Yusuf Abul-Hajj was born in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1940. He received his B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1962 and M.Sc. degree in Organic Chemistry in 1964, both from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and his PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1968 from the University of Wisconsin. Following graduation he joined the College of Pharmacy as an assistant professor and rose through the ranks to full professor in 1980. Professor Abul-Hajj chaired the Department of Medicinal Chemistry from 1984 to 1994 and from 1996 to 2005.
For more than 40 years, Professor Abul-Hajj carried out research on the development of steroidal agents for the treatment of breast cancer as well as studying the underlying mechanism(s) involved in the genotoxicity and/or carcinogenicity of estrogens. He served as Senior Editor of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry from 1995 to 2012. In 2005 he was awarded the Lawrence & Delores Weaver Medal in recognition of his support to the College of Pharmacy and its students through service, education and research and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Professor Abul-Hajj is now Professor Emeritus in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.