What got you interested in biology and oncology?
My interest in biology started during my freshman year when I took foundational biology. Thanks to my teacher I fell in love with the subject and since then, my love has only grown. Two years ago, I interned at Saudi German Hospital where I shadowed a pathologist. She showed me through a microscope what I had only seen in textbook diagrams: a living sperm cell. Such moments made me realise the intricacies of the human body. Then, I participated in a course at Harvard Summer School where I worked with a group whose research focused on oncogenes and got interested in oncology.
You completed a course in baking. Were you planning to pursue a career in the food industry?
While in high school, I participated in The Wilton School’s Wilton Method Course, a four-stage course that covers the foundational learning of baking and decorating cakes. I do enjoy spending time in the kitchen meticulously creating flowers and delicately stacking four-tiered cakes, but I realised with time that the precision I was able to maintain in the kitchen, I could to apply in a laboratory for research.
Tell us about your Instagram initiative Biolicious Baking.
Last year, I was baking away in my kitchen and learning several new recipes that I wanted to share with family and friends. At the same time, I was participating in the Pre-College Summer@Hopkins program, Medical Intensive. One night, I came up with the idea of combining the delicious treats I was making with the information I was learning through my program. Biolicious Baking (@bioliciousbaking), an Instagram account that connects two of my interests, biology and baking, happened. In my posts, I teach biology concepts through a physical model: a decorated yummy treat. My goal is to show others how incredibly fascinating biology is through a unique platform.
You are also a keen social worker...
At school, I’ve been involved in various initiatives that focus on creating genuine connections between students and the internal ASD community, alongside the greater Dubai community. As president of the service club SEENAH – sustainable through economics, education, nutrition, and health – this year we focused on improving the interpersonal relationships between students and the working staff the school hires to help maintain the campus. We got over 60 workers and 40 ASD students to participate over a five-week span!
Your dream career?
To pursue oncology research for a pharmaceutical company. I want to graduate from Tufts University with a major in biology, which will support me through my Master’s and then a PhD.
Have you decided on the college you are going to? What guided your choice?
With the support of Hale Education and my remarkable counsellor there, I applied to 11 universities in Canada and the US. From the early round, I got accepted into four. But I chose Tufts University for its atmosphere and offerings. Specifically, what caught my attention at Tufts were the distinctive academic offerings. The resources at Tufts, from the incredible study abroad programs to the unique Experimental College, would provide me with the tools necessary to nurture my courageous approach to learning. I knew that at Tufts, I won’t be confined to fit in a box – academically or interpersonally.