As we gear up for the 2016 Futures Fellow Training Institute in Amsterdam, HSP recognizes one of last year’s stellar Fellows, Raheel Suleman, who will return to this year’s training as an Alumni Leader. We caught up with Raheel to hear more about his work in Pakistan, his takeaways from the Futures Fellowship, and his advice for incoming Fellows.
Raheel holds a B.S. in Agriculture with a concentration in Food Science from the Institute of Food Science and Nutrition Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan, Pakistan as well as an MPhil in Food Science and Technology from the same university.
What attracted you to apply for the 2015 Futures Fellowship Program?
“When I first learned about HSP, I was very interested in working for this organization, mainly due to HSP’s role in working across country boundaries, addressing the global issues of health, highlighting the lapses that are present in global health security on a broad spectrum then finding solutions to those weak areas, and most of all involving the young think-tanks to contribute to this mission of promoting a safer, healthier world.”
What have you been doing for work in Pakistan this past year? How have you used what you learned during the Fellowship Learning Institute and extended curriculum within your work?
“I am currently teaching at the Department of Food Science and Technology within? Muhammad Nawaz Shareef University of Agriculture in Pakistan as a visiting lecturer since last September. This past year as a Fellow, I have been actively participating in every activity through virtual communication whether it be writing a review on a global health article, giving a proposed solution to a global threat, or sharing my ideas on global measures for health security with my peers. In Pakistan, I have been trying to promote HSP in both the university where I studied and among the fellows, colleagues, and students where I am currently teaching through conveying HSP’s objectives and motives.”
What was your favorite aspect of the year-long Fellowship Program?
“I enjoyed each and every aspect of this Fellowship as it connected me with many of my current friends from the U.S. and Iraq and allowed me to share my ideas with them on various topics such as bioterrorism, infectious diseases, dual use research and chronic diseases. I enjoyed the converging of various minds on a common cause, global health, as well as sharing my culture with my friends and peers.”
What advice would you give to incoming Fellows in regards to their time at the Learning Institute in Amsterdam next month?
“This fellowship is a platform for Fellows to show how enthusiastic they are to promote health present their ideas in an effective manner for potential future implementation. I would suggest that they actively participate in this fellowship and prove to themselves that they can be a key player in combatting issues related to health. I also would like to add that they should keep connected with HSP and promote its vision to their parent institutions.”
How will the Institute be different for you this year coming in as an Alumni Leader rather than a Fellow?
“The Institute was an amazing opportunity and experience for me when I was a Fellow, and I feel great pleasure and honor to join the incoming Fellows as an Alumni leader in Amsterdam this year. I will provide sincere guidance to them during the fellowship experience.”
What are your future career goals?
“My research focus is on exploring aspects of various beneficial bioactive constituents of plants and their potential to control microbiological deterioration in foods as this deterioration leads to food borne illnesses. I want to continue my research in functional foods, and as a food scientist, contribute to eradicating the problems related to food safety and security. As a food researcher, I take it as a priority to provide solutions to society for safer, more nutritious food.
In the future, I also intend to attain a PhD in my discipline and work for a research organization or institute. As a part of HSP, I would like to contribute my role for health security with them on various activities in future.”