Finding Treatments for Chronic Diseases

Mouza Alzaabi is a Kawader Fellow currently working as a research assistant in the field of biology under the supervision of Research Assistant Professor of Biology, Dr Mohamed Al Sayegh.

As part of her Kawader Fellowship under Professor Mohamed, Mouza is studying the early stages of the development of fat cells from stem cells, with a focus on how different levels of certain factors can affect the way fat cells grow and function. 

Fat cells are specialized cells in our body that store energy in the form of fat molecules. These cells are also known as adipocytes and are found throughout our body in clusters known as adipose tissue. 

The way clusters of fat cells or adipose tissue interact with hormones and other signaling molecules is associated with several chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. By understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in this process, Mouza's research could provide new insights into the development of innovative treatments for these chronic diseases.

Mouza gained a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Tampa, with a premedical concentration. As a Kawader Fellow, Mouza wants to pursue research at the intersections of human genetics, molecular biology, and bioinformatics. Mouza will analyze embryonic stem cell differentiation to fat cells, or adipocytes. Her research could possibly revolutionize the way we approach treatments for deadly chronic diseases, and her background predisposes her well for success in the endeavor.

Mouza also volunteered at a Bradenton clinic providing medical, dental and vision care for underprivileged people, where she conducted eye assessments. Having gained a background in genomic medicine, molecular biology and bioinformatics, Mouza proceeded to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Sheffield, gaining a Master of Science in Genomic Medicine. 

Mouza particularly appreciates how the Kawader program provides young Emirati researchers with an opportunity to independently pursue their research interests, as well as the tools to do that successfully.

In my first three months as a Kawader Fellow, I was provided with a deeper insight into immersive research, and able to learn what a career in biological research entails. The Kawader program offers a well balanced hybrid of mentorship and independence to challenge existing skills while fostering an encouraging environment to develop new ones.