Ghada Mutlaq: A Saudi Scientist who changed the concept of Surgery globally

An Ambitious woman of Saudi origin has once again proved that even the sky isn’t the limit in terms of excellence. Ghada Mutlaq Al Mutairi aged 39 has received an award of global innovation of $3 million from the NIH or National Institute of Health, which is the largest organization supporting the medical research in the United States for her invention which has changed the way surgical procedures are performed in the country. Al Mutairi who is the holder of a doctorate in materials chemistry is currently residing in the United States of America. She is also a faculty member at the UCSD or University of California San Diego and the director of the Center of Excellence in Nanomedicine.[irp]

Al Mutairi has developed a nano capsule which is capable of pinpointing regions with inflammations in the human body and also subsequently release drugs in order to treat them using a laser. The congress of the United States had selected her work as one of the four highly important inventions in the country, back in 2012. Al Mutairi spoke to the Al Riyadh newspaper about her recent invention. She stated that biology operates at a scale which is very minuscule hence the materials which are designed at a nano size can and will respond in a more efficient manner to the disease. Currently, the doctors have little to no control over how, where and when these drugs act inside the body. These processes are essential to minimize the off target effects.

She stated that her invention has been hugely effective in the rheumatoid and eye surgeries. This same technology can also be applied on to other fields such as science, engineering, industry, and agriculture, meaning a huge number of people can benefit from this. Al Mutairi completed her bachelor’s studies in chemistry back in 2000 from the Occidental University located in Los Angeles and then her master’s studies in biochemistry from the University of California. Once she had obtained her doctorate in chemical engineering back in 2005, she went on to produce several research papers.

Al Mutairi also has 3 brothers and a sister who are all deeply involved in the medical field. One of her brothers, Khalid Al Mutairi, is a renowned plastic surgeon working in the United States. Another one of her brothers is a professor at the University of Houston in Texas and her third brother is a practicing dentist in Jeddah. Mutairi’s sister is a radiologist in Boston. Al Mutairi stated that her mother had studied chemistry and everything that the siblings are, is because of her. She was a very smart woman who was dedicated to bringing up her children.[irp]

Al Mutairi has stated that she follows up on all the developments regarding Saudi Arabia. She adds that she loved her country and is extremely proud of it, whether she is in the United States or any other part of the world. She also added that she hopes that this nanotechnology application will become widespread in the Kingdom soon.

Source: Saudi Gazette