Beirut-based Architectural Firm Wins Design Competition for Engineering Complex at AUB  
Trustee Philip Khoury Named MIT Associate Provost  
AUB and UAE Center Sign Agreement to Offer EMBA Program to Emirate Institutions  
Fourth AUB Faculty Seminar on Teaching and Learning with Technology  
New Faculty: Hussein Shahidi  
New Faculty: Kirsten Scheid  
New Faculty: Tima al Jamil  
Office of Grants and Contracts Celebrates World Intellectual Property Day  
Staff Profile: Ghaleb Halimi  
Fifth Annual FEA Student Conference Held  
Engineering Alumni Recognized for Outstanding Achievements  
Studying Biodiversity in Lebanon and the Region at AUB  
Construction Update  
Renovated AUB Archaeological Museum Inaugurated  
Renovated Pediatrics Clinic Opened  
Women's Rights Club Holds Conference on Gender and Sexuality  
Tenth Annual AUB Job Fair Largest Since Its Inception  
Letters from a New Campus by Daniel Bliss  
Winners of the Coca-Cola 'Make Every Word Count' Essay Competition Announced  
AUBMC Research Group Awarded NIH Grant  
Science Students Reveal Bonds Between Chemistry and Art  
Understanding the Political Economy of Islamic Movements  
Extreme Makeover: AUB Graduate Transforms Gulf Television  
Science, Math, and Technology Fair Promotes Environmental Thinking  
School Fair 2006: Prospective AUB Students Visit Campus  
Situation of the Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon  
Remembering the Writer, Khalil Takieddine  
Promotions 2005-2006  
Piano Recital by Arnimée Choukassizian  
Lecture on Space Exploration by World Expert  
Teleconferencing Brings Students Together Across Continents  
"Something Is Happening": Fairuz and Ziad Al Rahbani  
Cultural Genocide and Assyrian Cultural Survival  
Lecture on the History and Origins of American Islamicism  
Business School and Arts and Sciences Team Wins Soccer Championship Match by Narrow Margin  
  Red Cross Club Celebrates its 26th Anniversary at AUB
  History of the American University of Beirut: A New CASAR Course
  First Stereo-photography Exhibit at AUB  
  Photo Exhibition by President John Waterbury  
  The Cats of Renée Deek: End-of-Year Theater Workshop Performance  
  Film on Euthanasia-A True Story  
  Part Two of the CVSP Forum  
  Out of Place: Memories of Edward Said  
  Mozart and Schumann Celebrated at Assembly Hall  
  Austrian Chamber Music Duo Performs at AUB  
  Mathematician Alain Connes Visits AUB  
  Rima Khcheich Concert Plays to Sold-out Crowds at Assembly Hall
  Women's Auxiliary  
  33rd Annual Folk Dance Festival Hosts 20 Performing Schools  
June 2006 Vol. 7 No. 8

Studying Biodiversity in Lebanon and the Region at AUB

Participants at the conference

The IBSAR team held a conference in College Hall in May to create awareness on campus about the value of biodiversity to human life, and to inform the university community on how IBSAR is contributing to active research at AUB. IBSAR, which stands for the Initiative for Biodiversity Studies in Arid Regions, was founded in January 2003 by a group of faculty members to address the issue of how humans can sustain, conserve, and utilize biodiversity (a term used to describe all living organisms). In 2005, IBSAR formed an interfaculty biodiversity center at AUB to develop interest and involvement in its work by more members of the faculty.

The lunch that was served at the conference consisted of dishes made with wild edible plants to emphasis the value of dietary diversity in poor communities. A video film projection was also similarly enlightening; it showed people in rural areas generating income by cooking and selling foods made from wild plants.

The video also showed regions in Lebanon where wild plants are found and grown for their medicinal properties-some, for example, are antimicrobiatic and others can fight cancer. IBSAR is conducting clinical research to determine which plants have preventive properties against disease. According to Dr. Othman Mohamad, the research is undertaken in three stages. In the first, "in vivo" stage, the naturally occurring herbs are tested on rats and other animals. In the second, "in vitro" stage, where the core scientific work occurs, the herbs are tested on tissues and cells. In the final stage, the herbs are tried on humans, if they are found to be safe.

A study currently being worked on at the clinic is concentrated on treating diabetes, mainly in men who are obese and have high levels of insulin. The goal is to determine which herbs can decrease the levels of insulin, glucose, and lipids in the blood. Another study being conducted is on the use of herbs to prevent the recurrence of warts after initial excision of the warts.