Volume 20 | issue nº 1 Spring 2018

A Humanitarian and Doctor in the Making

By Naseem Ferdowsi

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Ghazi Bou Ghanem wants to give back

First-year medical student Ghazi Bou Ghanem has no doubt that studying medicine will lead him to the life he wants, built around constantly expanding his knowledge and giving back to the community. 

“Medicine necessitates a balance between a scientific mind and a humane soul,” he explains. “The former can be inspired and challenged to learn, improve and excel in this field of ever-expanding medical knowledge, but the latter will mature with the unique experience of serving humanity for a better world.”

While Bou Ghanem has yet to gain all the unique experiences that will allow him to best serve society, he is well on his way to nurturing his scientific mind.

“LAU equips us with the tools to achieve our goals. In five years, I will be doing my residency. In 10 years, I will be practicing my career as a physician, serving humanity and science. Ultimately, my education at LAU will let me fulfill my aspiration as a physician at every level, including being up-to-date with the latest medical research.”

One of Bou Ghanem’s interests is research on cancer chemoprevention, which he has been pursuing for several years in parallel with a team of student researchers led by Associate Professor of Biology Sandra Rizk. “We are investigating the anti-cancerous effect of nettle plant aqueous extract on colon cancer cell lines, as well as studying the anti-cancerous effect of flax-derived compounds on leukemia,” he explains.

Indeed, the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine’s rigorous and comprehensive program is ensuring that Bou Ghanem will be equipped with what he needs to reach his ambitious goals. However, Bou Ghanem stresses the other important benefits of an LAU education that include all majors and programs.  

“LAU nourishes our minds and builds our characters, cultivating in us our talents and skills so we give back to our community in an exceptional manner,” says Bou Ghanem, who graduated with a BS in Biology in 2017 with high distinction. Not only was he selected as valedictorian, but he also received the prestigious LAU President’s Award for his achievements.

His yearning to gain experience that will help him best serve the community has led him to contribute to various on- and off-campus extracurriculars. He is an active volunteer with LAU’s Medical Student Association, offering his time to three committees, as well as taking a leadership position in several local NGOs, such as the Lebanese State Alumni Community Mount Lebanon II Chapter, where he serves as secretary. 

Bou Ghanem’s educational success and active community engagement largely stem from LAU’s emphasis on shaping inquisitive, civically minded leaders. He considers himself fortunate, but also recognizes the role played by scholarships and financial aid, which allowed him to study at LAU. “Without scholarship aid at LAU, I would have had to seek knowledge at another university.”

Bou Ghanem is one of thousands of students who receive merit and/or need-based financial support from LAU. The university strives to ensure that all academically deserving students have a chance to pursue their education here and continues to raise funds for scholarships so that more students like Bou Ghanem can achieve their long-term goals.