Dr. Walaa Khushaim

Research Area
Chemical Engineering
Fellowship date
September 1, 2023
PhD, Bioengineering
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
Hadley Sikes


Dr. Walaa Khushaim completed her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Queens University of Charlotte in the United States. Her bachelor’s research was on the use of virgin olive oil to prevent liver damage resulting from infectious disease treatments. Dr. Khushaim then obtained a master’s degree from the University of Oxford in the UK. Her Master’s thesis focused on investigating the effect of epigenetics on gene expression noise under the supervision of Professor Jane Mellor. In 2023, she was awarded a Ph.D. degree in bioengineering from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), with seven publications in highly renowned journals. Dr. Khushaim worked in close collaboration with Professor Khaled Salama on the development of sensitive biosensors for the rapid detection of heart attack biomarkers. Dr. Khushaim is currently pursuing postdoctoral research at MIT under the supervision of Professor Hadley Sikes.

MIT Fellowship Research Abstract:

Dr. Khushaim's research at MIT will focus on developing tests that measure cardiac biomarkers from finger-stick blood samples. She will use bio-molecular engineering techniques to discover new reagent sets, validate the reagents using clinical samples, and build user-friendly rapid tests.


  • MIT Ibn Khaldun Fellowship for Saudi Women (Postdoctoral), 2023                                                                                        
  • 72nd Nobel Laureate Meeting, selected as a young scientist, 2023
  • KAUST BESE Dean’s List Award, 2022 
  • NEOM OXAGON Hackathon, 2022
  • KAUST Falling Walls, 2021 
  • KAUST Graduate Fellowship (PhD), 2019      
  • King Abdullah Scholarship Program (MS), 2016                                                                                                                
  • Dean’s List Award, Queens University of Charlotte, 2016                                                  
  • King Abdullah Scholarship Program (BS), 2011