Leeds alum wins prestigious award in Saudi Arabia

Alumni news

Dr Manar Samman (MSc Bioscience 2010; Medicine 2015) has been recognised with a national award for her contribution to medical education and practice in Saudi Arabia.

Manar was named the national winner at the British Council Study UK Alumni Awards in the Science and Sustainability category in Saudi Arabia. The awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of international students who have studied in the UK.

The Chairperson of Clinical Pathology at King Fahad Medical Centre, Manar plays a key role in diagnosing hereditary diseases and improving patient care. She is also a researcher, developing knowledge to help shape the future of medicine.

“Being selected in the Science and Sustainability category is an immense honour and privilege for me,” said Manar. “This recognition not only validates the hard work and commitment I have put into my academic and professional journey but also serves as a platform to inspire others, particularly women, to pursue their passions and make meaningful contributions in their respective fields.”

At Leeds, Manar was able to pursue her passion for molecular genetics during her degree. She went on to work at King Fahad Medical Centre as a consultant clinical scientist in the molecular pathology clinical laboratory. Her work to help diagnose hereditary diseases and enhance diagnostic accuracy at a molecular level impacted an estimated 100,000 patients.

Leeds exposed me to state-of-the-art technologies, which enhanced my understanding of molecular genetics and enabled me to contribute to the industry with innovative approaches and insights.

Dr Manar Samman (MSc Bioscience 2010; Medicine 2015)

Manar now has over 20 publications to her name, which have had more than 200 citations. She has been asked to share her expertise and experiences at international conferences, workshops and seminars. She progressed to a leadership position, and is able to guide the strategy of clinical pathology services at the King Fahad Medical Centre, ensuring the highest standards of care for patients.

An inspiration to women in STEM

Manar stands on stage with her award, presented by two men either side of her

Manar was presented with the award at a national ceremony in March. As a leader in a medicine, Manar had a special message for women pursuing a career in STEM: “To all aspiring individuals, especially women, I encourage you to embrace your potential, pursue your dreams with determination, and never underestimate the impact you can make on the world. 

“My journey underscores the importance of perseverance, resilience, and continuous learning in overcoming challenges and achieving success. 

“Believe in yourself, stay focused on your goals, and let your passion drive you towards excellence and positive change.”

Now in its tenth year, the British Council Alumni Awards received more than 1,450 applications from international UK alumni from more than 90 countries, representing over 140 UK higher education institutions across the nation.

Further information

Read more about the British Council Alumni Awards in Saudi Arabia on the British Council website.

For further information and media enquiries, contact Ed Newbould, Digital Communications and Engagement Officer, via e.w.newbould@leeds.ac.uk