Habiba Al Alsafar

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR)

Dr Habiba Al Safar is the Head of Khalifa University's Center of Excellence in Biotechnology and an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering. She is an Emirati research scholar who has a wealth of professional and educational experience that includes a PhD in Forensics and Medical Sciences from the university of Western Australia, a Master’s Degree in Medical Engineering from Liverpool University in the UK, and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from San Diego State University, USA. She has also completed a one-year Global Clinical Scholars Research Training programme at Harvard Medical School. Dr Al Safar’s research focuses primarily on constructing the genomic structures of individuals of Arab descent in order to identify genomic segments carrying gene(s) that predispose individuals to diseases. She specifically tackles diseases that are increasing in prevalence among local communities in the UAE. Dr Al Safar has identified a gene strongly associated with the prevalence of type-2 diabetes among Emiratis. This is the first Genome Wide Association Study of the UAE Bedouin population and the first of its kind in the Middle East. Al Safar was one of the outstanding Arab female scientists to win the International L'Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship for Women in Science. She was awarded the UAE First Honor Medal by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for being a pioneer in her field.