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University of Balamand > News > Archive > Prof. Haddadin on the Davis-Beirut Reaction

Prof Haddadin addressing members of the Balamand community in Fares 119

Prof. Haddadin on the Davis-Beirut Reaction

On November 19, Professor Makhluf Haddadin, a member of the Board of Trustees of the University, and a professor of chemistry at AUB, led a seminar on the Davis-Beirut Reaction, the result of a collaborative effort with Professor Mark Kurth of the University of California at Davis.

Credited with potentially having significant impact on pharmaceutical chemistry, the Davis-Beirut Reaction converts a 2-nitrobenzylamine to a 2H-indazole by simple treatment with aqueous base in an alcoholic solvent. The resulting 2H-indazoles have extensive potential in medicinal applications.

Current efforts with the Davis-Beirut reaction are focused on the development of myeloperoxidase inhibitors, which could potentially offer better treatment options for people with cystic fibrosis and other inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and could prolong the life of the patients.

Attending the seminar were a large number of students and faculty, as well as Prof. Haddadin’s own chemistry professor, Dr. Samir Thabet, University President Dr. Elie Salem and other University administrators.

Dr. Salem told the audience that he had developed a personal relationship with Prof. Haddadin after he visited with him and his family in their village in Jordan “that the family had produced a giant and Makhluf is a giant!”

It was Prof. Haddadin who suggested to his fellow researcher to name their discovery the Davis-Beirut Reaction. “I suggested to my colleague at the University of California at Davis that we name the reaction the Davis-Beirut reaction in recognition of the two cities in which the work was done. He wrote back: “No, let’s name it the Beirut-Davis reaction in recognition of international collaboration, I answered back, ‘No. Davis Beirut reaction’.”

Smiling, and with teary eyes, Prof. Haddadin explained: “It was not that I love Davis more than Beirut. I did that because , we, earlier, as my professor, Samir Thabet, remembers, we had the Beirut Reaction and did not want people to confuse both because I think the Beirut Reaction is more important. That is my personal assessment. So I insisted on the Davis-Beirut reaction, and the reviewers accepted this.”

An earlier work, the Beirut Reaction has yielded 40 patents in different countries. Prof. Haddadin is also the author of over one hundred scholarly articles.

In his speech, Prof. Haddadin expressed his gratitude to President Salem and to the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, Dr. Jihad Attieh, for inviting him to talk about his research work.

In turn, Dr. Attieh praised Prof. Haddadin for choosing twice to bestow the name of Beirut on his discoveries and thanked him for agreeing to share his thoughts with the Balamand community. ​​​
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