Jinan Oubaid
Whether you have a fascination for science and engineering, or you want to get involved in projects to give back - you need to hold onto that motivator. Never doubt yourself.
Jinan Oubaid is a senior in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering. In 2019, Jinan was named a Maryland Summer Scholar. She participated in Northwestern University’s Center for Synthetic Biology’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in summer 2018. In 2017, Jinan received the MTech ASPIRE Student Research Award.
She is also a member of the Bioengineering Honors Program, which is a research-oriented, thesis-based enrichment experience that serves to augment the curriculum by providing practical, hands-on learning opportunities. 
Growing up in Baltimore, Jinan attended Western School of Technology, a magnet school for students interested in cutting-edge technology and experiential environmental science learning. She entered the University of Maryland as a Public Health Science student in 2015. Jinan recognized her own passion for research, and sought out open laboratory positions on campus. 
The summer after her freshman year, Jinan joined Bioengineering Associate Professor Steven Jay’s Biotherapeutic Development and Delivery Laboratory.  Jinan immediately fell in love with her research and BIOE cohort. “In August, three months after I joined the Jay lab, I was trying to decide if I should switch my major to bioengineering, since I loved the research. After some hard thinking, I decided to switch my major from Public Health Sciences to Bioengineering and switched my entire schedule around for the following semester and year. I spent the next year taking the pre-requisites to internally transfer into bioengineering. Finally, my junior year, I was accepted into the major and I have enjoyed every moment of it since.” 
In Jay’s lab, Jinan also met then-graduate-student John Schardt, who further inspired her enthusiasm for the research subject matter. The pair and several other individuals co-authored two articles about the engineering and optimization of HER3-targeted multivalent affibodies to inhibit and downregulate cancer cells. 
“The biggest advice that I have for prospective BIOE students is to never give up,” Jinan says. “At the end of the day, you should remind yourself as to why you picked the major and chose to enter the bioengineering world. Whether you have a fascination for science and engineering or you want to get involved in projects to give back, you need to hold on to that motivator. Never doubt yourself.”
Outside of the classroom, the BIOE senior enjoys volunteering at the Branchville Fire Company, where she is working towards being a part of the EMS team. She is also an avid photographer. 
Jinan is a proud Muslim woman, noting “I want to be involved in representing Muslim women and demonstrate that we can do everything and anything.” Another career motivator for Jinan is her family. “My parents emigrated from Syria as teenagers. I have a lot of relatives in Syria and I have seen how the war there has really affected the people, especially people in my own family,” she says. “I would really love to do relief work, and work with refugees in particular. Refugees are people who are protecting their children and just want to live. I want to be involved in helping them as much as I can.”