Dr. El Assal is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection, Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine. Before moving to Stanford, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women?s Hospital, Boston, MA. Dr. El Assal received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree from Ajman University of Science and Technology, Ajman, UAE in 2007. His research interests revolved around the applications of nanotechnology and bio-inspired materials in medicine, including regenerative and transfusion medicine. He has published his research work in esteemed peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, including Advanced Materials, Biotechnology Journal, Molecular Pharmaceutics, and Lab on a Chip, and Journal of Tissue engineering and Regenerative Medicine. His research achievements have been recognized by the Center of Nanoscale Systems (CNS) at Harvard University. Dr. El Assal has a multifaceted and challenging career in research and patient care and he is now aspiring to a career that will help fulfill his ambition of being an effective researcher and clinician. His ultimate goal, along with treating patients on an individual basis, is to be able to treat them on a larger scale through using the problem solving methodologies that he has learned in research. During his free time, Dr. El Assal likes to help the people and serve the community.

Honors & Awards

  • Best Scientific Poster Category, Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS) at Harvard University (2011)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Ajman University of Science and Technology (AUST), Dental School, Dentistry (2007)
  • Resident, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), approved training center at AUST-Dental School, General Dentistry (2010)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School & Brigham and Women's Hospital, Medicine (2014)

Stanford Advisors

Community and International Work

  • Student Success Jobs Program (SSJP), Boston, MA


    Health, Science, and Medicine

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

    Populations Served

    Lowest Income Communities and Minorities



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement



All Publications

  • Highlights from the latest articles in advanced biomanufacturing at micro- and nano-scale. Nanomedicine Assal, R. E., Chen, P., Demirci, U. 2015; 10 (3): 347-350

    View details for DOI 10.2217/nnm.14.210

    View details for PubMedID 25707972

  • Bio-inspired cryo-ink preserves red blood cell phenotype and function during nanoliter vitrification. Advanced materials El Assal, R., Guven, S., Gurkan, U. A., Gozen, I., Shafiee, H., Dalbeyler, S., Abdalla, N., Thomas, G., Fuld, W., Illigens, B. M., Estanislau, J., Khoory, J., Kaufman, R., Zylberberg, C., Lindeman, N., Wen, Q., Ghiran, I., Demirci, U. 2014; 26 (33): 5815-5822


    Current red-blood-cell cryopreservation methods utilize bulk volumes, causing cryo-injury of cells, which results in irreversible disruption of cell morphology, mechanics, and function. An innovative approach to preserve human red-blood-cell morphology, mechanics, and function following vitrification in nanoliter volumes is developed using a novel cryo-ink integrated with a bioprinting approach.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/adma.201400941

    View details for PubMedID 25047246

  • Preserving human cells for regenerative, reproductive, and transfusion medicine. Biotechnology journal Asghar, W., El Assal, R., Shafiee, H., Anchan, R. M., Demirci, U. 2014; 9 (7): 895-903


    Cell cryopreservation maintains cellular life at sub-zero temperatures by slowing down biochemical processes. Various cell types are routinely cryopreserved in modern reproductive, regenerative, and transfusion medicine. Current cell cryopreservation methods involve freezing (slow/rapid) or vitrifying cells in the presence of a cryoprotective agent (CPA). Although these methods are clinically utilized, cryo-injury due to ice crystals, osmotic shock, and CPA toxicity cause loss of cell viability and function. Recent approaches using minimum volume vitrification provide alternatives to the conventional cryopreservation methods. Minimum volume vitrification provides ultra-high cooling and rewarming rates that enable preserving cells without ice crystal formation. Herein, we review recent advances in cell cryopreservation technology and provide examples of techniques that are utilized in oocyte, stem cell, and red blood cell cryopreservation.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/biot.201300074

    View details for PubMedID 24995723

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