Alyaa Hessin

Postdoctoral Associate Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BSc Cairo University; MSc Cairo University; MPA American University in Cairo, PhD University of Illinois in Chicago

Research Areas: Oncology, DNA Editing, Climate Change, Plant Biology

Alyaa Farouk Hessin is a postdoctoral researcher. She got her BSc. in pharmacy from Cairo University and graduated with honors in 2009. She started her career as a quality control analyst in a multinational pharmaceutical company, where she learned Quality management systems and good laboratory practices and discovered her passion for researching. In 2010, She started her master's in pharmacology and toxicology; and was able to explore the anticancer effects of lactoferrin and resveratrol against liver cancer via modulating protein C kinase responses. Furthermore, she researched diabetes, depression, and liver fibrosis and reached promising results published in reputable journals.

Her good profile qualified her to win the Egyptian ministry of higher education award for studying abroad. She traveled to the USA in 2015 and obtained her PhD in developing cancer vaccines from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She also conducted preclinical research on experimental animals to prevent or treat prevailing tumors, including hepatocellular carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. She obtained the American Board of Pharmacy (PharmD) during her stay in the USA. She joined the international research team of Professor Mostafa El-Sayed, in which they assessed the toxicological and pharmacological effects of Nano-gold in cancer therapy in collaboration with the Georgia institute of technology.

In 2019, Dr. Hessin did her first postdoctoral research at Tulane University in the USA, where she studied the Wnt Beta-catenin pathway in melanoma and thyroid cancer. The same year, she won the global scholar award of the American Association for Cancer Research in recognition of her significant contribution to the oncology field. In addition, Alyaa has ample experience in teaching, owing to her efforts as an assistant lecturer at Ahram Canadian University and a teaching assistant at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She was lucky enough to teach at both grad and undergrad levels, allowing her to develop multiple teaching styles.

Dr. Hessin believes that research and management should go hand in hand, and an outstanding researcher should possess practical managerial skills. Therefore, she obtained a master's degree in Public Administration and a diploma in total quality management from the American University in Cairo. Her managerial skills were prominent when she was a project manager for a preclinical trial project of Natural Wellness pharmaceuticals in Malaysia. From the technical perspective, Dr. Hessin is an expert in several techniques, including but not limited to tissue culture, flow cytometry, PCR, western blot, sequencing, and DNA editing and cloning techniques. She is also a frequent speaker at scientific seminars and an alumnus of many universities around the globe.

Current Research

We have several interesting projects in the lab. First, we are studying the effect of a different combination of plant hormones on cell fate and cell identity of Arabidopsis Thaliana. Another project is investigating the impact of mechanical forces on shaping the root of Arabidopsis Thaliana. Also, we are exploring gene duplication and cellular divergence in multiple crops through comparing their transcriptomes. Recently, we introduced a project that aims to study the salinity adaptation mechanisms across mangrove species.