Who's Who

Akram Ghantous

Scientist

Epigenetics Group


Specialty:

Epigenomics and Cancer (Cell Biology and Molecular Epidemiology)

Academic Degrees

YearDegreeMajorInstitutionTownCountry
2012PhDCell and Molecular BiologyAmerican University of Beirut, research in collaboration with Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-NurembergBeirut ErlangenLebanon Germany
2006MScBiologyAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
2004BScMajor Biology, Minor ChemistryAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon


Current Research Projects

  • The research projects of interest focus on rare tumors and how they associate with particular environmental risk factors and can be driven by epigenetic mechanisms, which can cross-talk with mutational driver events and functionally relate to gene expression. These projects include epigenomics, cross-omics and molecular epidemiology approaches as well as mechanistic in vitro models. Major examples are: (1) Epigenetic sensors of in utero exposures and maternal lifestyle factors during pregnancy, based on prospective data from large multi-centric birth cohort consortia; (2) Epigenetic precursors of childhood cancer and associated exposure factors during early-life: evidence from cases and controls nested in multi-national birth cohort consortia; (3) The methylome landscape of cholangiocarcinoma: cross-talk with chromatin regulation and cancer driver mutations


Selected Publications

Joubert BR et al.,… Ghantous A*, Holland N*, Murphy S*, DeMeo DL*, Burchard EG*, Ladd-Acosta C*, Snieder H*, Nystad W*, Koppelman GH*, Relton CL*, Jaddoe VWV*, Wilcox A*, Melén E*, London SJ* (*, equal contribution) (2016) Maternal smoking in pregnancy and DNA methylation in newborns: Genome-wide consortium meta-analysis. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 98(4):680-696

Ghantous A, Hernandez-Vargas H, Byrnes G, Dwyer T, Herceg Z (2015) Characterising the epigenome as a key component of the fetal exposome in evaluating in utero exposures and childhood cancer risk. Mutagenesis, 30 (6):733-742

Ghantous A, Saffery R, Cros MP, Ponsonby AL, Hirschfeld S, Kasten C, Dwyer T, Herceg Z and Hernandez-Vargas H (2014) Optimized DNA extraction from neonatal dried blood spots: application in methylome profiling. BMC Biotechnology, 14:60

Ghantous A, Saikali M, Rau T, Gali-Muhtasib H, Schneider-Stock R, Darwiche N. (2012) Inhibition of Tumor Promotion by Parthenolide: Epigenetic Modulation of p21. Cancer Prevention Research, 5 (11):1298-1309

Ghantous A, Gali-Muhtasib H, Vuorela H, Saliba NA, Darwiche N (2010) What Made Sesquiterpene Lactones Reach Cancer Clinical Trials? Drug Discovery Today, 15 (15-16):668-678


Prizes, Honours

• IARC Postdoctoral Fellowship, France (2012-2014)
• Best Talk and Best Poster Awards at research conferences (thrice : 2012, 2011, 2010)
• Ranked first in Lebanon for the International Fulbright Science and Technology Award for PhD studies in the USA (twice : 2010, 2006). The award is designed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State to be the most prestigious international award for PhD studies
• High-Distinction (high-school and university undergraduate and graduate levels). Dean’s honor list (top 3% of undergraduate students in all majors) and highest averages and cumulative average (96/100) in graduate courses in the Biology Department records, American University of Beirut, Lebanon (2009 – 2002). Fellowship for supplementary mathematics courses, American University of Beirut, Lebanon (2008-2009)
• Abdul Hadi Debs Award for the top three graduate students at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon (2007)