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PHYSICS MATTERS: SESAME: the new adventure of the Middle East women scientists

By Christine Marie-Therese Darve posted 15 days ago

PHYSIC MATTERS, so Join us on June 15, 2021, 8 am EDT (3 pm SESAME) and REGISTER HERE  to know more about "SESAME: the new adventure of the Middle East women scientists" !

The lecture will be delivered by Gihan Kamel (SESAME). The whole duration will be about 60 min.

Turning the wheel of history, seeking the initial steps towards the understanding of the optical systems based on the invaluable contribution of the Muslim and Arab Scholar, Ibn Al-Haytham. Along with the extraordinary efforts of the followers enthusiastic scholars, scientists succeeded to develop modern powerful eyes capable of resolving details of matter down to its atoms, known as Synchrotron-light sources. They are super microscopes with different sets of experimental techniques known as beamlines, powerful enough to reveal vital details; about the hidden unknown of physics, chemistry, biology, pharmaceuticals and biomedicine, as well as, materials science, and cultural heritage. The Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) is one of those eyes, and is the first light source in the Middle East. Following the model of CERN, SESAME started as an idea in 1997. Since then, a long journey has been started to construct the first third generation light-source in the region. Current Members are: Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine and Turkey. With Brazil, China, the European Union, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States are the observers.

SESAME seeks establishing the Excellency of Science, besides, functioning as a bridge between its diverse culturally and politically conflicting societies, building a stronger community that will be able to –at least- deal with scientific challenges and hopefully beyond.

In addition, SESAME opens wide doors to women scientists in the region to demonstrate their capacity for hard work, thereby breaking so many stereotypes and misconceptions. Middle East women scientists are strongly motivated have been always keen to break rules and to overcome traditional obstacles as much as they can. From this perspective, they show effective contributions and key players in improving their societies in different fields.

This presentation will highlight the current status of SESAME, its goals, as well as, its major challenges; one of which is called: “women in science!”

Gihan KamelDr Gihan Kamel is the infrared beamline scientist at SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East), on leave from the Physics Department in the Faculty of Science at Helwan University, Egypt, where she is a lecturer in biophysics. Dr Kamel obtained her Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Rome, La Sapienza, Italy, and held a research position at the INFN’s Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati from 2014 to 2015. Earlier, in 2007, she was awarded the ParOwn training scholarship at the Italian National Research Council’s Institute of Crystallography for her proposal to explore the theoretical and practical aspects of macromolecular crystallography using new programmes for protein structure determination. In 2015, Dr Kamel decided to return to the Middle East to take up the position of infrared beamline scientist at SESAME, where her responsibilities involve developing the beamline and working with user groups to prepare and run their experiments. Her involvement with SESAME dates back to 2012, when she was nominated as Egypt’s representative on the SESAME users’ committee. SESAME’s experimental programme is scheduled to get underway in summer 2017. Dr Kamel’s research interests lie in the domain of life sciences, specifically in exploring structure-to-function relationships in biomolecules. Bringing a multidisciplinary approach to her work, she is particularly interested in drug development. She is a member of the Egyptian Society of Crystallography and its Applications, the Egyptian National Committee of Crystallography, and was recently nominated as coordinator of the Egyptian Synchrotron Users’ Network. Both committee and network are part of the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research and Technology. She is currently establishing a Bioinformatics Centre at Helwan University. She also organizes workshops and schools at the national and international levels to build awareness and highlight topics linking science, industry and society.

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