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Introducing New 2016 Futures Fellows

We’re thrilled to announce new 2016 Health Security Futures Fellows who represent the future of health security in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. Ranging from life sciences undergraduates to medical residents, this diverse cohort will kick off their yearlong Fellowship at the Fellowship Training Institute, which will be held in conjunction with the 6th International Meeting on Emerging Diseases and Surveillance, in Vienna, Austria this week.

Throughout the Training Institute week, Fellows will attend special sessions, including lectures and activities, designed and led by HSP staff and subject-matter experts. In addition, under the mentorship of an HSP subject-matter expert, they will work with a peer Fellow on identifying a local health security challenge and developing an innovative solution. To cap the Training Institute, they will pitch their project ideas to their peers, mentors, and HSP staff.

After the Training Institute, Fellows will continue to develop and implement their projects locally while engaging with their peer Fellows, mentors, and HSP staff through a robust virtual yearlong health security curriculum.


Shymaa Abuelmagd

Al Salama Hospital

Alexandria, Egypt

Shymaa is a microbiologist at the Central Lab of Microbiology in Al Salama Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt. She obtained her BSc and Master’s Degree in Microbiology from Alexandria University in Egypt. Her thesis work focused on multi-drug resistant bacteria, specifically Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a pathogen which causes serious health complications in Egypt and globally. While working in a diagnostic microbiology laboratory, Shymaa became concerned with the rise in antibiotic resistance and now hopes to work with peers to address health-related problems. Through her participation in the Futures Fellowship, Shymaa hopes “to learn more about how to get involved in spreading awareness…among colleagues and clinicians about how to combat antimicrobial resistance.”

Sally Abulaila

Jordan University of Science & Technology

Irbid, Jordan

Sally is an undergraduate completing her BSc in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering from Jordan University of Science & Technology. Her main focus is microbiology. She hopes the Futures Fellowship will open her mind “to various outbreaks and diseases that need…to be controlled and treated.” She would also like to have a better idea of the “importance of both food security and health policy.”

Nada Keshk

Alexandria University

Alexandria, Egypt

Nada is a recent graduate from the Industrial Microbiology and Applied Chemistry program at Alexandria University, Faculty of Science. She has always been interested in scientific research, specifically biotechnology, and is passionate about science communication.

Yagmur Kiraz

Izmir Institute of Technology

Izmir, Turkey

Abdullah Gul University

Kayseri, Turkey

Yagmur is a PhD student at the Izmir Institute of Technology in Izmir, Turkey where she focuses on drug resistance mechanisms and overcoming resistance in leukemia.  She has published nine articles in peer-reviewed international journals and participated in the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in 2015.  Through the Futures Fellowship, Yagmur hopes to “create ideas to contribute to the solution for one of the biggest health problems in the world and hopefully transform [it into a project to achieve our goal].”

Mariam Miari

American University of Beirut

Beirut, Lebanon

Mariam holds a BSc in Medical Laboratory Technology and currently is a MSc student in Microbiology and Immunology at the American University of Beirut studying Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.  She applied for the Futures Fellowship because of her “desire to help [find] solutions to emerging diseases or to minimize their incidence.” With HSP’s platform, she hopes to “achieve many goals…one of which is to do research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis as it’s posing a significant risk in my country…this won’t only have an impact on the country I’m living in, but on the whole world.”

Jowana Obeid

American University of Beirut

Beirut, Lebanon

Jowana recently graduated from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon with a B.S. in Medical Laboratory Sciences and a minor in Public Health; she is now a Medical Laboratory Technologist at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC).  During college, she assessed healthcare waste management at AUBMC and volunteered as a rescuer at the Lebanese Red Cross.  As a Futures Fellow, her goal is to develop “an effective and implementable project that tackles a health security challenge.”

Zeynep Ozturk

Bingol University

Bingol, Turkey

Zeynep holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Istanbul University and a Master’s degree in Human Genetics from Istanbul Technical University where she used proteomics to study multiple sclerosis. Since 2013, Zeynep has worked at Bingol University in Bingol Turkey as a research assistant in the Molecular Biology and Genetics Department. She applied to the Futures Fellowship program because “she’s really interested in global health problems” and believes that HSP is positioned to advance solutions in these areas. As a Futures Fellow, she hopes to learn about the causes of and solutions for global health problems, with a particular focus on bioterrorism.

Hiba Salmane

Ministry of Public Health

Beirut, Lebanon

Rana Salem

Alexandria University

Alexandria, Egypt

Rana graduated this past summer from the Industrial Microbiology and Applied Chemistry Department at Alexandria University in Egypt. She is interested in intercultural communication and participated in an European Union student exchange program, a Middle East partnership initiative in the U.S., and a conference on community development projects in Morocco. In her spare time, Rana plays violin and pursues her two passions: microbiology and public health.

Sherin Sha’aban

Jordan University of Science & Technology

Irbid, Jordan

Sherin is pursuing a Master’s degree in Applied Biology at Jordan University of Science and Technology. Within her field of developmental biology, she works on two research projects: the effect of heavy metals on chromosomes and regulation of the cell cycle, both in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Her main goal in participating in the Futures Fellowship is “to get the science out of the lab and into the lives of people in [her] community.”

Eshraq Tantawy

Alexandria University

Alexandria, Egypt

Eshraq is an undergraduate senior in the program of Industrial Microbiology and Applied Chemistry at Alexandria University, Egypt. She hopes to pursue a career studying infectious disease and health security challenges in Egypt. As a Futures Fellow, Eshraq would like to “identify the health security challenges in Egypt [and] also try to help in solving some of the health issues that [the Egyptian community faces].”

Ralph Tayyar

American University of Beirut Medical Center

Beirut, Lebanon

Growing up in a village in south Lebanon, Ralph developed a passion for social work and youth advocacy. He graduated as a medical doctor in 2015 and is currently pursuing his residency in internal medical with the goal of ultimately becoming an infectious disease specialist. Ralph says, “During my year with HSP, I would love to develop my knowledge in global health policies.  Moreover, I am really interested in the early actions taken during a new outbreak.”

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