Hi! I’m Heba and I’m a biochemist and part-time video game nerd. I’ve spent the last few years as a research technician studying the inflammatory effects of particulate matter, a type of air pollutant, on human lung cells.
I have always been passionate about public health and nutrition research but little did I know I would be drawn to it out of necessity. I went undiagnosed with epilepsy for the majority of my life. I come from a Lebanese culture and family that downplays neurological disorders due to the stigma surrounding them, particularly in women.
It wasn’t until my first year of college when my seizures became more frequent and intense. The neurologists I saw were only able to offer me help in the form of medication but despite that, my seizures persisted. I knew it was something I needed to deal with on my own and I fell down a research rabbit hole in search of the “cure”. Through the meticulous exploration of all the publications I could find on epilepsy, I finally realized that my seizures were driven by more than just a neurological imbalance; social environment and nutrition were also playing key roles. I had finally found a way to completely halt my seizures by altering my diet and lifestyle.
My experience with health care has forever shaped my perspective on and desire to work in the public health field. While I was still in school, I started this blog as a way to share my personal development, help inspire others, and share some science-based information on exercise and nutrition.
Nutritional and lifestyle changes have really helped me get past a lot of difficulties in my life. Although I am not completely there yet, I’m unquestionably taking the right steps to get there and you should too. Even though I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2019, I am currently taking online prerequisite courses for a Master of public health and registered dietician program I applied to. I want to pursue this program to understand the social, environmental, nutritional, and biological context of health on a professional level so I can help people in concrete ways.
Research-based science communication is highly undervalued when it comes to solving any sort of problems we face. Most doctors are quick to prescribe you medication without communicating with you all the possible ways to alleviate symptoms associated with your diagnosis. With great science communication, we can take steps in our everyday lives to better ourselves, whether that is by alleviating disease-caused symptoms through dietary and lifestyle changes or simply living a more peaceful, healthy, and happy life.