The research I worked on during the summer of 2011 was finally published on July 25th, 2012 in a nanotechnology journal called Small. The article is called “Hollow Copper Sulfide Nanoparticle-Mediated Transdermal Drug Delivery” and the abstract for the paper can be found below.
Samy Ramadan, Liangran Guo, Yajuan Li, Bingfang Yan, Wei Lu.
A photothermal ablation-enhanced transdermal drug delivery methodology is developed based on hollow copper sulfide nanoparticles (HCuSNPs) with intense photothermal coupling effects. Application of nanosecond-pulsed near-infrared laser allows rapid heating of the nanoparticles and instantaneous heat conduction. This provides very short periods of time but extremely high temperatures in local regions, with focused thermal ablation of the stratum corneum. The depth of skin perforations can be controlled by adjusting the laser power. Skin disruption by HCuSNP-mediated photothermal ablation significantly increases the permeability of human growth hormone. This technique offers compelling opportunities for macromolecular drug and vaccine delivery.
The link for the article can be found here. I am really pleased with the outcome of this paper and I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to be published in a scientific journal at the age of 22. On another note, I am in the process of finalizing my secondary applications for my medical schools. This is almost more grueling than studying and taking the MCAT… My self-made deadline for all secondaries is August 27th, but I hope I can finish them before that date. I’ll keep you all posted as I start getting interview invites (hopefully!!!).
During the summer of 2006, I was living with my father in Tripoli, Lebanon. On July 12th of that year, a 34-day military conflict erupted in Lebanon, which altered my goals and aspirations and set me on a new path in life. Up until that conflict, I had felt safe living in Tripoli. When the shells began landing on nearby homes, hospitals, schools, and bridges, my sense of comfort was replaced with fear. I feared that people might be injured, and I feared for the country as a whole.
I wanted to help, but I felt helpless. At the time, I was a high school student with no medical training or field experience. I heard loud roars and explosions that likely muffled screams and cries for help. There was nothing I could do. I knew I would remain safe as long as I remained hidden in my father’s home, but I was still drawn outdoors by the ambulance sirens and the distant sounds of pain. After that experience in Tripoli, I promised myself that someday I would be in a position to help. I wanted to be able to save people and improve lives.
After the summer of 2006, I returned to the United States. I enrolled at Roger Williams University, and I immersed myself in the biological and chemical sciences. I was fascinated by my studies of science and anatomy, which filled me with the same sense of wonder and curiosity that I used to feel when tinkering with technology and computers as a youth. My studies affirmed my desire to become, in a sense, an engineer of the human body. The more I learned, the more I was convinced that I wanted to be a doctor.
I delved into the medical world at every available opportunity. In the last few years, I have spent numerous hours speaking with physicians and surgeons, observing surgeries, helping at clinics, and shadowing patients. During the summer of 2011, I also worked in a medical research lab with Dr. Wei Lu at the University of Rhode Island. I helped Dr. Lu develop a photothermal nanoparticle-mediated transdermal drug delivery system that may someday bring advancements to the field of cancer research and treatment. In January 2012, I also began training to become an emergency medical technician (EMT). Six years ago, I might not have had the skills and experience to assist the people caught in the Lebanese conflict, but I am now in a much better position to assist people in need.
My experiences over the last few years have also enhanced my interest in the pure study of medicine. Not only do I want to help people at an individual level as a doctor, but I also want to apply my knowledge and skills to contribute to the realm of medical research. In addition to being an agent for positive change for people’s health, I also want to contribute to the field of medical knowledge. The sphere of medicine is constantly evolving, and I am excited about the prospect of working through constant challenges.