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One minute PhD: can we reduce injury to our brains?

Thursday 30 November 2017

Watching time: 1 min • Reading time: 2 mins

Mootaz is working on a PhD in brain injury. In this video he explains his research in 60 seconds, and below he writes about life as a PhD student.

The past century has seen extraordinary medical advancements, creating opportunities in new dimensions which we never thought existed even a short time ago.

To excel in the workplace of tomorrow, you need to possess a perfect blend of theoretical study and practical experience.

I want to be a part of this exciting race to create a more scientifically advanced tomorrow. And I see my PhD as a path towards this direction.

After achieving a first-class honours studying a pharmacy degree at the University of Mosul in my home country of Iraq, I received a scholarship to continue my studies abroad. I chose to come to Sheffield Hallam University as Sheffield has a really good quality of life. It’s a lovely, friendly place and one of the greenest cities not only in the UK but also in Europe.

Tremendous opportunities

My PhD has given me tremendous opportunities. I have presented 12 oral presentations, 14 posters and won four awards nationally and internationally. Additionally, I have published three first-author papers and co-authored another two at highly ranked international journals.

With the help and support of the university and the directors of my PhD studies, Professor Nicola Woodroofe and Dr Matthew Conner, I have developed many essential scientific skills including academic writing, referencing, data presentation, critical analysis and also public engagement skills. I have also developed skills in initiative, independence, team-working, patience, problem-solving and time management.

My current research (which is part of a big research collaboration including five national and international universities) is about identifying new treatments for brain injuries and its associated oedema – a condition which causes more than 3 million deaths and affects more than 60 million people every year. I feel that I am on the right direction towards achieving this aim, and clinical trials is my next step.

After achieving my research and academic goals, my ultimate goal is to play a vital role in improving the quality of education and scientific research in Iraq, and being one of the pioneers in these fields when I return back to my home country.

Interested in studying a PhD? Find out more.

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