Haneen Dwaib, Birzeit University alumna, wins award for breakthrough research on dietary interventions for cardiovascular dysfunction

Haneen Dwaib, Birzeit University alumna, wins award for breakthrough research on dietary interventions for cardiovascular dysfunction

Haneen Dwaib, a Birzeit University alumna who’s pursuing a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at the American University of Beirut, has been recognized as one of the six 2020 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Levant Young Talents Program honorees for her research on the mechanisms of cardiovascular dysfunction. 

The L’Oréal-UNESCO Young Talents program, now in its seventh year, highlights the efforts of women researchers from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria, whose hard work and dedication serve to advance scientific research and help create a better world for the benefit of all. 

As a Ph.D. candidate, Dwaib researches dietary interventions for cardiovascular dysfunction — specifically, in pre-diabetes cases — and works to test and verify whether such interventions could affect the gut microbiome modulation characterizing the adipose tissue inflammation associated with cardiovascular dysfunction. For her efforts to identify cheap and widely available dietary interventions, Dwaib was awarded 6000 euros to expand and advance her research. 

From Bethlehem, Dwaib first stepped into Birzeit University as an undergrad, enrolling in the Faculty of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Professions’ nutrition and dietetics program in 2008. Dwaib graduated from the program after four years of hard work and dedication and found a full-time job at a hospital in her native Bethlehem.  

Not content with her bachelor’s degree, Dwaib enrolled in the Institute of Community and Public Health’s master’s program alongside her full-time job, traveling daily to and from the university’s campus. Dwaib was not only a talented student but also an active participant at the institute, joining researchers and staff members in conferences such as the Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance Annual Conference

For Dwaib, the award is a confirmation that she is on the right track to helping individuals across the world recover without the need for expensive, and invasive, surgical interventions. It also serves as a reminder that women can and do achieve breakthroughs in science. 

As for her future plans, Dwaib is looking forward to disseminating her research and applying it to help patients and vulnerable groups worldwide. The Ph.D. candidate is also hoping to teach at Birzeit University and help promising young women researchers gain a foothold in science and academia.