Dr. Stephanie Mehanna

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of Arts & Sciences – Natural Sciences

I have a BS in Biology and MS in molecular biology from LAU. I was recently awarded a PhD in Microbial and Cellular Sciences from the University of Surrey, UK. My PhD research combined multiple disciplines; I have developed expertise in metallodrug synthesis, purification, and characterization using techniques like NMR and ESI-MS. The developed complexes were tested as photoactivated chemotherapy in both cancer cells and mouse models. While learning and mastering basic cell and molecular techniques such as cell culture, cytotoxicity assays, flow cytometry, western blotting, gel electrophoresis and microscopy, I implemented, designed and validated novel LC-MS/MS and ICP-MS methods for the study of cellular uptake and pharmacokinetics of metallodrugs. I have an extensive experience in the design of mouse cancer models and preclinical drug testing including toxicity studies, pharmacokinetics, and chemotherapeutic efficacy. During my master’s studies, I also learned several molecular techniques like PCR, qPCR, sequencing, cloning and transformation. My main research interests involve the use of metal-based chemotherapeutics as both photoactivatable drugs and prodrugs to increase selectivity to cancer cells and tumors and hence decrease the overall toxicity of the anticancer treatment. My main focus is the cellular uptake and biodistribution kinetics of these drugs as main indicators of efficacy and selective toxicity. I am also interested in using my experience with analytical techniques to design methods adapted for environmental analyses.


  1. Mehanna, S., Mansour, N., Audi, H., Bodman-Smith, K., Mroueh, M. A., Taleb, R. I., Daher, C. F., & Khnayzer, R.S. (2019). Enhanced cellular uptake and photochemotherapeutic potential of a lipophilic strained Ru(II) polypyridyl complex. RSC Advances, 9(30), 17254-17265. https://doi.org/10.1039/C9RA02615K
  2. Mansour, N., Mehanna, S., Mroueh, M.A., Audi, H., Bodman-Smith, K., Daher, C.F., Taleb, R.I., El-Sibai, M., & Khnayzer, R.S. (2018). Photoactivatable RuII complex bearing 2,9-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline: Unusual Photochemistry and Significant Potency on Cisplatin-Resistant Cell Lines. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 2018(22), 2524-2532. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejic.201800194
  3. Mehanna S., Bodman-Smith, K., Daher, C., & Khnayzer, R. (2020). Rapid quantification of ruthenium(II) polypyridyl anti-cancer drugs using selective ligand dissociation LC-MS/MS. Analytical Methods. https://doi.org/10.1039/D0AY01250E