Centers, Labs and Projects

Leading researchers from NYU Abu Dhabi's four academic divisions and at the NYU Abu Dhabi Research Institute have propelled the University to the forefront of 21st century research in the UAE and Middle East region.

NYUAD has more than 80 faculty labs and projects, and designated Research Institute Centers — many are multidisciplinary in line with NYUAD's vision to be one of the world's great research universities that addresses complex challenges of global significance.

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  • AMBER Lab

    The mission of Advanced Materials and Building Efficiency Research Laboratory (AMBER Lab) is to tackle pressing societal issues through fundamental and practical research in innovative and new construction materials. Our research interests encompass a wide range from materials characterization, mechanical and durability assessment to building applications and development of sustainable urban infrastructure.

    • Principal Investigator: Kemal Celik
    • Program: Civil Engineering
    • Division: Engineering

    Keywords: sustainable urban infrastructure, green materials, energy efficiency, eco-friendly, construction materials

  • Advanced Microfluidics and Microdevices Laboratory

    AMMLab is currently working with diverse facets of miniaturization and integration in biology, life sciences, and medicine, which includes the conception, engineering, and utilization of novel micro and nanotechnologies to manipulate, stimulate and study biological entities.

    • Principal Investigator: Mohammad A. Qasaimeh
    • Program: General Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biology
    • Division: Engineering, Engineering, Science

    Keywords: Bioengineering, Microtechnology, Microfluidics, MEMS, Biosensors

  • Akkasah: Center for Photography

    Akkasah explores the histories and contemporary practices of photography in the Arab world from comparative perspectives: it fosters the scholarly study of these histories and practices in dialogue with other photographic cultures and traditions from around the world.

    • Principal Investigator: Shamoon Zamir
    • Program: Art and Art History
    • Division: Arts and Humanities

    Keywords: Photography, Middle East, Arab, UAE, Vernacular

  • Applied Interactive Multimedia Laboratory

    AIM Lab research interests include the conception, engineering, and utilization of novel haptic interfaces as a new media in Human-Computer Interaction.

    • Principal Investigator: Mohamad Eid
    • Program: Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Interactive Media
    • Division: Engineering, Engineering, Science, Arts and Humanities
  • Astroparticle Physics Lab

    Established in 2013, the Astroparticle Physics Lab at NYU Abu Dhabi focuses on the intersection between astrophysics and particle physics.

    • Principal Investigator: Francesco Arneodo
    • Program: Physics
    • Division: Science

    Keywords: Dark Matter, Detector Development, Space, Cosmic Rays, Radioactivity

  • Baias Research Group

    Baias Research Group is focused on developing methods for high-pressure NMR crystallography with the aim of characterizing polymorphism in complex crystalline materials when subjected to high pressure conditions.

    • Principal Investigator: Maria Baias
    • Division: Science
  • Center for Technology and Economic Development

    CTED houses several research projects that aim to tackle a wide range of developmental problems across five areas including food and water, healthcare, financial access, energy, and education.

    • Principal Investigator: Yaw Nyarko, Lakshminarayanan Subramanian
    • Program: Economics, Social Research and Public Policy, Economics, Computer Engineering, Computer Science
    • Division: Social Science, Social Science, Social Science, Engineering, Science

    Keywords: Economics, Technology, Economic Development, Mobile Apps, Migration

  • Communication Networks Lab

    The Communication Networks lab (ComNets) focuses on bridging the digital divide between the developed and developing regions.

    • Principal Investigator: Yasir Zaki , Thomas Potsch
    • Program: Computer Science
    • Division: Science

    Keywords: Network Science, Network Analysis, Relational Processes, Diffusion, Computational Methods

  • Computational Approaches to Modeling Language Lab

    The Computational Approaches to Modeling Language (CAMeL) Lab is a research lab at New York University Abu Dhabi established in September 2014. CAMeL's mission is research and education in artificial intelligence, specifically focusing on natural language processing, computational linguistics, and data science. The main lab research areas are Arabic natural language processing, machine translation, text analytics, and dialogue systems.

    • Principal Investigator: Nizar Habash
    • Program: Computer Science
    • Division: Science

    Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, Arabic, Dialects

  • Computational Modeling of Normal and Abnormal Cortical Processing

    Computational neuroscience is one of the most outstanding and challenging fields of scientific endeavor, with potential benefits not only for highly enhanced theoretical understanding, but also for important practical applications such as in mental-health studies.

    • Principal Investigator: Aaditya Rangan, Gregor Kovacic, Douglas Zhou
    • Program: Mathematics
    • Division: Science

    Keywords: Neuroscience, Mental-Health Studies, Experimental Observations, Schizophrenic, Alzheimer

  • Cross-Disciplinary and Multicultural Perspective on Musical Rhythm

    The Rhythm Project will help to better understand the similarities and differences between rhythms of different cultures and ultimately provide a deeper insight into the musical behavior of humans as a species.

    • Principal Investigator: Robert Rowe, Juan Pablo Bello, Carlos Guedes
    • Program: Music, Arab Music Studies
    • Division: Arts and Humanities, Arts and Humanities

    Keywords: Music, Digital Humanities, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Ethnomusicology, Music Information Retrieval

  • Cyber Security and Privacy Lab

    The Cyber Security and Privacy Lab researches the security and privacy of current and future IT and communication systems. Specific interests include the security of wireless systems and applications, such as secure localization and jamming-resistant communication, mobile-, protocol- and system-level security as well as other aspects of privacy. 

    • Program: Computer Science
    • Division: Science
  • Data Science and AI Lab

    The Data Science and AI Lab is interested in modeling, simulating, and analyzing social phenomena using computational methods.

    • Program: Computer Science
    • Division: Science
  • Design For Excellence Lab

    Electronic chips manufactured today exhibit a higher defect rate, fail more often during their mission-mode operation, die quicker in the field, and thanks to globalization and outsourcing, are more prone to security threats such as counterfeiting, IP piracy, and hardware trojans. Our mission is to design these electronic chips with built-in defense mechanisms.

    • Program: Computer Engineering
    • Division: Engineering
  • Design Technology Lab

    Technology influences and shapes society. Our mission is to develop a generation of designers and entrepreneurs who will lead to technological development.

    • Program: Computer Engineering, Computer Science
    • Division: Engineering, Science
  • Dhakira Center for Heritage Studies in the UAE

    Dhakira works in close cooperation with scholars, heritage communities, heritage authorities, and UNESCO to address the many regional and global challenges of the relatively young discipline of heritage studies.

    • Division: Arts and Humanities
  • Evolutionary Genomics Lab

    Evolutionary Genomics Lab uses the tools and concepts of population genetics and molecular evolution to address two main questions: (1) Why do vertebrate genomes differ so much in size and structure? and (2) What are the genetic bases of adaptation to extreme environments?

    • Principal Investigator: Stephane Boissinot
    • Program: Biology
    • Division: Science

    Keywords: genomics, evolution, population genetics, transposable elements, adaptation

  • Family Business Histories

    In the Middle East and North Africa, it is estimated that more than 80 percent of businesses are family-owned and run. This project brings together scholars from across the disciplines to compile, document and analyze the history of selected regional family businesses to better understand past challenges and decision-making, as well as commercial legacies.

    • Principal Investigator: Martin Klimke
    • Program: History
    • Division: Arts and Humanities

    Keywords: Family Business, Histories, MENA, MENASA

  • Fieldlab DRC

    FieldLab DRC aims to strengthen research capacities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and help researchers in the Congo conduct research.

     

    • Principal Investigator: Peter van der Windt
    • Program: Political Science
    • Division: Social Science

    Keywords: Congo, Research, Experiments, Surveys, Governance

  • Fougnie Lab

    Despite our sophisticated brains with immense processing capacity there are strong capacity limits in what we can perceive, attend to, and remember about the world. The Fougnie Lab attempts to characterize and understand the nature of these limits.

    • Division: Science
  • Galadari Lab

    Cell Death Signaling Laboratory
    This research group focuses on unraveling the mechanisms that control different modes of programmed cell death with special emphasis on its clinical relevance to anticancer therapeutics.

    • Division: Science
  • Galaxy Formation Group

    NYU Abu Dhabi's Galaxy Formation Group uses state of the art numerical cosmological simulations to study galaxy formation and evolution during cosmic times with the aim to use the visible part of the Universe to unveil its dark side.

     

    • Division: Science
  • Global Asia Initiative

    Global Asia is an interdisciplinary network of faculty working on Asia in the broadest sense.

    • Division: Arts and Humanities
  • Human Data Interaction Lab

    The goal of the Human Data Interaction Lab (HuDa) is to research methods at the intersection of data management, data science, and interactive systems to enable the derivation of insights from data and to support data-driven decision-making.

    • Division: Science, Social Science
  • Idaghdour Lab — Environmental Genomics

    We are interested in studying the role genetic and environmental factors play in shaping health-related phenotypes and how interactions between these effects trigger disease and modulate its outcome.

    • Principal Investigator: Youssef Idaghdour
    • Program: Biology
    • Division: Science

    Keywords: genomics, genetics, public health, environment, human genetics

  • Ideas of India

    Ideas of India seeks to further the study of modern Indian political thought by drawing attention to the vibrant public sphere that took shape in the century prior to independence.

    • Division: Social Science
  • Identity and Politics Workgroup

    The identity and politics workgroup is multidisciplinary and open a forum where researchers from fields in the social and natural sciences as well as humanities meet to discuss ongoing work and its significance for how we think of who people are at different scales - from the cellular to the complex society level.

     

    • Division: Arts and Humanities, Science, Social Science
  • Integrated BioElectronics Laboratory

    The Integrated BioElectronics Lab aims at advancing the engineering and applications of silicon integrated technology interfacing with biology in a variety of forms ranging from implantable biomedical devices to unobtrusive wearable sensors.

    • Principal Investigator: Sohmyung Ha
    • Program: Electrical Engineering
    • Division: Engineering

    Keywords: integrated circuits, biomedical sensors, neural interface, wireless power transmission, implantable, wearable

  • Kirmizialtin Lab

    The lab uses Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations, one of the powerful theoretical approaches to study the structure, molecular interactions, and resulted dynamics in a unified framework.

     

    • Division: Science
  • Laboratory for Advanced Neuroengineering and Translational Medicine

    The Ramadi Lab for Advanced Neuroengineering and Translational Medicine develops innovative approaches for the modulation of neural activity throughout the body. We combine mechanical, electrical, materials, and bio-engineering toolkits towards designing minimally invasive technologies for neuromodulation. Our goal is to develop novel therapies for neurologic, metabolic, and immune disorders.

    • Principal Investigator: Khalil Ramadi
    • Program: General Engineering
    • Division: Engineering

    Keywords: Neuroengineering, Translational Medicine, Medical Devices, Drug Delivery

  • Laboratory for Immuno Bioengineering Research and Applications (LIBRA)

    Deciphering the role of mechanical factors on immune cells through basic research, to unveil new insights into immune homeostasis and dysregulation for innovative translational applications. Our team achieve this overall goal through the use of model systems that integrates Immuno-mechanobiology, Microenvironment Mimicry, and Video-omics.

     

    • Principal Investigator: Jeremy Teo
    • Program: General Engineering
    • Division: Engineering

    Keywords: Mechanobiology, Biomaterials, Quantitative Biology, Immunology, Bioengineering

  • Laboratory of Algal Systems and Synthetic Biology

    Our research aims to explore fundamental questions on evolution, phenotype-genotype relations, and metabolism of algae.

     

    • Division: Science
  • Laboratory of Applied Nonlinear Dynamics (LAND)

    Laboratory of Applied Nonlinear Dynamics (L.A.N.D.) focuses on understanding various nonlinear phenomena and applying this understanding to resolve issues related to power generation, manufacturing, microelectromechanical systems, and origami structures. 

    • Division: Engineering
  • Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology

    The Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology is primarily interested in how the genome is organized and maintained in the eukaryotic cell nucleus.

    • Division: Science
  • Laboratory of Experimental Cinema

    Our research focuses on bridging the worlds of science and film by challenging and expanding the role of science in the current cultural discourse. 

    • Division: Arts and Humanities
  • Laboratory of Neural Systems and Behavior

    Patients suffering from depression are known to exhibits aberrations in circadian rhythms and sleep/wake cycle. The increase in reported cases of global depression is thought, in part, to be due to the modern a lifestyle where an increasing number of people are exposed to situations that may affect circadian and sleep/wake rhythms such as extended nighttime exposure to bright lights and prolonged shift work.

    • Principal Investigator: Dipesh Chaudhury
    • Program: Biology
    • Division: Science

    Keywords: Neuroscience, Stress, Mood Disorders, Circadian Rhythms, Sleep-Wake Cycle

  • Language, Mind and Brain

    Language is a complex mental faculty, recruiting and integrating several interacting representational and computational architectures in the mind. We investigate the nature of the cognitive and neural architecture that supports the human language system and how it interfaces with other cognitive faculties.

    • Division: Science
  • Magzoub Lab: Biophysics

    Keywords: Drug Delivery Strategies, Amyloid Diseases, Cancer Therapeutics

  • Marine Biology Lab

    Our research uses the Arabian Gulf as a natural laboratory to study coral reef ecology in extreme environments and to understand how these may serve as a model for the possible impacts of future climate change on reefs elsewhere.

    • Principal Investigator: John Burt
    • Program: Biology, Natural Science, The Environment
    • Division: Science, Science, Science

    Keywords: marine biology, coral reef, mangrove, fishes, coastal management

  • Marine Microbial Ecology — Amin Lab

    Research in the Amin Lab is focused on studying how seawater organisms interact with each other and how these interactions influence their ecosystem, from coral health to algal blooms to bioprospecting.

    • Principal Investigator: Shady Amin
    • Program: Biology
    • Division: Science

    Keywords: Marine Microbial Ecology, Environmental Microbiology, Coral Ecology, Drug Discovery

  • Micro- and Nanoscale Bioengineering Lab

    Our research areas include liquid biopsy on microfluidic biochips and high throughput drug screening using whole model organisms such C. elegans.

    • Division: Engineering
  • Modern Microprocessor Architectures Lab

    The Modern Microprocessors Architectures (MoMA) Lab focuses on the security and privacy of modern high-performance and embedded microprocessors. Research topics include privacy-preserving architectures, encrypted computation, industrial control systems security, and hardware security.  

    • Principal Investigator: Michail Maniatakos
    • Program: Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering
    • Division: Engineering, Science, Engineering

    Keywords: Cybersecurity, Privacy, Homomorphic Encryption, Industrial Control Systems, Hardware Security

  • Multimedia and Visual Computing Lab

    The lab serves as an intellectual hub for faculty, researchers, and students from both the New York and Abu Dhabi campuses to study and address the key challenges in multimedia and visual data processing.

    • Principal Investigator: Yi Fang
    • Program: Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, General Engineering
    • Division: Engineering, Science, Engineering, Engineering

    Keywords: Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Multimedia, Visual Computing

  • NMR Group

    Research activities headed by Rino Esposito focus on the application of high resolution NMR methods to proteins.

     

    • Division: Science
  • Nano and Biomaterials Research Lab

    Our research is focused on the development of supercritical CO2-based processes to create nanoscale building blocks and their self-assembly into novel materials.

    • Division: Science
  • Narrative Technologies and Spatial Installations Lab

    We focus on problems or questions in the realm of information, communication, and electronic systems.

     

    • Division: Engineering
  • Naumov Group

    The Naumov research group is the leading team with regards to chemistry research in the UAE, with research output that according to the Nature Index, accounts for an impressive 63 percent  in 2015 and 67 percent in 2016 of the total chemistry publications from groups within the country, both in fractional count and weighed fractional count.

    • Division: Science
  • NetBio Group

    Blending theory with experiments, we focus on the behavior of networks with particular emphasis on synthetic biology applications.

    • Principal Investigator: Andras Gyorgy
    • Program: General Engineering
    • Division: Engineering

    Keywords: synthetic biology, networks, control and dynamical systems, quantitative biology, complex systems

  • Neuroscience of Language Lab

    The NEUROSCIENCE OF LANGUAGE LAB (NeLLab) brings together complementary research programs in the cognitive neuroscience of language. We aim to integrate linguistics and neurobiology in an effort to uncover the neural bases of language comprehension and production. Our interdisciplinary research group addresses this complex problem starting from the processing of sounds and words all the way to combinatory sentence interpretation. Our team members are among the pioneers of the field on both a theoretical and an experimental level. Research is conducted at the KIT/NYU MEG Joint Research Lab at NYU, and at its sister facility at NYU Abu Dhabi.

     

    • Principal Investigator: Alec Marantz, Liina Pylkkanen
    • Program: Psychology
    • Division: Science, Social Science

    Keywords: Language, Brain, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Magnetoencephalography

  • Objects and Knowledge Laboratory

    The general research goal of the lab is to understand how the human brain perceives the visual world, and how such processes are influenced by experience and learning.

    • Division: Science
  • Photonics Research Lab

    We are working to develop novel photonic/optoelectronic components for next-generation optical and data communication networks.

     

    • Principal Investigator: Mahmoud Rasras
    • Program: Electrical Engineering
    • Division: Engineering

    Keywords: Photonics Integrated Circuits, Silicon Photonics, Optoelectronics, Cybersecurity, Opto-MEMS

  • Re-Counting the Past

    This project presents numerical information about the Middle East in the past including data on population, imports, exports, the cost of travelling and shipping goods overland and across the oceans, and more.

    • Division: Social Science
  • Research & Empirical Analysis of Labor Migration

    This research group explores the causal mechanisms and processes involved in migrant labor recruitment, particularly in migrant-sending countries.

     

    • Division: Social Science
  • Research Group in Network Science

    This research group of social scientists has breadth in terms of substantive areas, ranging from neighborhood segregation to boundary conditions of diffusion, to trust and betrayal, to firm networks.

    • Division: Social Science
  • Rokers Vision Laboratory

    We live in a three-dimensional world, but each of our eyes only receives a two-dimensional image. How does our brain combine these images? Research in our laboratory focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying visual perception, with an emphasis on motion and depth perception. Signals from the two eyes need to be combined in visual cortex in order to inform us of the position and movement of objects. The study of motion and depth perception helps uncover the function and underlying architecture of the brain's visual system and provides us with a model by which to understand visual processing in general. To do so we use complementary behavioral, neuroimaging and computational approaches. Our research improves the understanding and treatment of visual impairments with a cortical basis, such as amblyopia (lazy eye) and motion blindness, ultimately leading to the recovery of lost visual function.

    • Principal Investigator: Bas Rokers
    • Program: Psychology
    • Division: Science

    Keywords: Visual perception, Neuroimaging, Perceptual Disorders, Virtual Reality, Sensory Processing

  • S.M.A.R.T. Construction Research Group

    ustainable and resilient construction

    Modularization and lean construction

    Artificial intelligence

    Robotic systems and automation

    Technology integration and information modeling

     

    • Division: Science
  • Sadler Edepli Lab

    Despite the remarkable regenerative capacity of the liver, it is not always able to undergo efficient repair. Thus, diseases of the liver are common and a long-term goal of our research is to identify targets to treat them. We use zebrafish as a model system to accomplish these goals.

    • Division: Science
  • Simplification of Arabic Masterpieces for Extensive Reading

    In response to the severe dearth of graded reader fiction in Arabic and the absence of any scale of simplification, the main objective of the project is to create a standard for the simplification of modern fiction in Arabic to school-age learners and to use this standard to simplify a number of Arabic fiction masterpieces.

    • Division: Arts and Humanities
  • Social Science Experimental Laboratory (SSEL)

    The Social Science Experimental Laboratory (SSEL) at NYU Abu Dhabi is an interdisciplinary center where experimental research in the social sciences is conducted. Our aim is to create mutually beneficial relationships with local universities, organizations, and the wider community by offering their members a useful opportunity to participate in social science research activities.

    • Principal Investigator: Rebecca Morton
    • Program: Economics, Political Science, Social Research and Public Policy
    • Division: Social Science, Social Science, Social Science

    Keywords: Experiments, Economics Research , Social Science, Research in Abu Dhabi, Research Participation

  • Sounds of Sir Bani Yas Island

    Carlos Guedes, associate arts professor, takes his classes to Sir Bani Yas Island to record free-roaming animals and birds. The recordings are then uploaded onto an interactive website.

    • Division: Arts and Humanities
  • Sport and Wellness Science Lab

    The Sport and Wellness Science Lab offers a platform for multi-disciplinary research projects that integrate cutting edge technologies (e.g., MRI) to explore exercise-induced effects on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of students and the general population. 

    • Division: Science
  • Sreenivasan Lab

    Our primary focus is the neurobiological basis of working memory, which is the process that allows us to actively hold onto information over brief periods.

    • Division: Science
  • Structural Biology and Biophysical Chemistry Lab

    We study enzyme structure and functions to characterize a disease mechanism or biology function using X-ray crystallography and a variety of different biophysical and biochemical techniques.

    • Division: Science
  • Teaching, Learning, and Development Lab

    Our research includes all aspects of planning and management of surface transportation infrastructure.

     

    • Division: Science
  • The Dore Laboratory

    To increase our understanding of biology and medicine, the scientific community requires the continued development of new technologies for studying and manipulating cell physiology. The research interests of the Dore Laboratory lie at the interface of chemistry and biology, creating new technology to study complex biological systems.

    • Division: Science
  • Trabolsi Research Group

    Our group uses concepts of molecular/ionic recognition coupled to self-assembly for the fabrication of multi-functional materials.

    • Division: Science
  • Transportation Infrastructure Management Lab

    Our research includes all aspects of the planning and management of surface transportation infrastructure.

    • Principal Investigator: Samar Madanat
    • Program: Civil Engineering
    • Division: Engineering

    Keywords: Transportation Infrastructure, Planning, Management, Optimization, Econometrics

  • Virtues of Attention: Ethics, Agency, Mind

    Areas of research include the question of whether attention is a single psychological kind; the relation between attention and agency; and the ethical implications of habits of attention.

     

    • Division: Arts and Humanities
  • Volcic Lab

    The Volcic Lab studies the mechanisms underlying multisensory perception and motor behavior to understand how sensory information is used to guide our actions and how our interactions with the surrounding environment shape our perception.

    • Principal Investigator: Robert Volcic
    • Program: Psychology
    • Division: Science

    Keywords: Perception, Vision, Haptics, Motor Control, Sensorimotor Integration

  • Water Research Center

    The Water Research Center (NYUAD-WRC) aims to promote innovative research in water desalination, wastewater treatment, environmental policy, and social issues. The center serves as an interdisciplinary innovation hub for water research where scientific knowledge is transformed into practical solutions.

     

    • Division: Engineering
  • Working Group in African Political Economy

    Working Group in African Political Economy is an international forum for academic researchers who combine deep field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods.

     

    • Principal Investigator: Jonathan Andrew Harris, Melina Platas, Morgan Lillian Hardy, Peter van der Windt
    • Program: Economics, Political Science, Social Research and Public Policy
    • Division: Social Science, Social Science, Social Science

    Keywords: Africa, Economics, Politics, Experiments, Development

  • eARThumanities Research Initiative

    With a view to interdisciplinary cooperation and coordination, faculty, researchers, and students from the Arts and Humanities, together with other academic divisions, will explore the major transformational challenges are arising from a rapidly changing climate.

    • Principal Investigator: Sophia Kalantzakos, Mark Swislocki
    • Division: Arts and Humanities