Aniella Abi-Gerges, PhD
Physiology Discipline Coordinator
Medical Ethics Discipline Co-Coordinator
Dr. Aniella Abi-Gerges is an Assistant Professor of Physiology at the LAU Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine in Byblos. She holds a Ph.D. in Cellular, Molecular and Cardiac Physiopathology with the highest level of distinction from the School of Pharmacy at University Paris 11 in France. During her doctoral training in the Laboratory of Excellence in Drug Discovery and Therapeutic Innovation (Labex LERMIT, Paris), she acquired solid expertise in cardiac pathophysiology and the ß-adrenergic/cAMP signaling pathway. Using an innovative electrophysiological approach based on the use of cyclic nucleotide-gated channels as a cAMP probe, she showed for the first time in real time and in isolated, living cardiac myocytes that cAMP homeostasis is altered in cardiac hypertrophy.
She further developed her knowledge of cardiovascular physiology and hormonal signaling by joining the School of Medicine at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris as a post-doctoral fellow for three years, during which she explored the role of the Multidrug- Resistant Protein Type 4 (MRP4) in cardiac function using a knock-out mice model.
She is the author of several publications in international high-impact-factor journals.
Dr. Abi-Gerges joined the school of medicine as a full-time faculty member in September 2016. Along with her enthusiasm for physiology, acquired technical skills, research experience, and broad scientific background, she brings with her teaching skills that contribute to the School of Medicine’s mission.
Dr. Abi-Gerges played a major role in the curriculum review of the Physiology Discipline (Med I and Med II) at the school of medicine. She recently obtained a Diploma in Medical Ethics from the Lebanese University. She established the Medical Ethics curriculum for Med I and Med II, which she coordinates and teaches as well.
Her research interests focus mainly on the characterization of the ß-adrenergic pathway in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure, as well as on congenital heart diseases in the Lebanese population.
In April 2018, she received a two-year research grant from the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Lebanese American University. This fund will support her in establishing the Cellular and Molecular Cardiology Lab in the School of Medicine, and in implementing her research project which aims at characterizing the changes affecting the cAMP signaling pathway in diabetic cardiomyopathy with a focus on studying the interplay between PDEs, MRP4 and Epac.
Dr. Abi-Gerges maintains a strong collaboration with her Ph.D. supervisors, Dr. Gregoire Vandecasteele and Dr. Rodolphe Fischmeister — the latter having recently been awarded the Grand Prix Lamonica de Cardiologie de l’Académie des Sciences.
Dr. Abi-Gerges hopes that these academic, investigative, and scholarly activities will engage medical students and positively impact society by spreading awareness about heart disease, while allowing her to continue to produce the highest quality work in her field.
- Abi-Gerges A, Khalil KN, Neaimeh YR, Fischmeister R. Real time monitoring of cyclic nucleotide changes in living cells. Encyclopedia of Biophysics (2019), Chapter 377.
- Sassi Y, Abi-Gerges A, Fauconnier J, Hulot J-S. Regulation of cAMP homeostasis by the efflux protein MRP4 in cardiac myocytes. Faseb Journal (2012) 26(3):1009-17.
- Leroy J, Richter W, Mika D, Abi-Gerges A, Fischmeister R, Vandecasteele G. Phosphodiesterase 4B in the cardiac L-type Ca2+ channel complex regulates Ca2+ and protects against ventricular arrhythmias in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, (2011) 121(7):2651—2661.
- Abi-Gerges A, Richter W, Lefebvre F, Fischmeister R, Vandecasteele G. Decreased expression and activity cAMP phosphodiesterases in cardiac hypertrophy and its impact on ß-adrenergic cAMP signals. Circulation Research (2009) 105(8):784-92.
- Leroy J, Abi-Gerges A, Nikolaev VO, Richter W, Lechene P, Mazet JL, Conti M, Fischmeister R, Vandecasteele G. Spatiotemporal dynamics of ß-adrenergic cAMP signals and L-type Ca2+ channel regulation in adult rat ventricular myocytes: Role of phosphodiesterases. Circulation Research (2008) 102: 1091-100.
- Rochais F, Abi-Gerges A, Horner K, Lefebvre F, Cooper DM, Conti M., Fischmeister R, Vandecasteele G. A specific pattern of phosphodiesterases controls the cAMP signals generated by Gs-coupled receptors in adult rat ventricular myocytes. Circulation Research (2006) 98, 1081-1088.
View Dr. Abi-Gerges’s publications on PubMed.
Professional and Research Interests
- Teaching of Human Physiology
- Teaching of Medical Ethics
- Research in Cardiology:
- Characterization of β-adrenergic pathway in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure
- Identification of the alterations affecting cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signaling pathway and calcium homostasis in diabetic cardiomyopathy and arrhythmias: Interplay between phosphodiesterases (PDEs), multidrug resistant protein type 4 (MRP4) and the exchange factor Epac in cardiac diseases
- Characterization of congenital heart diseases in the Lebanese population
- Research in Medical Ethics:
- Review of the Lebanese Medical Ethics laws and their application among the medical community
- Assessment of the Lebanese population’s knowledge, attitude and behavior regarding the Lebanese Medical Ethics laws
- Lebanese Baccalaureate: Emphasis on Experimental Sciences, Notre Dame de Mont Carmel, Lebanon, 1999
- Bachelor of Science in Biology: Emphasis on Cell Biology, Biochemistry, and Genetics, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon, 2002
- Research Master’s degree in Cellular Physiopathology and Therapeutic Innovation, University of Paris 11, France, 2004
- Ph.D. in Cellular, Molecular and Cardiac Physiopathology, University of Paris 11, 2008
- Post-doctoral Fellowship, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, 2008-2011
- Medical Ethics Diploma, Lebanese University, Lebanon, 2019
Awards and Grants
- Grant for Research Master’s degree from the “Service des Relations Internationales”, University of Paris 11, France, 2003-2004
- Post-graduate grant award from the French Ministry of Research, 2004-2007
- Post-graduate award from the “Groupe de Réflexion sur la Recherche Cardiovasculaire” (G.R.R.C), France, 2007-2008
- National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Lebanese American University, 2018-2020: Characterization of cAMP signaling pathway in diabetic cardiomyopathy: Interplay between PDEs, MRP4 and Epac.