Ahmad El Hellani, PhD

Assistant Professor

Ahmad El-Hellani, PhD headshot

The distance between cities is always small, and the distance between countries is getting smaller. Centuries of science brought us closer to each other. I hope the scientific data I generate at EHS can benefit my fellow citizens in Columbus, Ohio, the U.S., and far beyond, reaching my distant village, Younine. I strive for equity in both data generation and data reception.

Contact

424 Cunz Hall
1841 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

Email: 

Phone: 

614-247-4438

Dr. El Hellani is an Organic/Analytical chemist tha­t went from fundamental organometallic chemistry research to being interested in the assessment of human exposure to toxicants from various sources, especially tobacco products. He studies tobacco emissions in a controlled analytical lab setting using smoking machines, in a clinical lab setting using real-time sampling devices, and in a chamber lab setting for the assessment of secondhand emissions. His work could be the first line of toxicity assessment of tobacco emissions that may inform in vitro, in vivo (animal models), and biomarker of exposure and biomarker of potential harm studies. His work is interdisciplinary by nature, and benefits from collaboration with colleagues with a broad range of backgrounds in environmental sciences, toxicology, engineering, psychology, behavioral science, epidemiology, and medicine.

Dr. El Hellani recently received funding ($1.4 million) from the NIH National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) to validate "Nicotine Flux" (i.e. rate of nicotine emission) as a potentially powerful tool for regulating nicotine delivery from e-cigarettes. This project utilizes cross-disciplinary analytical and clinical lab methods to test the relevance of nicotine flux to nicotine delivery. The project seeks to answer a long-open question about the impact of the freebase/protonated nicotine ratio on the drug delivery profile and subjective effects. A better understanding of nicotine delivery, and hence addiction potential, of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, can provide much-needed evidence to develop regulations that help mitigate risk from tobacco products.

He will be involved in developing and presenting modules in courses such as environmental health, occupational health, environmental exposure monitoring methods, toxicology, and environmental molecular techniques. In addition, he will assist in developing applicable exposure science minor and certificate programs and a course in environmental analytical techniques.

Environmental Health, Tobacco Products, Tobacco Emissions, Tobacco Control, Analytical Chemistry, Inhalation Toxicology, Environmental Risk Assessment

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Analytical Chemistry/Tobacco Regulatory Science, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon & Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA
Postdoctoral Researcher, Organic Chemistry, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA, USA
PhD, Chemistry, Université Paris-sud, Paris, France
MS, Organic Chemistry, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon
BS, Chemistry, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon
MA, Philosophy, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon
BA, Philosophy, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon

Talih S, Salman R, Soule E, El-Hage R, Karam E, Karaoghlanian N, El Hellani A, Saliba N, Shihadeh A. Electrical features, liquid composition and toxicant emissions from 'pod-mod'-like disposable electronic cigarettes. Tob. Control, 2021, DOI: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2020-056362.

Karam E, Talih S, Salman R, El-Hage R, Karaoghlanian N, El Hellani A, Saliba N, Shihadeh A. JUUL ‘new technology’ pods exhibit greater electrical power and nicotine output than previous devices. Tob. Control, 2021, DOI: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2020-056427.

Eissenberg T, Soule E, Shihadeh A, and CSTP Nicotine Flux Working Group (El Hellani A). ’Open-System’ Electronic Cigarettes cannot be Regulated Effectively. Tob. Control, 2021, 30, 234-235.

Talih S, Salman R, El-Hage R, E Karam, Karaoghlanian N, El Hellani A, Saliba N, Eissenberg T, Shihadeh A. Might Limiting Nicotine Concentration Result in More Toxic Electronic Cigarette Aerosols. Tob. Control, 2021, 30, 348-350.

Talih S, Salman R, El-Hage R, Karaoghlanian N, El Hellani A, Saliba N, Shihadeh A. Effect of free-base and protonated nicotine on nicotine yield from electronic cigarettes with varying power and liquid vehicle. Sci. Rep. 2020, 10(1), 16263.

Salam S, Saliba N, Shihadeh A, Eissenberg T, El Hellani A. Flavor-Toxicant Correlation in E-cigarettes: A Meta-Analysis. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2020, 33, 12, 2932–2938.

El Hellani A, El-Hage R, Salman R, Talih S, Zeaiter J, Eissenberg T, Shihadeh A, Saliba N. Electronic Cigarettes Are Chemical Reactors: Implication to Toxicity. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2020, 33, 10, 2489–2490.

El-Hage R, El Hellani A, Salman R, Talih S, Shihadeh A, Saliba N. Vaped Humectants in E-Cigarettes Are a Source of Phenols. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2020, 33, 9, 2374–2380.

Talih S, Salman R, El-Hage R, Karam E, Salam S, Karaoghlanian N, El Hellani A, Saliba N, Shihadeh A. A comparison of the electrical characteristics, liquid composition, and toxicant emissions of JUUL USA and JUUL UK e-cigarettes. Sci. Rep. 2020, 10, 7322.

Talih S, Salman R, Karam E, El-Hourani M, El-Hage R, Karaoghlanian N, El Hellani A, Saliba N, Shihadeh A. Hot Wires and Film Boiling: Another Look at Carbonyl Formation in Electronic Cigarettes. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2020, 33, 8, 2172–2180.

El-Hage R, El Hellani A, Haddad C, Salman R, Talih S, Shihadeh A, Eissenberg T, Saliba N. Toxic emissions resulting from sucralose added to electronic cigarette liquids. Aerosol Sci. Technol., 2019, 53, 1197-1203.

Talih S, Salman R, El-Hage R, Karam E, Karaoghlanian N, El Hellani A, Saliba N, Shihadeh A. Characteristics and toxicant emissions of JUUL electronic cigarettes. Tob. Control, 2019, 28, 678-680.

El Hellani A, Al-Moussawi S, El-Hage R, Talih S, Salman R, Shihadeh A, Saliba N. Carbon Monoxide and Small Hydrocarbon Emissions from Sub-ohm Electronic Cigarettes. Tob. Control, 2019, 32, 312-317.

Salman R, Talih S, El-Hage R, Haddad C, Karaoghlanian N, El Hellani A, Saliba N, Shihadeh A. Free-Base and Total Nicotine, Reactive Oxygen Species, and Carbonyl Emissions from IQOS, a Heated Tobacco Product. Nic. Tob. Res. 2019, 21, 1285-1288.

Haddad C, Salman R, El Hellani A, Talih S, Shihadeh A, Saliba N. Reactive Oxygen Species Emissions from Supra- and Sub-Ohm Electronic Cigarettes. J. Anal. Toxicol. 2019, 43, 45-50.

Saliba N, El Hellani A, Honein E, Salman R, Talih S, Zeaiter J, Shihadeh A. Surface chemistry of electronic cigarette electrical heating coils: Effects of metal type on propylene glycol thermal decomposition. J. Anal. Appl. Pyr. 2018, 134, 520-525.

El-Hage R, El Hellani A, Salman R, Talih S, Shihadeh A, Saliba N. Fate of pyrazines in the flavored liquids of e-cigarettes. Aerosol Sci. Technol. 2018, 52, 377–384.

El Hellani A, Salman R, El-Hage R, Talih S, Malek N, Baalbaki R, Karaoghlanian N, Nakkash R, Shihadeh A, Saliba N. Nicotine and carbonyl emissions from popular electronic cigarette products: correlation to liquid composition and design. Nic. Tob. Res. 2018, 20, 215–223.

Talih S, Salman R, Karaoghlanian N, El Hellani A, Saliba N, Eissenberg T, Shihadeh A. ’Juice Monsters’: Sub-Ohm Vaping and Toxic Volatile Aldehyde Emissions. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2017, 30, 1791–1793.

El Hellani A, El-Hage R, Salman R, Talih S, Shihadeh A, Saliba N. Carboxylate Counteranions in Electronic Cigarette Liquids: Influence on Nicotine Emissions. Chem. Res. Toxicol., 2017, 30, 1577–1581.

Schick SF, Blount BC, Jacob III P, Saliba NA, Bernert JT, El Hellani A, Jatlow P, Pappas RS, Wang L, Foulds J, Ghosh A, Hecht SS, Gomez JC, Martin JR, Mesaros C, Srivastava S, St. Helen G, Tarran R, Lorkiewicz PK, Blair IA, Kimmel HL, Doerschuk CM, Benowitz NL, Bhatnagar A. Biomarkers of Exposure to New and Emerging Tobacco Delivery Products. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. 2017, 313, L425–L452.

Soussy S, El Hellani A, Baalbaki R, Salman R, Shihadeh A, Saliba N. Detection of 5-hydroxymethyl Furfural and Furfural in the aerosol of electronic cigarettes. Tob. Control 2016, 25(Suppl 2), ii88 -ii93.

Talih S, Balhas Z, Salman R, El-Hage R, Karaoghlanian N, El Hellani A, Baassiri M, Jaroudi E, Eissenberg T, Saliba N, Shihadeh A. Transport phenomena governing nicotine emissions from electronic cigarettes: Model formulation and experimental investigation. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 2016, 51, 1.

Breland A, Soule E, Lopez A, Ramoa C, El Hellani A, Eissenberg T. Electronic Cigarettes: What Are They and What do They Do? Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. Add. Rev. 2016, 1394, 5.

El Hellani A, El-Hage R, Baalbaki R, Salman R, Talih S, Shihadeh A, Saliba N. Free-base and protonated nicotine in electronic cigarette liquids and aerosols. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2015, 28 (8), 1532.

Talih S, Balhas Z, Eissenberg T, Salman R, Karaoghlanian N, El Hellani A, Baalbaki R, Saliba N, Shihadeh A. Effects of User Puff Topography, Device Voltage, and Liquid Nicotine Concentration on Electronic Cigarette Nicotine Yield: Measurements and Model Predictions. Nic. Tob. Res. 2015, 17, 150.

Fisher SP, El Hellani A, Tham FS, Lavallo V. Anionic and Zwitterionic Carboranyl N-Heterocyclic Carbene Au(I) Complexes. Dalton Trans. 2016, 45, 9762.

Estrada J, Lee SE, McArthur SG, El Hellani A, Tham FS, Lavallo V. Resisting B-H oxidative addition: The divergent reactivity of the o-carborane and carba-closo-dodecaborate ligand substituents. J. Organomet. Chem. 2015, 798, 214.

Baroudi A, El Hellani A, Bengali AA, Goldman AS, Hasanayn F. Calculation of Ionization Energy, Electron Affinity, and Hydride Affinity Trends in Pincer-Ligated d8-Ir(tBu4PXCXP) Complexes: Implications for the Thermodynamics of Oxidative H2 Addition. Inorg. Chem. 2014, 53, 12348.

El Hellani A, Lavallo V. Fusing N-Heterocyclic Carbenes with Carborane Anions. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 4489. “Hot Paper”

El Hellani A, Kefalidis CE, Tham FS, Maron L, Lavallo V. Structure and Bonding of a Zwitterionic Ir Complex Supported by a Phoshine with the Parent Carba-closo-Dodecaborate CB11H11- Ligand Substituent. Organometallics 2013, 32, 6887.

El Hellani A, Monot J, Tang S, Guillot R, Bour C, Gandon V. Relationship between Gallium Pyramidalization in L-GaCl3 Complexes and the Electronic Ligand Properties. Inorg. Chem. 2013, 52, 11493.

El Hellani A, Monot J, Guillot R, Bour C, Gandon V. Molecular versus Ionic Structures in Adducts of GaX3 with Monodentate Carbon-Based Ligands. Inorg. Chem. 2013, 52, 506.

Tang S, Monot J, El Hellani A, Michelet B, Guillot R, Bour C, Gandon V. Cationic Gallium(III) Halide Complexes: a New Generation of π-Lewis Acids. Chem. Eur. J., 2012, 18, 10239. “Cover Page”

El Hellani A, Bour C, Gandon V. Evaluation of the Electronic Properties of a Carbodiphosphorane through Gold Catalysis. Adv. Synth. Catal. 2011, 353, 1865.

Martin M, El Hellani A, Yang J, Collin J, Bezzenine-Lafollee S. Synthesis of Rare Earth Catalysts and Their Applications for Enantioselective Synthesis of Heterocyclic ß-Amino Alcohols. J. Org. Chem. 2011, 76, 9801.

WHO Reports

Richter P, Baalbaki R, El-Hage R, Hearn B, El Hellani A, Hou H, Hu Q, Lisko J, Perez J, Saliba N, Visser W, Watson C, Zhang L. Possible application of WHO Tobacco Laboratory Network standard operating procedures to evaluation of electronic nicotine delivery systems. WHO Technical Report Series, 2015, 1001.

El Hellani A, Davis D, Krishnan-Sarin S. Flavors in Novel and Emerging Nicotine and Tobacco Products and Traditional Products. WHO Technical Report Series, 2021, 1029.

Saliba NA, El Hellani A, Cheah NP. Various forms of nicotine in the tobacco plant, chemical modifications, and implications for ENDS products and diversity. WHO Technical Report Series, 2021, 1029.

Patents

El Hellani A, Chan A, Lavallo V. Catalyst and battery components derived from condensation reactions with carba-closo-dodecaborate amines. US Patent (2018), Patent number: 9994595.