UW Bioengineering senior Hani Mahmoud is selected as a Fulbright Student and becomes the first-ever student in the department’s history to receive the internationally renowned fellowship.

Hani, who is currently completing his capstone project in Dr. Wendy Thomas’s lab, will travel to Kuwait to investigate the rising prevalence of diabetes in that country at Dasman Diabetes Institute (DDI). Diabetes is an increasing public health concern in Kuwait and the rest of the Middle East; 25% of Kuwait’s population is afflicted with the disease. By studying children exposed to a video-game based exercise routine, Hani will examine the molecular basis of exercise and develop lifestyle-based solutions to prevent diabetes. He will also participate in DDI’s educational outreach to Kuwaiti youth and adults.

Hani hopes that his research and educational outreach will foster future collaborations between Americans and Kuwaitis and encourage the countries “to attack shared issues from different angles”.

After completing the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Hani plans to pursue and MD/PhD and eventually would like to work as a doctor who teaches and practices in the US and Middle East.

The Fulbright Program was enacted in 1946 by US President Harry S. Truman as the flagship educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government. The program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries across the world. Learn about the Fulbright Student Program.

Selection of UW 2014 Fulbright nominees is still ongoing, and and is anticipated to be completed by the end of May. An official UW press release announcing all Fulbright Students is still forthcoming.