My Citrus Story- Dr. Adah Almutairi
As if they are now, and later they shall be.
When I came to Citrus College I was interested in science but didn’t necessarily plan to be a chemist. In fact, I didn’t know what my career would be, so I took a range of courses from English to French to math. I was especially proud of my success in math because I felt a great sense of accomplishment. It wasn’t until I took a general chemistry class that I realized chemistry was my subject. In addition to my studies, I was on the Citrus track team. My journey to become a scientist started with my successes in the classroom and on the sports field as a runner at Citrus College.
Combining academics and athletics earned me a dual scholarship to run and study at Occidental College. At Occidental, I studied organic chemistry, began to conduct actual research, and competed in track. The strong work ethic I developed at Citrus paid off with a succession of scholarships and awards en route to my bachelor of science degree. My passion for chemistry blossomed into a career pursuit, so it was natural to move on to graduate studies in applied chemistry at UC Riverside. I was able to expand my understanding of and appreciation for chemistry and began to see how my work could help others through direct application and through the multi-disciplinary approaches of research in science and medicine.
After receiving my Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry, I moved north to pursue postdoctoral studies at UC Berkeley, the premier hub of research in the fields of chemical engineering and nanotechnology. My work there focused on an emerging and even more specialized discipline of chemistry: biodegradable nanosystems for medical therapy and diagnosis.
The culmination of my science experiences and successes, from my early days at Citrus through my time spent at Berkeley, resulted in my current appointment as assistant professor at UC San Diego in both the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and in the Departments of NanoEngineering and Materials Science and Engineering. I established the Laboratory for Bioresponsive Materials — where materials chemistry and engineering can serve as an enabling tool to produce breakthroughs that will advance medicine and medical practices.
As a new investigator, I have already received three prestigious awards, the most significant of which is the National Institute of Health’s Innovator Award — a multi-year, multi-million dollar honor that brings world-wide recognition to me, UCSD, and by extension, Citrus College.
I am a huge fan of the community college system, and I believe my time at Citrus College laid the foundation for my achievements and successes.
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My Citrus Story is funded in part by grants supporting the College Success program, and has been developed in cooperation with the Citrus College Foundation and the Citrus College Board of Trustees. Copyright © 2010, Citrus College.