Hosam Zowawi describes himself on his Twitter profile as “a superbug fighter and polo player”. The 30-year-old is a clinical microbiologist specialising in antibiotic-resistant bacterial diseases — so-called “superbugs”. As part of his PhD studies at the University of Queensland’s Centre for Clinical Research in Brisbane, Zowawi has developed a fast diagnostic tool called “Rapid Superbug” that identifies the type of infection more quickly — crucial due to the lethal nature of such infections and the speed at which they spread. In 2014 he scooped the Young Laureate, Science & Health award in the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, and tells Arabian Business his main motivation for pursuing his line of research is “the sense of responsibility” he feels to prevent humans from future infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. “On a daily basis, I am witnessing pathogens with frightening survival capability. Preventing those odds to spread in our communities is a real responsibility I have to carry.” Although he now lives in Australia, Zowawi was born in Al Hada, Saudi Arabia, and his PhD research project is funded by a long list of Gulf organisations including Kuwait University, the King Saud Bin Abdul Aziz University for Health Science and Oman’s Royal Hospital. He is analysing bacteria sourced from the GCC to identify the predominate genotype spread in GCC hospitals and highlight the importance of ongoing surveillance of multidrug-resistant organisms across the Gulf.
He adds on Twitter that he is “the son of noble parents, husband of the most supportive and intelligent queen, and father of a clever princess”.