Hayat is passionate about the ways that science and technology can be used to keep us healthy.
The science researcher and entrepreneur studies how light and sound can be transformed into medical testing devices able to provide critical health information anywhere in the world. To help realize her dream, Hayat co-founded the non-profit Diagnostics For All and is now affiliated with Nano Terra, a micro technology development company. In 2010, Hayat received the prestigious Prince Khalid Award for her innovative approach to the sciences. The 2009 PopTech Social Innovation Fellow is also a powerful advocate for science education and careers for women in the Middle East. Hayat is currently building a world-class biotech and energy innovation research center in Saudi Arabia.
More About Hayat
The world-class scientist reveals how she overcame language and cultural barriers to bring high-tech science into our everyday lives.
As a child, my heroes were modern-day inventors and scientists. I was also fascinated by Islamic civilization’s role in the early development of STEM, like the development of mathematics. Years later, I became the first woman from the Arab Gulf states to earn a PhD in biotechnology. Now, I invent medical tools that could transform the treatment of chronic disease in society. My advice? Learn about breaththrough inventions but don’t forget about the fundamentals. Learn physics, chemistry, and check out bioinformatics, an emerging field that combines biology and computer science.
I also encourage students to look for science education initiatives that are making biotechnology more accessible to the next generation of problem-solvers. These include Sea Change, a U.S.-based initiative where students make significant contributions to the field of genomics.
- Transforming Medical Diagnostics with Paper
Hayat and a team of researchers helped design a paper chip that will enable health care workers to diagnose and monitor infectious diseases or chronic conditions without complicated instruments. This required a fundamental understanding of numerous STEM princples. The team needed to understand how molecules in various liquids would interact with specific chemicals. They also learned how specially-treated paper would react to ultraviolet light, and how to create microscopic channels that made it possible to put multiple tests on one strip of paper.
- Personalized Medical Care
Scientists first mapped the human genome a decade ago. The success of this effort promised medical care perfectly adapted for each person. Genetic data can also reveal the complexity of human history, helping us understand who we are and where we are going.
Connecting Girls to Science & Technology
Hayat is committed to science and technology education and careers for girls around the world. Zoey’s Room is an online community that encourages creativity through science, technology, engineering and math.Go to Zoey's Room