7 Saudis Who Made Huge Contributions to Science and Innovation

Adah Almutairi
Adah Almutairi

Every day, Saudi people do great things in the Kingdom, but sometimes their achievements spread across geographical borders. These are just a few of the incredible people who have made the world a better place with their scientific work.

Adah Almutairi
Adah Almutairi created polymers that become nanoparticles, which are able to deliver drugs or imaging agents to molecules in the body. She’s no stranger to creating things – Almutairi holds more than ten patents. Although she works with nanomedicine, her achievements have been noticed on a large scale. Almutairi has won the NIH New Innovator Award, phRMA Foundation Award, the Young Investigator Award, and was a Kavli Fellow for the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2016. 

Reem Khoja
As a medical technology student, Reem Khoja knew that lab workers have to deal with biohazards and decided to do something to help them out. She created the automated cylindrical slide microscope, which can treat harmful samples, dealing with them safely. Besides safety, her microscope lowers the cost of sterilizing equipment and makes the whole process of analyzing slides simpler and faster. This led her to win several awards, including a gold medal at the International Innovation Exhibition and the Best Invention Award from Geneva’s government.

“There are two things – after God’s Will – that determine the disposition of a person: first, genetics; and second, the environment,” Khojah told Cooperative Health Insurance Magazine. “Every human being has the ability to innovate, and this is what enables us to survive under difficult circumstances.”

Hosam Zowawi
Hosam Zowawi

Hosam Zowawi
This young doctor has his sights set on a particular problem: antibiotic resistant infections. To solve this problem, he developed a diagnostic tool called Rapid Superbug, which can quickly identify the type of infection so it can be treated. Rapid Superbug can identify bacteria in three to four hours, while traditional methods take between 48 to 72 hours to return a result. This can be the difference between life and death for patients. He won the Griffith University award for academic excellence and was one of the 2014 Young Laureates of the Rolex Award for Enterprise.

Saeed Mubarak
If there’s one thing Saudi Arabia knows, it’s oil. Standing out in a country known for its oil industry is tough, but Saeed Mubarak did it with apparent ease. A Saudi Aramco employee, Mubarak won the World Oil Innovative Thinker Award in 2012 for his work on real-time reservoir management and other contributions to the industry. He invented a valve technique, which prevents the flow of fluid between surface layers in pipes.

Nayef Al Rodhan
Nayef Al Rodhan

Nayef Al Rodhan
This neuroscientist founded the laboratories for cellular neurosurgery and neurosurgical technology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. We didn’t even know cellular neurosurgery existed, but establishing any new department within Harvard is enough to impress us. He is also a philosopher and geostrategist, and directs the Geopolitics and Global Futures Programme at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. We aren’t the only ones impressed by Al Rodhan, he won the Young Investigator Prize from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Ghaida Al Sulami
Ghaida Al Sulami


Ghaida Al Sulami
This Saudi inventor created an electronic screen to help communicate with patients in the Intensive Care Unit. She worked with a team from King Abdullah Medical City, and their joint effort won them three gold medals at the Geneva International Exhibition for Inventors in 2014. She told Sabq newswire that she was proud to represent Saudi women to the world, and happy about her achievement. She should be, more than 1,000 inventors came together from 54 countries for the event.

Abdul Jabbar Al-Hamood

Abdul Jabbar Al-Hamood
This science star has earned a rare honor – He’s so out of this world that NASA named an asteroid belt after him. He earned that prize by winning first place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2015 for a botanical experiment. Al-Hamood developed a new way to genetically modify crops, using the TRV virus and a complicated system to edit genes. He was only 17 years old when he created the experiment, won the contest and earned his spot among the stars.

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