S., and N. Alwan (2016). Review on the taxonomy of Tigris scraper, Capoeta umbla (Heckel, 1843) and its confirmation record from the Iranian part of Tigris River, Persian Gulf basin (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). FishTaxa, 1: 35-44.
Alwan, N. (2013). Brucella and Listeria in Lebanese Dairy-Based Food Products: antimicrobial resistance of Brucella abortus and Listeria monocytogenes. Lap Lambert Academic Publishing,1-168.
Alwan, N. (2013). Euphrates River. Biomes and Ecosystems: An Encyclopedia, 20-23.
Alwan, N. (2013). Jordan River. Biomes and Ecosystems: An Encyclopedia, 6-8.
Saleh, I., Alwan, N., Barbour, E., Azhar, E. & Harakeh, S. (2012). Listeria Infections: Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Treatment. Bacteriology Research Developments Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Nova Science Publishers, 155-166.
Alwan, N. (2011). Systematics, taxonomy, phylogeny and zoogeography of the
Capoeta damascina species complex (Pisces: Teleostei: Cyprinidae) inferred from comparative morphology and molecular markers. Dissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades der Naturwissenschaften, am Fachbereich Biowissenschaften der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt.
Harakeh, S., Zouhairi, O., Saleh, I., Alwan, N., Toufeili, I., & Barbour, E. (2010). Antimicrobial resistance of Staphylococcus species isolated from Lebanese dairy-based products. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 16, 1221-1225.
Alwan, N., Saleh, I., Beydoun, E., Barbour, E., Ghosn, N., & Harakeh, S. (2010). Resistance of Brucella abortus isolated from Lebanese dairy-based food products against commonly used antimicrobials. Dairy Science & Technology, 90, 579-588.
Harakeh, S., Saleh, I., Zouhairi, O., Baydoun, E., Barbour, E., & Alwan, N. (2009). Antimicrobial resistance of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from dairy-based food products. The Science of the Total Environment, 407, 4022-4027.
Bariche, M., Alwan, N., El-Assi, H., & Zurayk, R. (2009). Diet composition of the Lessepsian bluespotted cornetfish Fistularia commersonii in the eastern Mediterranean. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 25, 460-465.
Saleh, I., Zouhairi, O., Alwan, N., Hawi, A., Barbour, E., & Harakeh, S. (2009). Antimicrobial resistance and pathogenicity of Escherichia coli isolated from common dairy products in the Lebanon. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, 103, 39-52.
Bariche, M., Alwan, N., & El-Fadel, M. (2006). Structure and biological characteristics of purse seine landings off the Lebanese coast (eastern Mediterranean). Fisheries Research82, 246-252.
Alwan, N. (2005). Isolation, molecular characterization and antimicrobial resistance
of Brucella and Listeria species in representative Lebanese foods. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science to the Department of Biology of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Beirut, Beirut.