Sarah Halawa
Ph.D. in Biotechnology at AUC/2015-2019
  • Sarah earned her bachelor’s in electronics engineering with a minor in mathematics and was presented with the President’s Cup in 2011, awarded to the top-performing student in the graduating class. She also earned her Master’s in physics from AUC in 2014, graduating with highest honors. She then decided to pursue her Ph.D. in applied sciences with a specialization in Biotechnology, which as funded by Al Afi Foundation.
  • In 2017, Sarah won first prize for her project on the genetic basis of cardiovascular disease in the Egyptian population, submitted to the Rheumatic Heart Disease: From Molecules to the Global Community conference, co-organized by the Magdi Yacoub Foundation and Aswan Heart Centre as well as the Pan-African Society of Cardiology. Sarah and her team were also awarded the Young Investigator award for the same project.
  • Looking to the future, Sarah aspires to establish a research program to better understand the genetic basis of other major diseases in Egypt. She wishes to promote translational medicine in Egypt, where we can take scientific research to the clinic to improve the public health of the Egyptian people.
  • In 2019, Sarah received the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award for her Ph.D. dissertation, which focuses on the genetics and epigenetics of cardiovascular diseases, helping to improve our understanding of valve biology, with potential implications on valve tissue engineering approaches. The research is a joint venture between AUC and the Magdi Yacoub Foundation. The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Egypt fellowships program aims to promote the participation of young women in science coming from Egypt. 
  • Sarah received the award for her Ph.D. research about “Profiling Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Patterns in Human Aortic and Mitral Valves,” which assesses the methylation profiles of human aortic and mitral valves. It is a multidisciplinary project relying on the integration of translational bioinformatic techniques into genetic and clinical research to improve health outcomes for patients.