KAUST researcher using stem cells in treatment of blood diseases

Asma Al-Amoudi; a Ph.D. student at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST); has succeeded in employing the use of stem cells in treating blood diseases.

Speaking to the Saudi Press Agency; Al-Amoudi emphasized that the remarkable achievements scored by her in the research field are a matter of immense pride for all young Saudi women as well as for the global stature they have achieved; noting that the Saudi women have a great responsibility to enhance their determination and passion to climb the ladder of success in work.

She expressed her intention to develop these researches in a way that offers the best services for her homeland and thus enhancing the role of women and their contributions to scientific progress and that is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The future marks the recognition of the achievements of Saudi women and that will be a source of inspiration for the next generation of researchers in the field of science; she pointed out.

Al-Amoudi said that her research is focused on the treatments used for blood diseases; which are blood stem cells; and the possibility of stimulating them in order to deliver them to the bone marrow after being injected into the patient intravenously. It is a complex process aimed at understanding the basics of stem cell transfer to the bone marrow and make it stick; and then stabilize it to carry out its function of reproduction and production of new blood cells.

“The research that I am carrying out is concerned with understanding the nature of these processes and their laboratory application; as leukemia is one of the types of cancer that forms in the tissues responsible for the production of blood cells; and includes the bone marrow and the lymphatic system;” she pointed out.

As a researcher; Al-Amoudi specialized in biological sciences as well as in studying cell adhesion and migration systems to control pathological symptoms such as infections; cancer growth; and tumors; and the process of transplanting therapeutic stem cells into the blood. She is competing with her counterparts in many countries of the world.

It is noteworthy that Al-Amoudi; along with another Saudi researcher Dr. Wafa Al-Talhi had won the sixth edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship for Women in Science Award in the Middle East in 2019. The fellowship is part of the global program of UNESCO and the Foundation L’Oréal for supporting women in the field of science by highlighting the outstanding contributions of female researchers and their role in the advancement of science and knowledge.

Dr. Al-Talhi was honored in the post-doctoral awards category in recognition of her research on improving the health of patients without relying on organ donors while Al-Amoudi was honored in the category of doctoral students in recognition of her research on the use of specific stem cells for the treatment of blood diseases.