While the average person’s knowledge of stem cells might stop at being familiar with the term, a field that studies innovative uses of stem cells, Reproductive Biotechnology, is quickly becoming one of the most promising scientific research fields today.
Amidst all the innovations, it is immensely gratifying to see a brilliant Arab researcher at the helm of this rapidly evolving field. From patenting inventions to co-authoring preeminent books, Dr. Islam M. Saadeldin has his fingers on the pulse of all the biotechnological advances shaping the future of life on Earth.
Most recently, the International Embryo Technology Society recognized his work by presenting him with the Early Career Achievement Award for the year 2022. It is our honor at SASTA to congratulate Dr. Islam and shed some light on his globe-trotting journey on the road to receiving his latest of many prestigious accolades.
It all started in Egypt’s Zagazig University where Dr. Islam earned his Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medical Sciences in 2003. Shortly after, he completed his Master’s degree before he took on his first international venture in Japan’s Niigata University. It was there that he consolidated his interest in Molecular Biology.
Off to Seoul National University it was from there for Dr. Islam where he researched the molecular events in animal cloning and transgenesis to earn his Ph.D. in Biotechnology. After holding prominent faculty positions in Seoul National University, King Saud University, and his alma mater Zagazig University, Dr. Islam is currently a full-time research professor at Chungnam National University in South Korea. His current research focuses on developing CRISPR/Cas9 engineered extracellular vesicles for improving embryo implantation and pregnancy of cloned and transgenic animals.
The aforementioned is all just a brief timeline of Dr. Islam’s illustrious career. His accomplishments all throughout are just as impressive.
Dr. Islam’s patent of invention is also of paramount note. In an era of disease-resistant cattle, viruses are commonly used in producing transgenic bovine embryos. However, using viruses could lead to adverse effects, such as chromosomal abnormalities. To overcome this hurdle, Dr. Islam came up with and patented a novel non-viral gene delivery system in cattle using PiggyBac transposon technology.
A career so inspiring surely gained Dr. Islam plenty of awards along the way. His list of national and international awards includes the Egyptian State Prize (2020), Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation Prize (2020), Almarai Prize (2020), Misr Elkheir prize (2014), The Interstellar Initiative for young investigators (2021), and the Asian Universities Alliance Scholar Award (2019).
Fast forward to 2022, our cause for celebration today, Dr. Islam’s most recent award, the IETS Early Career Achievement Award, came after five nominations from senior members of IETS.
Perhaps most extraordinary amidst this legacy is that Dr. Islam is keen on dedicating time and effort to help build the next generation of Arab inventors. He generously shared with us those words for aspiring Arab researchers:
“The scientific research path is long and requires patience and passion. Do your best to utilize the best chances offered or available to you that cannot be compensated again. Read the latest articles about the recent trends of science and attend lectures of the giants and pioneers of your field. Generate applicable ideas and work hard to prove your idea and learn from your mistakes. A well-studied failure is better than the ambiguous and random success. Make good relations and collaborations with prominent scientists, learn from the others, and be humble. I would like to quote these words “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimension” –Oliver Wendell Holmes.”
We are deeply thankful to Dr. Islam for sharing his invaluable advice. You can follow and get in touch with Dr. Islam on hisLinkedIn andTwitter profiles.