Since leaving her native Saudi Arabia to pursue her dream in biotechnology, Hayat Sindi, a nanotechnology researcher and bio tech entrepreneur, has already reached some prodigious milestones in her young career, such as:
–Overcoming formidable cultural and personal obstacles to become the first woman from the Gulf Region to earn a Ph.D. in biotechnology.
–Becoming the first Arab woman in 2009 to win a fellowship in the respected American
innovation network PopTech.
– Being chosen under the White House initiative to be featured with other innovators around the country in “Connect a Million Minds,” an online documentary film project to motivate K-12 students toward STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.
– Receiving the prestigious Prince Khalid Award from her country in 2010 for her innovative approach to the sciences.
As impressive as these achievements are, perhaps the milestone that means the most to
her is the current path she is on: combining her lifelong love of science with her skills in
biotechnology to improve healthcare in the Gulf Region and other parts of the developing
“I’m committed to my principles,” says Hayat, a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, “and I believe that a person must leave a mark that benefits the human race, however I want to begin this benefit in the lands where my roots are.”
Her dream took a major step forward in 2007 when she co-founded Diagnostics For All, a non-profit company that develops inexpensive, disposable medical tests capable of efficiently diagnosing diseases in remote areas of the world where people often do not receive adequate medical care. Using inexpensive and readily available paper and adhesive tape, the small devices are capable of reliably measuring protein and sugar levels in the blood for signs of illness. “Through nanotechnology techniques we were able to micro-fabricate tiny diagnostic tools in the paper, says Hayat, “helping to create medical tests that allow healthcare workers to monitor the treatment of the 60 percent of people living beyond the reach of medical infrastructures.”
Read more about Hayat Sindi here
Watch a bit about how she has broken boundries and what she has done for science.