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Mona Ghazi Alharbi

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

كلية العلوم
Building 5, 3rd floor, office 196

introduction/brief CV

I have obtained an undergraduate degree, Bachelor in Biochemistry in 2008 (King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), and a Master’s degree in Biotechnology in 2015 (University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia). From 2009- 2020, I had an appointment with the Faculty of Biochemistry at King Saud University as a demonstrator. I began my Ph.D. studies in 2016 with Dr. Carlos Salomon at Exosome Biology Laboratory (College of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia). During my Ph.D., I worked at a laboratory that applies ISO standards (ISO17025 and 13185), and NATA accredited Centre for Clinical Diagnostics within the UQ Centre for Clinical Research. In my Ph.D., I had a strong record of accomplishment relative to the opportunities (5 publications and 20 presenting at conferences). I graduated with a Ph.D. in April 2020.Then, I re-joined the Faculty of Biochemistry at King Saud University as an Assistant Professor (A/P).

My Ph.D. project focused on the potential use of exosomes as a prognostic/chemoresistant biomarkers for ovarian cancer. Resistance to chemotherapy treatment is one of the issues facing ovarian cancer patients, leading to poor prognosis and low patient survival rates. However, prognostic biomarkers might aid in personalized individual treatment, which may impact clinical decisions and improved outcomes. Cancer cells release messages packaged inside small membrane-bound vesicles called exosomes, and these packed molecules are highly selective. Exosomes might provide the opportunity to track them in biological fluids to potentially determine patient response to chemotherapy drugs. Interestingly, specific tumour characteristics are reflected in exosomes secreted from tumour cells, making them an attractive source for minimally invasive biomarkers without the need for invasive tumour biopsies.

I love being a scientist because it allows me to look closely at something I am interested in. Moreover, the research outcomes on exosomes might give the public new knowledge and hopefully bring us closer to better cancer patients' treatments. I am interested in finding out how we can diagnose cancers at early stages and overcome chemoresistance by finding a potential therapeutic target in cancers to enhance the efficacy of treatment. I am strongly focused on implementing my Ph.D. findings in clinical practice to improve cancer diagnosis and patients’ responses to chemotherapy. I believe that my innovative research in cancer can pave the way for new approaches to treatment. In the future, this transference of knowledge from the laboratory benchtop to the patient’s bedside may save more precious lives.



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