Enas Said al-Absi’s journey at Qatar University (QU) started in the Biomedical Sciences department in QU’s College of Health Sciences.
Following her graduation, she joined a team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College, Qatar and published her first paper in 2013 entitled “Prevalence of Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection in the general population of Women in Qatar.”
Consequently, she joined QU’s Biomedical Research Center (BRC) where she became a Research Assistant and established a research laboratory under the supervision of Dr Gheyath Nasrallah, Associate Professor of Biomedical Science, College of Health Sciences. There she conducted research in various fields such as immunology, virology, microbiology as well as molecular biology.
She then became a lab manager, which included training and supervising younger students and newly hired staff and later joined a team from Sidra Medicine to establish the first zebrafish facility in Qatar at QU, where she found her passion in utilising this animal model in various research fields.
From 2013 until now, Enas has published 13 research papers in highly impacted journals. Having a valuable career and being a full-time employee as a laboratory technologist/zebrafish specialist propelled her to academic excellence and led her to apply for a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences – clinical research track.
Enas has consistently worked on fostering collaborations with others and was involved in extra research activities with other researchers in the Biomedical Science Department at the College of Health Sciences as well as outside QU such as ExonnMobil Research Qatar, where she focused on the field of health and environmental toxicology.
She excelled in working on a thesis project entitled “Toxicity Assessment of Produced Water from Gas Fields Using Qatari Native Animal Species and Zebrafish Embryo Assay.” The project had significant implications for both environmental and health contexts and was accepted for oral presentation at local and international conferences. In addition, she secured first place for the postgraduate scientific oral presentation at the 2nd AAU Health and Biomedical Postgraduate Symposium at Al Ain University in Abu Dhabi. Guided by a team of supervisors, including her main supervisor Dr Maha al-Asmakh (College of Health Sciences), Dr Fatiha Benslimane (Biomedical Research Center) and Dr Suhur Saeed (ExxonMobil Research Qatar), her work is expected to add a valuable contribution to the field of biomedical research.
She says of the challenges and her professional outlook: “While maintaining academic rigour proved demanding at times, I learned to effectively manage my time and seek help from my mentors when needed. I like to encourage other students to join QU health graduate programmes and inspire them to stay dedicated and believe in themselves, as well as to work hard on what they are passionate about.”
“Career wise, I have taken professional training courses at well-known facilities in Italy and the US, and continue to seek professional development in the field of zebrafish research. I imagine myself excelling in my academic journey and hope to join a PhD programme soon after graduation.”