Michigan geneticist 1st Rhodes Scholar from Saudi Arabia

December 22, 2018 GMT

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A University of Michigan scientist is the first Saudi Arabian Rhodes Scholar.

Majd Abdulghani is among 100 scholars from across the globe expected to join University of Oxford in the fall. The Rhodes Trust said this week it’s the most geographically diverse class in its 116-year history.

Abdulghani, a geneticist at the Ann Arbor school’s Life Sciences Institute, gained global notice as a teenager in Riyadh, where she recorded a podcast called “Majd’s Diary: Two Years in the Life of a Saudi Girl.”


Listeners included institute professor Vivian Cheung, who offered Abdulghani a job after earning her master’s degree from Iowa State University.

Abdulghani hopes to launch a research lab in Saudi Arabia after doctoral work at Oxford. She aims to mentor women and boost their ranks among Saudi researchers.