Bana Alamad
Jordanian Bana Alamad, who graduated in the Class of 2020, will be pursuing a Master of Philosophy in Genomic Medicine, an integrated clinical and research degree at the University of Cambridge. Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi: A graduate of NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has become the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Bseisu-Cambridge scholarship since it was established in 2005.

Jordanian Bana Alamad, who graduated in the Class of 2020, will be pursuing a Master of Philosophy in Genomic Medicine, an integrated clinical and research degree at the University of Cambridge.

The scholarship is offered by the Bseisu Foundation, which supports youth development across the Levant. Alamad graduated from NYUAD with a major in Biology and a minor in Visual Arts. She has always been passionate about integrating both fields.

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Research work

While at NYUAD, she pursued research into understanding genetic variation in complex traits that have clinical relevance, and studied the role that genetic and environmental factors play in triggering disease and modulating health-related outcomes.

Over the last four years at NYUAD, Alamad studied across a global network of countries and enrolled in graduate level courses in Genetics and Public Health, attending conferences and publishing peer-reviewed scientific research papers. Her NYUAD Capstone project investigated the role of epigenetics in regulating host immune response to malaria in Burkina Faso, in West Africa.

Middle Eastern genome

“I’m very humbled to receive this award and I am truly grateful to everyone who helped catalyze my growth over the last few years. It is very important for me to study the Middle Eastern genome, as the genetic makeup of the Levantine population is largely understudied and under-represented in genomic studies,” Alamad said.

The Bseisu Foundation was established in 2005 by Amjad and Suha Bseisu from a desire to support disadvantaged communities in the Middle East, and concentrating on enabling talented students from the Middle East to access world-class post-graduate education.