Mahmoud Abouelkheir

Mahmoud Abouelkheir

PhD Student, Chemical Biology, Johns Hopkins University
BA, Biochemistry, DePauw University
NYCSRMC: STEM Research Academy, Brooklyn College

How I see myself: I consider myself a social person who loves meeting, working with, and forming connections personally and professionally. I have been interested in natural science research from a young age, and continue to pursue my interests at the interface of chemistry and biology with my current graduate program. I am also especially passionate about inequity and systematic barriers for underrepresented students in STEM. I am happy to serve as a resource and mentor others wherever I can!

My Passions: I’ve always been fascinated with learning more about the science that governs the natural world, especially in molecular and biological contexts. Currently, I am in my first year of my PhD program completing rotations. I love working as a part of a team, mentoring other students, and to lead projects with experience.

What makes you excited about working with other NYCSRMC alumni on this research study? I’m excited to get to know more people who have the shared experience of being part of the NYCSRMC. It’s motivating and inspiring to see the many paths and stories that others have since that experience.

How would you describe growing up in NYC? Growing up in Brooklyn, NYC was great! I am a first generation Egyptian American student, and I grew up with my parents and sister. I would love to go biking around Prospect Park and staying out late in nature with friends and family every summer. I always enjoyed my science classes and would especially look forward to school wide science fairs both in middle and high school. I have had supportive and talented academic mentors who helped nurture my interest in science research from a young age. My family was always supportive and encouraging of me in continuing my studies and being a “science person”.

Important Learning Experiences I’ve Had: In my last year of high school as part of the NYCSRMC, I worked in a lab that provided me my first exposure to basic science research. While in the lab, I was exposed to biophysical techniques such as pillar assays to characterize the strength of the forces generated by microorganisms, in order to better understand how they infect and form colonies. I was impressed by the experimental design of the pillar assays, as an interdisciplinary technique that was used to investigate a physical process that is not well defined in biological systems.

As a lab member, I was surrounded by and worked with incredibly passionate and supportive individuals who shared the work they were doing in the lab and who were always willing to answer questions I had. Being in this environment helped me learn about the interdisciplinary approach of biophysics in microbiology and got me even more excited about my own projects. My PI hosted weekly lab meetings and spent many hours at the bench working alongside his students. He serves as one of my greatest mentors as he helped me discover what I really enjoyed about science research. I learned the process of drawing upon the techniques of other fields that would allow me to answer questions that one field alone could not, and the value of mentorship. My time in the lab was fundamental to my motivation to continue to graduate school and investigate aspects of biophysical chemistry in my own lab, as well as to provide mentorship and support for aspiring scientists.

Why I’m interested in talking with other NYCSRMC alumni about this research study: I’d like to learn about what similarities my peers may have had in their experiences, both while participating in the program and afterwards. The experience was transformative for me, and I am interested in learning the ways it has affected others in their trajectories as well.

© 2024 NYC Science Research Mentoring Consortium | All rights reserved
Designed by [L]earned Media.

© 2024 NYC Science Research Mentoring Consortium

All rights reserved

Designed by [L]earned Media.