Alia Al Mansouri at New York University Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: NYUAD

Abu Dhabi: At just 16 years old, Alia Al Mansouri, winner of the inaugural UAE Genes in Space contest (2017) and founder of Emirati Astronaut, a platform for dialogue between aspiring astronauts and space explorers, has been appointed as a Scientific Research Fellow at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD).

Under the guidance of NYUAD Research Assistant Professor Mohammad Al Sayegh, Al Mansouri will work on developing lab skills including mammalian cell/tissue culture, RNA and protein extractions, primer design, Real-time PCR, microscopy, and cell staining methods. The fellowship will culminate in a scientific research proposal, aimed at creating a scientific publication.

“We are delighted to welcome Alia Al Mansouri to our research community, and look forward to fostering her insatiable hunger for knowledge and deep curiosity while helping her make ever greater contributions in the sciences, and space science in particular,” said NYUAD Provost Fabio Piano. He explained that NYU Abu Dhabi research seeks to tackle some of the greatest challenges of the 21st Century while pushing forward the boundaries of knowledge and progress within the UAE and beyond.

Alia Almansoori and Dr. Mohamed Al Sayegh, Research Assistant Professor at New York University Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on March 1, 2019. PHOTO:NYUAD

“Alia’s assistance and contributions as a Scientific Research Fellow will be invaluable in this endeavour.”

Al Mansouri expressed her gratitude to the country’s leadership for giving her the opportunity to take part in a two-year fellowship at the university, adding that the government’s support of women’s empowerment is present throughout the society, as seen in the UAE’s political cabinet, which is comprised of nearly 30 per cent women.

She stressed that by joining NYUAD as a scientific fellow, she would be able to inspire young Emiratis to engage in research and science, both considered key to the progress of society.