UAE on right path for scientific research: 10-year resident
Sharjah - "I believe the UAE is doing it the right way."
The bright-eyed, unassuming Associate Dean of Graduate Affairs and Research at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), Dr Ghaleb Husseini, has been making headlines for being one of the first 20 people granted a 10-year UAE residency visa after being a finalist for the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment last fall.
When Khaleej Times broke the news to the distinguished scholar, he was floored: "I had no idea that I was being considered for the visa. What an honour!"
On a personal note, Dr Husseini and his family expressed their delight at their new visa status. "I've been here since 2004. My wife is here, my kids grew up here. It's my home, we love it here, this is awesome! Life has been good to me," he reflected.
A woman from the office of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment had recently contacted the professor for a list of papers and documents which she had vaguely alleged was for their "records". He, of course, thought nothing of it at the time and forgot about the entire matter.
Dr Husseini expressed his gratitude to the UAE leaders in their dedication to scientific advancement. "I want to see the UAE be a top tier country, a pioneer in scientific research. I believe the UAE is doing it the right way. I want to thank my parents, and my family, my sisters, and my wife, who's been very patient with long hours at the lab and at work, and my kids. I would like to thank AUS for giving me the opportunity, for funding me, for supporting me when I needed support. I cannot forget about the amazing students at AUS and having the chance to work with them and facilitate this research."
In an exclusive interview with the professor, Dr Husseini relates the journey which began with his specialization in biomedical engineering and graduating with a PhD from Brigham Young University in 2011.
"I've been in the UAE for fifteen years. I started out as a fresh little assistant professor of Chemical Engineering at the American University in 2004. But I've always wanted to get my own lab and improve the lives of cancer patients worldwide. Slowly, we began to get funding for our research, first with the Provost Challenge Faculty Research Grant, and then later on with Al Jalila Foundation, Al Qasimi Foundation, and most recently now with the Technology Innovation Pioneers healthcare award."
His research is now in the preliminary stages of animal testing of the targeted chemotherapy delivery system after a contract was signed with the University of Sharjah. "We are very fortunate. We are being trained on the protocols and the animals prepped for tests."
Students who were lucky enough to be taught by him remember his enthusiasm and boundless energy, many of whom he recruited into his research.
"I remember one of the first master's students who bore with me while this dream came into fruition. I knew it would take time, but it was worth it. I wouldn't be here without the amazing students at AUS. If I can dedicate this honor, it would be it to the Drug Delivery Team at AUS."
Thanks to his efforts, the American University of Sharjah established Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME), the first program of its kind in the GCC.