Walid Abi Habib, Ph.D.

Walid Abi Habib, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow, Laird Laboratory
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Dr. Walid Abi Habib earned a B.S. in biology and biochemistry and an M.S. in the structures and interactions of macromolecules and functional genomics from Université Saint Joseph in Beirut, Lebanon. While there, he helped characterize a new strain of Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium often used as a biological pesticide, and contributed significantly to the field’s understanding of the transcriptome and proteome of the amniotic membrane in ocular pathologies. He then went on to pursue his M.S training at Université René Descartes in Paris where he worked on oligodendrocytes maturation and differentiation during central nervous system remyelination in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. He continued his scientific education by earning a Ph.D. from Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, where he identified new genetic and epigenetic mechanisms related to human growth pathologies in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and Silver-Russell syndrome. In 2017, Dr. Abi Habib joined the laboratory of Dr. Peter W. Laird at Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he studies single-cell and cell-free DNA methylation patterns in cancer.


Current research focus

Optimization of whole-genome bisulfite sequencing from low input single-cell and cell-free DNA. This technique will be a powerful method to study DNA methylation changes in cell transformation during tumor progression (single-cell level) and to detect DNA methylation changes in cancer patients’ plasma to serve as biomarkers in early tumorigenesis detection.

Education & Training

Ph.D., Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France (Pr. Irène Netchine, INSERM U938)
Thesis: Identification of new molecular mechanisms related to human growth pathologies in Beckwith-Wiedemann and Silver-Russell syndromes: a genetic and epigenetic approach

M.S., Université René Descartes, Paris, France (Pr. Charbel Massaad, UMR-S 1124)

M.S., Université Saint Joseph, Beirut, Lebanon (Pr. Mireille Kallassy Awad, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie)

B.S., Université Saint Joseph, Beirut, Lebanon



Awards & External Funding

French Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes scholarship

Fondation Maladies Rares grant

European FP7 Marie Curie Actions scholarship


To view a list of selected publications click below.

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Abi Habib W, Brioude F Azzi S, Salem J, Das Neves C, Personnier C, Chantot-Bastaraud S, Keren B, Le Bouc Y, Harbison MD, Netchine I. 2017. 11p15 ICR1 Partial Deletions Associated with IGF2/H19 DMR Hypomethylation and Silver-Russell Syndrome. Hum Mutat 38(1):105-111.     PubMed

Shackleford GG, Grenier J, Abi Habib W, Massaad C, Meffre D. 2016. Liver X receptors differentially modulate central myelin gene mRNA levels in a region-, age- and isoform-specific manner.  J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol S0960-0760(16)30046-2.     PubMed

Azzi S, Steunou V, Tost J, Rossignol S, Thibaud N, Das Neves C, Le Jule M, Abi Habib W, Blaise A, Koudou Y, Busato F, Le Bouc Y, Netchine I. 2015. Exhaustive methylation analysis revealed uneven profiles of methylation at IGF2/ICR1/H19 11p15 loci in Russell-Silver Syndrome. J Med Genet 52(1):53–60.     PubMed

Azzi S, Blaise A, Steunou V, Harbison MD, Salem J, Brioude F, Rossignol S, Abi Habib W, Thibaud N, Neves CD, Le Jule M, Brachet C, Heinrichs C, Bouc YL, Netchine I. 2014. Complex tissue-specific epigenotypes in Russell-Silver Syndrome associated with 11p15 ICR1 hypomethylation. Hum Mutat 35(10):1211–1220.     PubMed

Abi Habib W, Azzi S, Brioude F, Steunou V, Thibaud N, Das Neves C, Le Jule M, Chantot-Bastaraud S, Keren B, Lyonnet S, Michot C, Rossi M, Pasquier L, Gicquel C, Rossignol S, Le Bouc Y, Netchine I. 2014. Extensive investigation of the IGF2/H19 imprinting control region reveals novel OCT4/SOX2 binding site defects associated with specific methylation patterns in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Hum Mol Genet 23(21):5763–5673.     PubMed

Azzi S, Abi Habib W, Netchine I. 2014. Beckwith-Widedmann and Russell-Silver syndromes: From new molecular insights to the comprehension of imprinting regulation. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 21(1):30–38.     PubMed