Dr. Rachel Matar


 

Title:  Department Chair / Associate Professor – Biotechnology
School: School of Arts & Sciences
Department: Biotechnology Department
Office:  Bldg. C-19
Phone: Ext. 1115
Email: rachel.matar@aurak.ac.ae

Dr. Rachel Matar received a M.S. in Bioinformatics, Structural Biochemistry and Genomics from the Mediterranean University, Marseille, France and a Ph.D. in Structural and Functional Biochemistry from Claude Bernard University, Lyon, France. Prior to coming to AURAK, Dr. Matar worked as a researcher at the Unit of Drug Resistance Modulation and Mechanism, Institute of Biology and Chemistry of Proteins, CNRS, Lyon, France. Her research interests are focused on Structural and functional study of ABC transporters resistant to chemotherapy and antibiotics. She characterized a new generation of detergents used for membrane proteins studies. These novel detergents stabilize ABC transporters in solution. She has worked on the crystallization of BmrA, a bacterial ABC transporter responsible for the resistance to antibiotics. Dr. Matar holds three international patents deriving from her research. She has published many articles in highly ranked peer-reviewed international journals.

Dr. Matar is currently Assistant Professor of Biotechnology at AURAK and has occupied the position of Director of Research Unit from August 2012 to September 2013. She teaches a wide range of courses, such as Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Biochemistry, Bioethics, Cell structure and function, University Biology I, Plant Biology and Humankind in a Biological world.

Dr. Matar’s research is primarily focused on how to reveal the 3D structure of membrane transporters type ABC, involved in the efflux (out of the tumor cells) of anticancer drugs as well as antibiotics in case of bacterial infection. Once these structures are revealed, our collaborators; specialists in drug design, can create molecules blocking the membrane transporters and so the anti-cancer drug is much more effective as it stays in the tumor cell. Dr. Matar worked in that field at the Unit of Drug Resistance Modulation and Mechanism, Institute of Biology and Chemistry of Proteins, CNRS, Lyon, France. In a complementary project, she worked on the characterization of a new generation of detergents, based on Calyxarene ring, stabilizing these ABC transporters in solution. Thus, these detergents make the structural and functional studies of these proteins easier.

Dr. Rachel Matar’s Patents:

International Patent: n° 0802894 (28th of May 2008)/ PCT/FR2009/000626/ WO 2009144419 A1 2009120 (3rd of December 2009). Method for selectively extracting membrane proteins using calixarenes for solubilization. Coleman A., Falson P., Mbemba C., Matar R. and Huché F.

International Patent: n° 09/01678 (6th of April 2009)/ PCT/FR2010/000285 (8th of October 2010). Protein crystallization additives, use and process. Matar, R., Leydier, A., Huché, F., Coleman, A., Falson, P.

These two patents led to the creation of a company called CALIXAR
CALIXAR provides a range of services based on innovative technologies in protein engineering.

Dr. Rachel Matar’s Publications:

  • Structuring Detergents for Extracting and Stabilizing Functional Membrane Proteins. Matar-Merheb R, Rhimi M, Leydier A, Huché F, Galián C, Desuzinges-Mandon E., Ficheux D., Flot D., Aghajari N., Kahn R., Di Pietro A, Jault J-M, Coleman AW. and Falson P. 2011 PLoS ONE 6(3): e18036. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018036
  • Tri-Anionic Calix[4]arene Monoalkyl Deriavtives: Synthesis, Solid-State Structures and Self-Assembly Properties. Suwinska K., Shkurenko O., Leydier A., Mbemba C., Jebors S., Coleman AW., Matar R, Falson P . New J. Chem., 2008, 32, 1988-1998
  • X-ray crystallography of ABC transporter, BmrA, Matar-Merheb R, Rhimi M, Leydier A, Huché F, Galián, Aghajari N., A, Jault J-M, Coleman AW. And Falson P, submitted.

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