Dr. Hayat Sindi


Saudi Arabia

Dr. Hayat Sindi is one of the world’s leading biotechnologists and a global champion of science and technology. She is a pioneering, inspirational female leader, working to improve the lives of people around the world, through her resolute belief in the power of science, technology and innovation to solve the greatest development challenges.

The former Senior Advisor to the President of the Islamic Development Bank for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Sindi was voted one of the BBC’s top 100 Women 2018, a list of inspiring and influential women from around the world. Her remarkable career includes co-founding and co-inventing ‘Diagnostics For All’ –a program to create affordable diagnostic devices for millions of people in impoverished regions– alongside a team from Harvard University. These innovative, inexpensive and point-of-care diagnostic devices require no power, water or trained doctors and can provide potentially life-saving medical results in minutes. In 2008, Dr. Sindi led the ‘Diagnostics For All’ business team to first place in Harvard Business School’s Business Plan Contest, in the social enterprise track, and also to first place in MIT’s $100K Entrepreneurship Competition in the same year (the first time ever that the same team won first place in both competitions in the same year).

Dr. Sindi graduated with honors from King’s College London in Pharmacology in 1995, and was the first woman from the Gulf region to obtain a PhD in biotechnology from the University of Cambridge. She was a visiting scholar at Harvard University, and her laboratory work at Harvard earned her a spot with four other scientists in a documentary film supported by the Executive Office of the President of the United States in order to promote science education among young people.

Dr. Sindi holds nine patents for a machine that combines the effects of light and ultra-sound for use in biotechnology in early detection of breast cancer. Along with her scientific activities, she participated in numerous events aimed at raising awareness of science among women, particularly in Saudi Arabia and the Muslim world.