Lebanese people make us proud everyday, just like Professor Niveen Khashab, the Lebanese chemist who is revolutionizing cancer treatment! A 35-year-old scientist and a mother of 3, Niveen is an inspiration to all the people who think that tough times are barriers that prevent them from reaching their goals. She had a hard time getting access to education. Despite all the hardships, she managed to build a successful career in chemistry. Niveen is currently based in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. She is the only female professor in the chemistry department. On top of that, she has her own laboratory. This brilliant chemist works with nanoparticles which are infinitely small materials. “The nanoparticles on which Niveen is working contain a chemotherapy treatment. Injected into the bloodstream, these capsules spread throughout the patient’s body intelligent nanoparticles programmed to target cancer cells under the effect of a stimulus such as infrared radiation. They release the right drug in the right amount at the right time destroying only the cancer cells and sparing the healthy cells, which is not the case with current therapy. An innovation which could revolutionize cancer treatment.” What is amazing about these nanoparticles is that they are designed to adapt to each type of cancer and especially to each patient. We can say that Niveen is building a path towards the medicine of the future. But Niveen doesn’t stick on one field only. Her latest innovation has to do with nanoparticles that are capable of optimizing the exploration and exploitation of oil deposits. This is what she says about this project: “Similarly to what you do in your body, you inject nanoparticles to do some imaging and delivery, you can actually inject nanoparticles in wells to bring more oil and gas out.” Niveen’s mission is to empower women through encouraging them to follow their dreams through education. She does not only guide her female students in their research but also guides them in their personal lives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZt5G6hZsjE
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