FaceOf: Adah Almutairi, scientist and entrepreneur

Adah Almutairi
Updated 01 July 2018

FaceOf: Adah Almutairi, scientist and entrepreneur

  • She is a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry and has been a faculty member at the University of California, San Diego since 2008. 
  • Almutairi is best known for discovering the first nanoparticle that responds to inflammation in the body.

JEDDAH: Adah Almutairi, who holds more than 10 patents in the field of nanomedicine, is a Saudi scholar and entrepreneur. She was born in November 1976, in Portland, Oregon, US. She is a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry and has been a faculty member at the University of California, San Diego since 2008. 

She earned her bachelors degree in Chemistry from Occidental College in 2000. In 2005, she received her Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry from University of California, Riverside. The discipline focuses on electron delocalization and molecular structure. 

She is credited with developing a novel polymer for electromechanical actuation. Between 2005 and 2008, she did her postdoctoral studies in chemistry and chemical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the director of UCSD’s Center of Excellence in Nanomedicine, which is a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary research collaborative team developing tools for the future of biology and medicine. 

Almutairi is also the co-director of the Center for Excellence in Nano-Medicine and Engineering (CNME), where researchers create nanoparticles that aim at new levels of precision in treating disease, like delivering drugs under highly specific conditions — when triggered by light or when they encounter a disease-related situation.

Her primary appointment is in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is a member of the departments of Nanoengineering, and Radiology.

Almutairi is best known for discovering the first nanoparticle that responds to inflammation in the body. This life-changing innovation had led her to win the NIH New Innovator Award in 2009, which aims to encourage highly innovative research. 

She has also won PhRMA Foundation Award, the Young Investigator Award, and was a Kavli Fellow for the US National Academy of Sciences in 2016.

She has been invited to speak and participate at universities and conferences around the world. 


Two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia ready to confront health epidemics

Updated 7 min 53 sec ago

Two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia ready to confront health epidemics

  • The Kingdom has gained experience in dealing with millions of peoples, says crowd expert

MAKKAH: The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has announced its readiness to deal with any epidemic cases. It said that it will provide all necessary information to pilgrims and has doubled cleaning times of the courtyards and corridors of the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

The presidency said that it is raising media awareness in all languages and through informative screens to distribute the latest medical instructions and emergency developments.

Abdulhamid Al-Maliki, assistant undersecretary for services affairs at the presidency, told Arab News that the Two Holy Mosques are collaborating with public health authorities to face all possible situations.

Al-Maliki said that he has been working hand-in-hand with governmental and private agencies to distribute masks and hand sanitizer.

He added that coordination has been made with public health-related bodies to mobilize the necessary media coverage to inform all pilgrims of different nationalities wherever they may be.

The assistant undersecretary said that responding to all instructions and advice is necessary for the best handling of health issues.

Crowd expert Akram Jan said that Saudi Arabia has gained experience in dealing with crowds and millions of people, and that it was prepared to handle several sudden scenarios as well as the most difficult situations with success.

Jan said that the difficulties that accompany the presence of viruses — such as the new coronavirus — are their ability to spread and infect through contact or sneezing. He added that the Kingdom is taking precautionary measures to prevent a disaster from happening.

 

Disinfection

The floors of Makkah’s Grand Mosque are washed and disinfected four times daily as part of measures to ensure the safety of pilgrims and visitors.

Highly qualified cadres use the best technology and cleaning and sanitizing tools, said Jaber Widaani, director of the mosque’s department of disinfection and carpets. 

There are 13,500 prayer rugs at the mosque, all of which are swept and fragranced on a daily basis, he added.

Since the new coronavirus emerged in December 2019 in central China, it has sickened 82,000 people globally, with more than 2,700 deaths. The illness it causes was named COVID-19, a reference to its origin late last year.

Middle East countries have been implementing measures to protect their citizens and residents from the rising coronavirus cases.

On Thursday, Dubai’s Emirates announced a temporary ban on carrying Umrah pilgrims and tourists from nearly two dozen countries to Saudi Arabia.

The announcement came after the Kingdom placed a temporary ban on pilgrims from entering the country to perform Umrah, in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Nearly 7 million Umrah pilgrims visit the Kingdom each year, the majority of whom arrive at airports in Jeddah and Madinah.