I was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Sudanese immigrants. The restrictions of Sharia law made life difficult for my family, and early during my childhood, we sought asylum in the United States. It was with this background I long saw myself becoming an agent of social change through the study of Islamic and Constitutional Law and combating Sharia law. It was not until the end of my high school years that I discovered my passion for science and saw how scientific advancements and discovery can also be used to enact change. Furthermore, I came to appreciate how the emergent properties that make life possible are rooted in biology and chemistry, and they can be systematically studied. While an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, I studied tropical infectious agents, primarily focusing on the parasite responsible for malaria. During this time, I became convinced of the transformative social implications of basic science research. Recently, drug resistance to antimalarials is a growing concern. My Ph.D. will be focused on studying mechanisms of gene regulation in the parasite and, through collaboration with other groups, identifying novel antimalarial targets and developing new antimalarials. I intend, through my work at Cambridge, to contribute to the global effort toward the eradication of malaria.
University of Maryland, College Park