PhD Class of 2015
Hello, I am Aubrie O’Rourke and I am originally from the central valley of California. When I was little, my father used to drive me to the Monterey Bay Aquarium every month. Since then, I have been fascinated by the life in the underwater world. It is the final frontier; outer space on earth. I came to Saudi Arabia in order to pursue a dream. That dream is to gain the knowledge and skills to be able to cure disease. I marine natural product drug discovery, it is race against the clock, as reefs may not always be around. In this reality, we not only lose a natural wonder but also undiscovered potential. It is a catch 22, if growing world population was a factor in spoiling these ecosystems then would this work not just continue the cycle? No way, giving a second chance at life to any person not only changes their world but has the potential to propagate a butterfly effect on the entire world. Science can be reduced down to molecules and particles but in the end it is about life because life is amazing.
Aubrie graduated on the 14th of Arpril 2015. Her dissertation topic was 'Bioprospecting Red Sea Sponges for Antiviral Pharmacophores. Identified known compounds for their ability to inhibit various stages of HIV-1 replication as well as the NS3 protease of the West Nile Virus by bioassay-guided fractionation.'