Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Khalil Ramadi joined NYU Abu Dhabi as the first bioengineering professor hired for the University’s newest major. As a professor in his twenties, Ramadi found the University to reflect his ambitious mentality and energy in driving innovative and creative research work. Ramadi also appreciates the fact that there are other junior and young faculty that help bring a certain amount of energy to the division and campus.
While it’s an interesting time to join the University, Ramadi kept busy the past few months learning and understanding the details of ongoing research in different divisions for collaboration ideas. As the director of the Laboratory for Advanced Neuroengineering and Translational Medicine at NYUAD, his interest lies in developing tools and technologies to treat a variety of endocrine, neurologic, and immune disorders.
My group hopes to use neural engineering to influence the activity of neural circuits around the body.
Ramadi is interested in creating neuromodulation devices that will go through the gastrointestinal tract to open the door towards non-invasive methods over the use of a keyhole probe into the human scalp. By developing a probe that could be swallowed or ingested orally, “my group hopes to use neural engineering to influence the activity of neural circuits around the body,” Ramadi explained. As a translational medicine lab, his team will study limitations in current techniques to develop new ways that can circumvent those problems.
Born in the east coast of the US, Ramadi was no stranger to the UAE as his family moved to the Al Ain region during his middle and high school years. While Ramadi was already sold on joining the NYUAD family, he had one more person to convince — his wife Yasmin. As she has never been to the UAE, the couple took the opportunity to stop over in the UAE during a pre-pandemic trip to give her a sense of the country, visiting the campus, Dubai, Al Ain, and various parts of Abu Dhabi. The international community and vibrant culture in the UAE were one of the few reasons the couple made their move.
“What I’ve always been impressed about with NYUAD is that people across the board from fellow faculty, students, to administrators have this sort of ‘can do’ attitude when faced with an issue,” Ramadi said. It speaks volume to Ramadi, adding, “Here, I know they will entertain bold ideas.”