Nurturing the success of women in science
May 03 2017 12:54 AM
Muneera Fayyad and Bothina al-Mulla

Three Qatar Foundation (QF) graduates, driven by a fascination for science and a passion for helping others, are well on their way to making their mark in the medical field.
Among them is Muneera Fayyad, part of the first cohort of students graduating this week with a Master’s in Biomedical and Biological Science from the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).
“Since I can remember, I have always loved biology and science. I had a fantastic biology teacher in high school who helped nurture my passion for science, and neuroscience in particular. It was then I decided to pursue a career in biomedical science,” she recalled.
It was while doing her MSc at HBKU that Muneera uncovered her true calling.
“When I joined the programme in 2016, I was a fresh undergraduate with no laboratory experience. It was the first time I was given the opportunity to gain practical research experience in a lab. That was when I discovered how much I enjoyed carrying out biomedical research.” 
As part of the programme, Muneera had the opportunity to be part of a team of researchers led by Dr Omar El-Agnaf, director of the Neurological Disorders Centre at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, and one of the pioneers in the field of Parkison’s Disease research.
Muneera is looking forward to continuing her vocation in academia.
“I will be staying on at HBKU to do my PhD, which will take three to four years, and after that I’m planning to do my post-doctoral studies. Research and being in a laboratory is where my passion lies and I’m committed to a long and fulfilling medical career.”
When Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) graduate Ameneh Amini completed her pre-medical training at WCM-Q and began studying towards her degree at Weill Cornell main campus in the US, she realised she was on the right path and pursuing her true vocation.
“While in high school, in Qatar, we had the choice between either arts or science, and I chose the science track. That is when I became interested in human biology,” she recounted.
“The initial scholarship to do my premedical course was thanks to Qatar Foundation, which gave me the crucial stepping stone to embark on my academic journey. All these incredible opportunities would never have been possible if I had not begun my medical studies at WCM-Q,” said Ameneh.
She now holds two degrees from Weill Cornell, and after graduating this week she will be travelling to the US to begin her Master’s in Clinical Research and Child Health at John Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Bothina al-Mulla, a doctor at Sidra Medical and Research Centre and a graduate from WCM-Q in 2011, is passionate about inspiring women to follow their ambitions and pursue careers in medicine and science.
“While I was a student at WCM-Q, I was honoured to be an Education City ambassador for three years. As a Qatari, I felt I had a responsibility to reach out to high school students, particularly young Qatari women, who were interested in studying towards a degree in science,” said Bothina, adding: “As an ambassador I visited high schools across Qatar to relay my QF journey and answer any questions students had about the WCM-Q programme.”

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