How far would you go to achieve your goals?

Far away from home, achieving our goals always has a different taste, no matter what we are trying to reach, growing and succeeding among other battles brings the joy to every challenge we face.

Leaving Egypt in 2016, after acquiring his Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry from Mansoura University, Ibraam Mikhail’s dream was to develop more in scientific research and grow further as a scientist.

Mr. Mikhail, is now an innovator in the making, working on a novel approach to develop a new generation of analytical devices. 

So how did it all begin?

Ibraam Mikhail

“After one semester in my Bachelor degree, at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Mansoura University, I realized that I may have the potential to work in research because of the encouraging feedback that I got from my mentors and tutors. There, I set a goal, to study harder and work more developing my skills to be qualified to work in the pharmaceutical research field,” he said.

Mr. Mikhail has always been motivated by what once Nelson Mandela said, “everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to, and passionate about what they do.”

However, how many people took the first step in following their dreams, and ended up in the right direction? For Mr. Mikhail and science, it was a match made in heaven.

“Graduating with high achievements in my bachelors, and starting my Master’s degree in 2012, I was chosen to work at the Department of Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of pharmacy, Mansoura University, Egypt, where an opportunity opened the door for me to start my career in Academia,” he said.

His desire to develop even further, with publishing five manuscripts by 2016, Mr. Mikhail took the initiative to look and prepare his Ph.D. project proposal on developing novel methods for the analysis of the drugs used for the treatment of liver diseases. He decided to send it to Professor Michael Breadmore at the University of Tasmania, a person whom he looks up to and always admired his research.    

“Professor Breadmore offered me to work on another novel project instead, sponsored by the ASTech program,” he said.

Ibraam Mikhail and his ASTech Colleague Mohamed Hemida

The ASTech program is Trajan’s academia-industry collaboration, which is bringing together a talented and diverse team of scientists from Trajan and the University of Tasmania, University of South Australia and La Trobe University. This program is combining research and industry knowledge to innovate in product design and manufacturing techniques, contributing to a sustainable, globally competitive manufacturing industry in Australia.

Mr. Mikhail said that he didn’t think twice when he was offered the opportunity to work on one of ASTech’s innovative projects, “I was very excited. The project focuses on new approaches for lab-in-a-syringe systems.”

It has been an inspiring journey for him because the ASTech program offers the researchers the opportunity to work in an advanced analytical technology setting.

“Working in the industry setting is showing me another perspective; what are the analytical chemistry markets’ needs and how we can prioritize our work to fulfill them.”

The challenges he faced during his journey with ASTech never stopped him from doing what he aspires.

Ibraam Mikhail with his Co-supervisor Masoomeh Tehrani Rokh

“There were many challenges in my journey because it’s an innovative project. So, sometimes I don’t find the supportive literature for obstacles I face. However, the weekly meetings with my industry and academic supervisors helped me a lot to figure out the solutions to some problems I’m facing.”

His big goal now is to develop the first electro-kinetic lab-in-a-syringe system, for biological sample preparation, “the new advanced systems are being designed to save time, simplify and automate the workflow. Also, to minimize the use of the organic solvents compared to the currently used technologies,” he added.

Mr. Mikhail believes that nothing has an impact on people’s lives like science, “every gigantic invention starts with the development of novel ideas according to the scientific rules and principles. In my field, developing novel analytical methods, techniques, and devices serves all the clinical, biological, pharmaceutical studies and investigations,” Mr. Mikhail said.

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