Hosam Zowawi is a scientific entrepreneur with a social conscience. He feels a responsibility to work on antibiotic resistance “because of the frightening things I see on a daily basis in the lab”.
Although Zowawi left Saudi Arabia with his family to pursue postgraduate studies in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases in Australia (on a full academic scholarship from the government of Saudi Arabia), he remains firmly rooted in his home country. Since 2007, he has been a microbiology teaching assistant at the College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, in Riyadh. Zowawi sees his future in Saudi Arabia. After completing his Ph.D and subsequent postdoctoral work, he envisions that he will eventually return to Saudi Arabia to run a research laboratory and biotechnology company, undertaking rapid testing. He intends to practise as a clinical microbiologist and teach students.
Zowawi is dedicated to public engagement and believes that better communication about scientific issues could transform health care in the Gulf states. He takes a broad-based approach to raising awareness about antibiotic resistance because he wants to get his message across in any way he can – from offering iPads as prizes in competitions that test the public’s knowledge about antibiotic resistance, to promoting awareness at sports events, such as polo tournaments. A keen polo player himself, Zowawi is currently planning a team name for an upcoming match. “Superbug Slayers” is top of his list.
Published in 2014