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November 20, 2014

Two researchers from the BESE Division awarded with the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Middle East Fellowship

Assistant Professor Jasmeen Merzaban and Ph.D. student Nouf Al Shareef have been honoured with the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Middle East Fellowship, in a ceremony held at Zayed University in Dubai on November 17.

The Fellowships aim to honor four talented young women researchers for the quality of their research and encourage them to pursue a brilliant career in science in the Middle East region. Thus, four Fellowships amounting to € 20,000 each, were granted to women researchers studying in a University or working in a laboratory or a research institute in one of the following countries: Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain or Yemen.  

Prof. Jasmeen Merzaban won the award for her research on immunology focusing on stem cells and cell migration. Prof. Merzaban has a Ph.D from the University of British Columbia in Canada, and has been at KAUST since 2009.  

Her current research interests focus on understanding and optimizing the mechanism by which immune and stem cells exit the blood circulation to "home" to specific sites within the body. This process is mediated by sophisticated and coordinated steps controlled by multiple signaling and adhesion molecules, key players being the selectins. Using a multidisciplinary approach that combines biochemical, biophysical, and imaging techniques with in vivo mouse models, she is investigating some of the glycosyltransferases involved in controlling the biosynthesis of selectin ligands and how this contributes to the interplay of events necessary to allow cells to home to the affected site(s). Such studies are vital to understanding how the body responds to inflammation, to stem cell-based tissue engineering and other adoptive cell therapies.

Ph.D. student Nouf Al Shareef was honoured for her research on genes identified as possible contributors to salinity tolerance. Ms. Al Shareef is a Bioscience student and member of Professor Mark Tester’s lab. Her research interests include plant genomics, plant transformation and salinity stress genomics.

The Division congratulates Prof. Merzaban and Ms. Al Shareef for this outstanding achievement that will surely have a very positive impact in their research careers, and is a well-deserved recognition for their hard work.

More Information:

​For more information about the  L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Middle East Fellowship please visit this link​