14 female scientists from the MENA region were honored at the L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science Young Talent Awards Ceremony recently held in Dubai.
The Arab women received awards for their innovative doctoral and postdoctoral research in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Two awardees are from Qatar and one of them is Dr. Nura Adam Mohamed who was recognized for her research on developing nonconventional, novel therapeutic tools to prevent the development of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases.
“When women in the scientific field are empowered with the required tools, they can play a pivotal role to ensure the advancement of the field,” said Dr. Nura. Let’s get to know a little bit about her and her research in the nanomedicine field.
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Dr. Nura: My name is Dr. Nura Adam Mohamed, I am a Research Associate at the Biomedical Research Center (BRC) at Qatar University. Also, I am an honorary Research Associate at Imperial College of London.
I received my BSc in Biomedical Science from Qatar University and my Master's and Ph.D. from Imperial College of London. I am a member of the British Pharmacological Society (BPS), the BPS Advisory Group, BPS Meetings Committee, and will represent the BPS at the World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology in 2023.
As for my research specialty, I am interested in developing nanocarriers with cardioprotective effects to be used in diabetes treatment.
Dr. Nura: I am an alumni member of the Qatar Research Leadership Program (QRLP), which was initiated by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) to build human capacity in research. We always receive emails about funding and award opportunities in Qatar and the world. I first knew about the L’Oréal-Unesco For Women In Science program through them and applied straight away. So I would like to thank them for their continued support.
Dr. Nura: Diabetes is one of the most common chronic metabolic disorders in Qatar, the Arab Gulf region, and the world, and cardiovascular complications are the most common complications of diabetes and the main contributor to the disease. The uncontrolled and persistent diabetes metabolic abnormalities cause many damages to large and small blood vessels and these abnormalities can lead to many cardiovascular diseases.
This shows the importance of developing non-traditional therapeutic tools. From this point of view, my research focuses on developing nano formulations that in addition to transporting anti-diabetic drugs have properties that enable them to reduce cardiovascular complications.
Dr. Nura: I was thrilled and honored to have won this award, as this will help me set an example for my colleagues and students, encourage more women to join the scientific research community, and to represent women researchers in Qatar.
It will also help me build collaborative relationships with world-leading scientists in the field of nanomedicine in both cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Most importantly, it will help us highlight the great effort and achievements women in Qatar made in the scientific research field.
Dr. Nura: When women in the scientific field are empowered with the required tools, they can play a pivotal role in the scientific field in order to ensure the advancement of the field. However, that is not always easy because women often face many internal and external challenges during their careers in the scientific field.
Therefore, having platforms and awards like this one helps us celebrate their achievement, appreciate their sacrifices and recognize them so that they can set an example to other young female researchers, which is in my opinion very important.
Dr. Nura: The scientific research field in Qatar has developed and improved greatly in the past years, today we see more female scientists in many levels starting from the basic science to the decision-making levels.
We have the involvement of younger generations such as seen in the High School Research Experience Program (HSREP) and the National Scientific Research Competition (NSRC) programs, and in having many research institutes indicating the country's keenness to build the next generation of researchers.
Dr. Nura: My advice to every female who wants to build a career in the scientific research field is not to be afraid of making mistakes, and to consider every unsuccessful experiment or failed step during the early stages of the research career as a motive to move forward and take another step forward to reach their goals.
Also, always remember that success never comes easily and that behind every successful scientific story is a large number of failed attempts that help us learn, grow and be stronger to help build and consolidate the pillars of the scientific field. Most importantly, I advise them not to lose their identity along the way.
Dr. Nura: The most interesting thing in the scientific field is the experience and memories we create along the way—a wonderful journey that comes with its own challenges. If you want to join this unique community, remember to embrace and enjoy the journey until your reach your destination.
Also, I believe that it takes a nation to create successful researchers and we need to applaud everyone who helped us be where we are today from our families, teachers, supervisors, funders, mentors, and most importantly our government that created a positive environment for us to grow and succeed.
Cover image credit: L’Oréal Middle East
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