Mennat El Ghalid learned early on that science is at the root and the heart of life, and that the scientific method is essential to solving any problem. The Egyptian mycologist, born in Cairo and based in Paris, has spent the past eight years of her research career studying fungal infections in humans and how to treat them, ultimately fulfilling a deeply rooted love for discovery. El Ghalid, who received her Masters at Université Paris Diderot (also known as Paris 7) in France and her PhD at Universidad de Córdoba in Spain, is specifically working to determine the 3D structure and function of proteins involved in the pathogenicity of Candida albicans, the main cause of fungal infection in immunocompromised and critically ill patients.
As passionate as she is about her research, she is even more invested in increasing the amount of STEM education opportunities available to youth of color. Leaning on Albert Einstein’s thoughts on education, she agrees that "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." As a result, the 2017 TED Fellow founded ConScience (Latin for “with knowledge”), an organization geared towards promoting STEM education, especially for African and Middle Eastern countries.
Inspired by her father’s wisdom and her mother’s perseverance, El Ghalid plans to funnel those values and what she has learned along her professional journey to foster community building amongst women in Africa and within the diaspora in whatever way she can.