Niveen M. Khashab, PhD

Principal Investigator

Professor of Chemical Science​​


Research Interests

Professor Khashab's research interests are in design, synthesis, and applications of "smart" programmable nanomaterials with emphasis on the controlled release and delivery aspects of the systems. These engineered materials are utilized for biomedical (delivery, sensing, and imaging), industrial (nanocomposites) and environmental (membranes synthesis) applications.

Biomedical Applications
Stimuli responsive nanomaterials are prepared to package and deliver drugs directly to diseased cells, which reduce the harm to healthy parts of the body. It also allows for the delivery of hydrophobic drugs that cannot be up taken by cells. The delivery containers range from carbon based materials to inorganic capsules such as silica nanoparticles. Sensors and imaging agents based on metallic clusters and particles are also designed for separate use or direct incorporation with the delivery system for enhanced theranostic effect.

Industrial Applications
Surface modification of nanomaterials affects many of their physical and chemical properties. Improving the dispersion and interaction of nanomaterials is a hot topic as it has direct industrial application especially in the field of nanocompsites. Interaction of functionalized nanomaterials with different polymer matrices leads to a new generation of thermally, mechanically, and/or electrically enhanced materials.

Environmental Applications
Designing nanomaterial support systems for different catalysts has impressive environmental implications as it boosts the recyclability of these catalysts, which eventually leads to “green” practices. It also increases and protects the activity of the catalysts, which makes this process commercially viable. Furthermore, incorporating the designed nanomaterials in membranes promotes their practical use for different environmental processes.

Full list of publications is here.

Selected Publications

  • Croissant, J. G.; Fatieiev, Y.; Khashab, N. M. Degradability and Clearance of Silicon, Organosilica, Silsesquioxane, Silica Mixed Oxide, and Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles. Adv. Mater. 2017, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201604634
  • Al-Rehili, S.; Fhayli, K.; Hammami, M. A.; Moosa, B.; Patil, S.; Zhang, D.; Alharbi, O.; Hedhili, M. N.; Möhwald, H.; Khashab, N. M. Anisotropic Self-Assembly of Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Microtoroids. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b10080
  • Croissant, J.; Cattoen, X.; Durand, J.-O.; Wong Chi Man, M.; Khashab, N. M. Organosilica Hybrid Nanomaterials with High Organic Content: Syntheses and Applications of Silsesquioxanes. Nanoscale 2016, 8, 19945-19972
  • Patil, S.; Moosa, B.; Alsaiari, S.; Alamoudi, K.; Alshamsan, A.; Almailk, A.; Adil, K.; Eddaoudi, M.; Khashab, N. Supramolecular Self-Assembly of Histidine-Capped-Dialkoxy-Anthracene: A Visible Light Triggered Platform for facile siRNA Delivery. Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 13789–13793
  • Croissant, J.; Fatieiev, Y.; Julfakyan, K.; Lu, J.; Emwas, A.; Anjum, D.; Omar, H.; Tamanoi, F.; Zink, J.; Khashab, N. M. Biodegradable Oxamide-Phenylene-Based Mesoporous Organosilica Nanoparticles with Unprecedented Drug Payloads for Delivery in Cells. Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 14806–14811


  • Ph.D., University of Florida, Gainesville, U.S., 2006
  • B.Sc., American University of Beirut, Lebanon, 2002

Professional Profile

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States, 2008
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles, U.S., 2007

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • Member, American Chemical Society
  • Member, Royal Chemical Society


  • Cram Lehn Pedersen Prize Winner, 2023 
  • L’Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science, 2017
  • Crow Award for Organic Chemistry Creativity, University of Florida campus-wide, 2005
  • Teaching Effectiveness Award, University of Florida campus-wide, 2005, 2004

KAUST Affiliations

  • Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center (AMPMC)
  • Division of Physical Science and Engineering (PSE)