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Globe with GeoHealth Hub for Climate ChangeGeoHealth Hub on Climate Change and Health in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Welcome to the GeoHealth Hub on Climate Change and Health in the MENA region. This program is an international consortium focused on the health impacts of climate change.

Funded by the National Institutes for Health, this program is one of seven Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) hubs dedicated to high priority health research, data management, curriculum and material development, training activities, and policy support. Efforts of the GeoHealth hub in the Middle East and North Africa are concentrated in areas where some of the most vulnerable populations live. The project aims to better understand and address human health impacts of climate change through two complementary approaches: research and training. Interdisciplinary partners include university researchers from the United States, Jordan, Morocco and Lebanon, as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization’s Regional Centre for Environmental Health Action. 

Our Team


Headshot of Fayez AbdullaFayez Abdullah, PhD
Overall Co-Lead Principal Investigator
Professor and Director of the Queen Rania Al-Abdullah Center for Environmental Sciences and Technology (QRACEST), Department of Civil Engineering
Jordan University of Science and Technology



United States

Headshot of Wael Al-DelaimyWael Al-Delaimy, MD, PhD
Overall Co-Lead Principal Investigator
Professor, UC San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science




Headshot of Marc WeiskopfMarc Weiskopf, PhD
Consortium Principal Investigator
Professor, Harvard University, T.H. Chan School of Public Health





Head shot of Justin RemaisJustin Remais, PhD
Consortium Principal Investigator
Professor and Chair of the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, University of California Berkeley School of Public Health





Head shot of Kenya KhomsiKenza Khomsi, PhD
Consortium and Country Principal Investigator
Affiliated Associate Professor 
Mohammed VI University for Health Sciences





Head shot of Miriam MeadMyriam Mrad, PhD
Consortium and Country Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor, University of Balamand





GeoHub Partners


Triton Leaders Conference
February 2024

 Three people sitting on a stage talking.

Dr. Al-Delaimy participated in a panel forum moderated by Margaret Leinen, PhD, UC San Diego vice chancellor for marine sciences, dean of the School of Marine Sciences and director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The discussion centered around global and local health impacts of climate and air pollution. The well attended-event discussed how UC San Diego is leading the way in advancing the research on climate change health impacts locally, nationally and globally. Dr. Al-Delaimy described his ongoing projects on climate change in the Middle East and North Africa, including the GeoHealth Hub and the Global Center on Climate Change. He also addressed questions from the audience about the challenges of climate change in terms of prevention, estimating the risks and protecting the most vulnerable in the population.

Advisory Group on Embedding Ethics in Health and Climate Change Policy
Prinicipal Investigator Wael Al-Delaimy, MD, PhD, was selected as one of 12 global experts, and the only one from the United States, to advise the World Health Organization on the ethics of health and climate change policies.

Read more about the role of this advisory group.


University of California
Health is finally a priority at COP28. Will it spur faster climate action?


NIH Fogarty International Center
Addressing the health impacts of climate change in the MENA region


UC San Diego Today
Thinking Globally to Address the Impact of Climate Change on Human Health


Second Regional Conference on Climate Change and Health in the MENA by the GeoHealth Hub MENA
June 22, 2023, University of Balamand, Lebanon

Attendees of conference pose for picture

The University of Balamand organized the second GEOHealth Hub on Climate Change and Health in the MENA region workshops and conference from June 19 to June 27, 2023. The conference attracted more than 150 attendees and left participants inspired and equipped with valuable insights to address the challenges of climate change and its impact on health in the MENA region.


Leaders of MENA GeoHealth Hub of Climate Grange Convene with Secretary General of Ministry of Environment to Explore Collaborative Opportunities
July 27, 2023, Jordan

Photo of Muhammad Al-Khashashneh, Fayez Abdullah and Wael Al-Delaimy.

Muhammad Al-Khashashneh, the Secretary-General of Jordan's Ministry of Environment, convened with Wael Al-Delaimy, UC San Diego, and Fayez Abdullah, Jordan University of Science and Technology, who is also the Director of the Queen Rania Center for Science and Environmental Technology. Addressing the national climate change policy endorsed by the Council of Ministers, Al-Khashashneh referred to the roadmap established during the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-27) held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. This roadmap outlines Jordan's commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.


Environmental Health Meeting at the Lebanese Ministry of Health and Agreement on a Plan to Remedy the Health Effects of Climate Change
June 27, 2023, Lebanon

Photos of participants at the Lebanese Ministry of Health meeting

The Ministers of Public Health and Environment in the caretaker government, Firas Al-Abyad and Nasser Yassin, held a meeting at the Ministry of Public Health, attended by a delegation from the University of Balamand, with the aim of following up the activities of the Global Center for Health and Climate Change in the Middle East and North Africa, GeoHealth Hub MENA, related to climate change, which had been established at the University of Balamand. Participants included Wael Al-Delaimy, UC San Diego, Youssef Bassim and Myriam Mrad, University of Balamand, and two technical teams from the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organization.

Research and Publications

Primary climate relevant areas of focus include heat waves, precipitation and water quality, air pollution, and desert dust pollution.

Whaibeh, E., Tayeh, G. A., Farah, W., Abboud, M., Awar, S. E., Affara, H. L., ... & Mrad, M. (2022). Air Pollution and Perinatal Health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: Challenges, Limitations, and the Potential of Epigenetics. Current Environmental Health Reports, 9(1), 1-10.

Khomsi, K., Bouzghiba, H., Mendyl, A., K Al-Delaimy, A., Dahri, A., Saad-Hussein, A., Balaw, G., El Marouani, I., Sekmoudi, I.,Adarbaz, M., Khanjani, N., Abbas, N., (2023) Bridging Research-Policy Gaps: An Integrated Approach. Accepted in Environmental Epidemiology.

Houdou, A., El Badisy, I., Khomsi, K., Abdala, S.A., Abdulla, F., Najmi, H., Obtel, M., Belyamani, L., Ibrahimi, A., Khalis, M. (2024). Interpretable Machine Learning Approaches for Forecasting and Predicting Air Pollution: A Systematic Review. Accepted in Aerosol and Air Quality Research.

Khomsi, K., Bouakline, O. and Sekmoudi, I., 2023. A review of large-scale climate indicators (LSCI) and their environmental and health implications in the Mediterranean region. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, pp.1-17. 

Whaibeh, E., Mrad-Nakhlé, M., Aouad, N., Annesi-Maesano, I., Abbas, N., Chaiban, C., Abi Hanna, J. and Abi Tayeh, G., 2023. The Environmental Exposures in Lebanese Infants (EELI) birth cohort: an investigation into the Developmental Origins of Health and Diseases (DOHaD). International Journal of Environmental Health Research, pp.1-12.


The goal of this component is to build individual and institutional capacity. This is achieved through the addition of tracks in environmental health to existing masters and doctoral programs, mentored one-on-one research training, summer courses, workshops, United States visits and virtual webinars.

Graduate students from Jordan, Morocco or Lebanon interested in participating may inquire by emailing Please include a resume, two references and a one-page description of your idea and why you want to be involved.



Jowy Abi Hanna, a student at the University of Balamand in Lebanon, discusses the experience with the GeoHealth Hub on Climate Change and Health in the MENA region.


Ihssane El Marouani, student at the Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences, provides a testimonial of the experience with the GeoHealth Hub on Climate Change and Health in the MENA region.


Yazan Al-Wadi, a doctoral student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, discusses the experience with the GeoHealth Hub on Climate Change and Health in the MENA region while he was doing his M.Sc. at Jordan University of Science and Technology in Jordan.


Past Events

Geo Hub for Climate and Health in the MENA 2022-2023 Webinar Series

December 20, 2023
Water Pollution by Nitrate
Mutawakil Obeidat, PhD, Professor on Hydrochemistry and Isotope Hydrology, Faculty Member and Head of Department of Basic Sciences and Humanities at Jordan University of Science and Technology

November 20, 2023
Climate Impacts on Food System Destabilization and the Consequential Impacts on Human Nutrition
Christopher Golden, PhD, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Planetary Health, Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

October 25, 2023
Ecosystem Approaches to Human Health in View of Climate Crisis
Ziad Al-Ghazawi, PhD, Faculty Member, Civil Engineering Department, Jordan University of Science and Technology

September 23, 2023
Setting Climate Change and Health Research Priorities in MENA Geohub Countries
Mazen Malkawi, MSc, Advisor on Environmental Health Exposure at World Health Organization (WHO), Jordan

July 26, 2023
Communicating Climate Change Information to Policy Makers and the Public with Dashboards and StoryMaps
Jessica Saliba, PhD, Assistant Professor, Public Health Department, University of Balamand (UoB), Lebanon

April 27, 2023
Smoking Research: Paving the Way for Policy-Making
Jessica Saliba, PhD, Assistant Professor, Public Health Department, University of Balamand

March 22, 2023
Conducting Public Health Research in a Limited Resource Setting: Challenges and Opportunities
Myriam Mrad, PhD, Chair, Public Health Department, University of Balamand

February 8, 2023
Environmental Health in Action:  Building Resilience to Extreme Heat: Strategies for Adapting to a Warming World
Greg Wellenius, PhD, Professor of Environmental Health, Director of the BUSPH Center for Climate and Health, Boston University


United States universities contact
Debbie Loomis,

MENA universities contact
Elham Walid, 

GeoHealth on Social Media
Instagram: @geohubmena
Twitter: @GEOHubMENA