Dr. Hayat Al Sindi
Dr. Hayat bintSulaiman bin Hassan Sindi is a Saudi Arabian medical scientist and one of the first female members of the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia. She is famous for making major contributions to point-of-care medical testing and biotechnology. She was ranked by Arabian Business as the 19th most influential Arab in the world and the ninth most influential Arab woman.
Ms. Hayat Sindi was born in Mecca. In 1991, she convinced her family to allow her to travel alone to the United Kingdom in order to pursue her higher education. After a year spent learning English and studying for her A-levels, she was accepted to King’s College London, where she graduated with a degree in pharmacology in 1995. While at King’s College she was a recipient of Princess Anne’s Award for her undergraduate work on allergy. Sindi went on to get a Ph.D. in biotechnology from the University of Cambridge in 2001; she was the first Saudi woman to be accepted at Cambridge University in the field of biotechnology and to complete a doctoral degree in the field.
In 2010, Sindi was the winner of the Mekkah Al Mukaramah prize for scientific innovation, given by HRH Prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud. She was also named a 2011 Emerging Explorer by the National Geographic Society. On October 1, 2012, Sindi was appointed by UNESCO head Irina Bokova as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for her efforts in promoting science education in the Middle East, especially for girls. She was also on Newsweek’s list of 150 women who shook the world for that year. In January 2013, Sindi again broke new ground by becoming part of the first group of women to serve in Saudi Arabia’s Consultative Council. In the annual meeting of Clinton Global Initiative held on September 21-24, 2014, Dr. Sindi was awarded with ‘Leadership in Civil Society’ prize.title