Samira Ibrahim Islam — Noted Saudi pharmacology researcher and professor
First woman in Saudi Arabia to earn a Ph.D.; introduced formal university education for girls in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Recalling when she became the first woman from her country of Saudi Arabia to earn a Ph.D., noted pharmacology researcher and professor Samira Ibrahim Islam still wells up with pride and emotion: “It was big news in my country,” she remembers. “There was a newspaper that asked my father to describe what he felt about me earning the Ph.D., and my father [with tears in his eyes] answered, ‘Now, I can accept death with pleasure.'” Her father died soon after. Samira was also the first Saudi woman to complete a basic education, to earn a Bachelor’s degree, and to become a full professor. She is also responsible for introducing formal university education for girls in Saudi Arabia.