Ghada Al-Mutairi … a scientist who devoted herself to discoveries –...

Ghada Al-Mutairi … a scientist who devoted herself to discoveries –...
Ghada Al-Mutairi … a scientist who devoted herself to discoveries –...

She has an innate intelligence and great determination to accomplish what she wants, and she creates ideas from observations that may pass on a person and not pay attention to them, and this is a common feature in scientific discoveries, so the world is always the eye of the discoverer of the sight and the observer. This is some of what Dr. Aws Ibrahim Al-Shamsan, Dean of the King Abdullah Institute for Nanotechnology at King Saud University in Riyadh, said about the Saudi scientist and inventor, Dr. Ghada Al-Mutairi.While the observant eye and the determination to succeed were two factors that helped Professor Ghada to emerge in the worlds of scientific discoveries and inventions, and thus the celebration of her motherland, her citizens and the media, other factors certainly played a role no less in the success of her academic career and her practical life. Were it not for her family environment that encourages science, education and innovation, had it not been for her educated parents, had it not been for her enrollment to study at a prestigious American university, had it not been for her to be fully devoted to her studies without wasting her time in nonsense, had it not been for her deep belief in the importance of scientific research and linking its outputs to concrete practical applications, and not for her inimitable ability to build a network of cooperatives Research to accelerate the completion of research and sharpen the participation of various scientific disciplines, and had it not been for its constant certainty that the educated person has no value if he did not leave an imprint in the life of humanity, then it would not have reached what it has reached. We will expand on all these factors little by little by shedding light on her life, family, personality, achievements and the obstacles she faced in her journey towards genius, based on what was published by the Saudi newspapers, especially Okaz newspaper, in its issues published on: 27/10/2009, 31 / 5/2011 and 5/4/2019.

Birth in America

Ghada Al-Mutairi was born on the first of November 1976 in Portland, Oregon, USA, to her Saudi parents, where the father was on scholarship – at the time – to study in the United States of America and was accompanied by his wife. Her father is Lieutenant Colonel Mutlaq bin Abdul Rahman Al-Mutairi (died in July 2015 in Riyadh at the age of 65 years old), who graduated from the United States and specialized in forensic sciences. He worked with his scientific qualification in the public security corps and contributed to deciphering many complex crimes and graduated from under his hand many Criminal investigation officers in Saudi Arabia. As for her mother, she is the educator Najat Al-Mutairi, who studied chemistry and then worked as a teacher in girls’ schools in Riyadh. The latter gave birth to her husband, in addition to Ghada, both: Dr. Khaled Al-Mutairi (a plastic and reconstructive doctor), Dr. Amer Al-Mutairi (a professor of family medicine), and Dr. Heba Al-Mutairi (Consultant Radiology), and Dr. Ahmed Al-Mutairi (Dental Specialist).

Thus, we find that both of her parents belong to the Mutair tribe, which is one of the largest tribes in the peninsula, and its origins go back to Ghatfan bin Saad bin Qais Aylan bin Mudhar bin Nizar bin Maad bin Adnan, and it is divided into three main sections (Banu Abdullah, Alawi and Bariya), and each division It is divided into many thighs, and its homes are located between the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula, passing through Najd, and even the outskirts of the Hijaz near Al-Hurra, noting that Dr. Ghada’s family belongs to the Shabashrah section of Bani Abdullah. It is known that the Mutair tribe has a long mention in the events, facts and wars of the Arabian Peninsula, and it is also known that the tribe presented many personalities from those who emerged in politics, economics, literature, and in the military, police and academic fields in the Arab Gulf states, especially in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The daughter of Mutlaq Al-Mutairi

Also, the aforementioned about her parents means that Ghada grew up in an exceptional family that values ​​knowledge, promotes success, perseverance and innovation, and takes care of the correct upbringing of children with the utmost concern. In this context, Ghada said in conversations and interviews that were conducted with her, especially in the “Al-Mukhtasar” program on the MBC screen, to the effect that her parents encouraged her and her siblings to “put our fingerprints on the world and not live a neglected life.” My father was a serious, intelligent person with the gift of being a fira, and so was my mother. Despite the tribe’s demands to my father that he send me back to the Kingdom to complete my studies, he did not listen to the words of others. Then she added, “My father never told me (no), he used to make me feel that I was smart and that I was (the daughter of Mutlaq Al-Mutairi), so it was important for me to make him always proud of me.” On the authority of her father, she also said: “When my grandfather gave birth to my father, and his wife died, he took his son from al-Hurra on the back of a camel. He had intelligence and determination that enabled him to succeed, which my father inherited from him, as he grew up an orphan of the mother, and yet he was determined to learn, so he registered himself in schools at the time, but he also registered his sister to learn had it not been for my grandfather’s refusal. My father, may God have mercy on him, was glorified in learning and when he was young, he got a scholarship to America, where he learned the art of criminal investigation … etc. As much as she is proud of her father, who is her main supporter, she expressed her pride in her mother Najat, who described her as the first teacher and the great credit for her and her brothers and the maker of the magic mixture to excel them all because she developed in them the principle of responsibility from childhood and embodied before them the image of a conscious and responsible mother, so she was – despite her work and her functional burdens – She loves to sit in their midst and rarely goes out, and she does not pursue the habits of visits and attending weddings until dawn, but she used to invest her time to reap the fruits of her staying up late, and the result was five doctoral degrees obtained by the five children.

Founder’s University turned it down

Since her early years, Ghada dreamed of working in the field in the fields of chemistry and physics, and she devoted herself to reading many books, magazines, studies and research on the experience, biography and research of celebrities in these two fields. In her childhood, she would save from her daily expenses to spend on purchasing electronic devices to decipher her work and learn its internal installations. She was living with her parents in the frost of the United States, so her access to such things and other things was easy and available, especially with the multiplicity of television channels devoted to science and discoveries. There is no doubt that these beginnings established and strengthened in the child Ghada her natural inclination towards science. With her reaching the age of entering school, Ghada preferred to return to Saudi Arabia to learn about her mother country, its social customs and traditions, and to draw from the Arab culture as well. She enrolled in primary, intermediate and secondary school stages in Jeddah, and completed them successfully. At that time, she had the idea of ​​studying medicine at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, but the university did not accept her request, so she moved to the capital, Riyadh, where she worked as a teacher for one year in a private school.

Work 16 hours a day

After that, a pivotal shift took place in her life that placed her in the ranks of talented scientists and inventors, as she decided to return to the United States to achieve her university academic ambitions.

In 1997, she enrolled in the College of Science of Occidental University in Los Angeles, California, which granted her a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2000, and then continued her studies to obtain a master’s and doctorate degrees, so she obtained a doctorate in materials chemistry – with a focus on electron deucalization and molecular structure – from the University of “California River Side.” »In 2005. Ghada was not satisfied with all of this, as her early passion for science and the achievement of human achievements prompted her to pursue post-doctoral studies in chemistry and chemical engineering between 2005 and 2008, where she worked at the prestigious University of California-Berkeley with the American Professor Jean Fréchette in many From research on nanoscale technologies. In 2008, she moved to the University of California, San Diego, to work as a professor of nanoscale engineering and materials science, to run her own laboratory worth more than a million dollars awarded to him by the State of California, and to assume the position of director of the Center of Excellence in Nanomedicine and Engineering at the same university (a rapid and interdisciplinary collaborative center in Field of research and developing tools for the future of biology and medicine). The previous academic achievements she had achieved were nothing but the fruits of her tireless diligence. It was – as she said – “I used to sit in the lab for 16 straight hours a day, always advising my students to make a double effort before other obligations came to life.”

Identifying problems and moving towards solutions

The London-based Al-Arab newspaper (6/3/2016) wrote a detailed article about its non-stop research, and stated that 10 years ago, it asked cardiac surgeons to identify the major problem facing them, only to find that most of them agreed that the biggest problem is the blockage of the arteries that leads to Strokes, specifically the accumulation of fat in the arterial wall with age, saying that they cannot determine whether or not there is inflammation there. So Ghada worked with her brother, a doctor who specializes in plastic surgery, to find a new chemical method to remove fat from the body. In her first project with the University of California, she worked with her team for three years in the production of a material characterized by flexibility and strength together to help buildings withstand natural factors such as earthquakes, knowing that this was not the first time that she worked in a field far from medicine and biology, where she had previously That she worked during the period from 2000 to 2005 to manufacture a flexible plastic material for the benefit of doctors, astronauts and cartoon makers, and that could be used in the manufacture of robots.

After that, Ghada directed her projects and interests towards medicine through the research center that she chairs and the diverse work team that she leads. I first paid attention to the issue of vaccination on the grounds that there are diseases (such as AIDS) in which the traditional vaccination mechanism cannot be used, that is, killing the virus and then introducing it to the body so that the latter can resist it, and therefore it is necessary to convert vaccination from the use of injection to an oral spray. Then she went ahead and put forward another project centered on detecting the disease early by monitoring its signs and symptoms. Disease, before its symptoms appear clearly, causes the body to a number of chemical changes, so if we get acquainted with doctors who specialize in these changes, it is possible to manufacture materials that make a change in the disease environment, and give us indications of the possibility of contracting the disease or not, and thus we are in a better position to deal with it early.

International interest in Al-Mutairi’s research

Her third medical project sparked widespread international interest as it relied on stem cells, meaning taking these cells and adding materials to them at a specific time and in a specific amount according to what the world wants, which helps in the process of organ transplantation such as liver cells, heart muscle cells or an immune cell.

As for her fourth project, it focused on the production of new nanomaterials that have unique characteristics in terms of their application in medical fields, such as remote control in the release of vital substances inside the body, where red lasers that penetrate into living tissues without harming them were used to demolish the structures of nanomaterials that contain inside them As vital as proteins, therapeutic materials or diagnostic materials, they do not interact while they are inside those nanostructures, but when laser beams are directed at them, the materials are released in the specified areas and do their work. Ghada described her achievement by saying: “When I completed this technique, I did not yet know how to apply it in the medical fields, but later I put forward the idea of ​​using it to treat macular degeneration by injecting nanoparticles that contain drugs inside them and then releasing the drugs by remote laser radiation And also by employing this technology in research fields, where researchers were able to study biological interactions in specific and precise places.

Another research that I have worked on is using nanoparticles composed of gold in liposuction operations, as these particles are heated as soon as they are exposed to the red laser in a way that can be controlled very precisely. If these particles are injected into the fatty tissue and then heated in a controlled manner to melt the fat, it will be Get rid of the side effects of traditional liposuction, and it will also be much faster and tighten the skin after melting the fat.

The innovation of the “Photon”

Among her innovations that made her name prominent on the list of new inventors in the United States was the use of light instead of a scalpel in surgical operations, as she was able to discover a mineral that enables light rays to enter the human body in chips called “photon”, making it easier to enter cells without the need for Surgical operations, in a way that helps to control organs inside the body without entering it, and also controls the time of the operation, using some kind of light from the easiest and cheapest type of radiation that enters the body and organs without absorbing it. These rays enter the area of ​​disease and eliminate cancer without opening the body and without harm.

The whirlwind of veil and Ghada’s lifestyle

Most of Al-Mutairi’s scientific research and achievements did not intercede for her in front of some of the hard-liners who turned a blind eye to her research and achievements and paused before the issue of her veil and unveiling. Ghada was not concerned with that whirlwind, but when she was confronted with it during her hosting of the “Al-Mukhtasar” program (previous source), she replied, saying: “She did not wear the hijab abroad because she did not want to attract attention in her academic community, and that she wore it when she returned to Saudi Arabia because she too She did not want to draw attention or be different from the girls of her country, but she was surprised by those who accuse her of hypocrisy and that she has two faces. She added that she is not double-faced and lives an open life and has nothing to hide, so she decided not to wear the veil so as not to be hypocritical. Then she went on to say: “Everyone is good with me, but I am on my own instinct and I do not offend anyone in our society, and this is my personal view.”

This frank and sincere response was sufficient for many Saudi intellectuals to stand by her side, describing her as Saudi pride and saying that not wearing the veil does not diminish its scientific and moral value as evidence of its official hosting at the highest Saudi scientific conference, in reference to its participation in the ninth International Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh in January 2016 as a speaker.

We conclude by talking about some of the awards and honors she has received in her scientific and research career. In 2009 she won the Director of the National Institute of Health’s New Innovations Award, the Pharma Foundation award, and the Thema Journal of Chemistry award. In 2012, she won the Young Investigators Award at the World Biomaterials Conference held in Chengdu, China. In 2014, she was awarded the Chemical Societies Prize for Active Researcher by the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2016, she was awarded the Kavli Fellowship of the US National Academy of Sciences. In addition, she was invited to speak and participate in universities and conferences in different countries of the world. However, the greatest appreciation she received was receiving the Scientific Innovation Award by the largest American organization to support scientific research, the HIN organization, which awarded her the distinguished prize of $ 3 million, which is awarded to the best research project among ten thousand researchers.

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