Pre-Med Student Spotlight: Ayah Ahmed | College of Science
March 6, 2024

Pre-Med Student Spotlight: Ayah Ahmed

Meet Ayah Ahmed, a UNT pre-med undergrad studying under the mentorship of biological sciences assistant professor Dr. Patrick Horn. Her research aims to investigate the effects of overexpression in select genes from cotton to produce cyclic fatty acids (CFAs) in tobacco plants. She hopes this research will ultimately contribute to a deeper understanding of metabolic pathways in these plants.

"I have always had an interest in research and wanted to be involved any way I could," said Ayah. "I took biochemistry under Dr. Horn and enjoyed the topics in class and learning about his research, so I reached out to be a part of his research lab."

Ayah is a participant in the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP), a Texas state-wide initiative that helps socioeconomically disadvantaged pre-med students on their path to becoming physicians. As part of the program, Ayah has completed internships at two different medical schools, where she shadowed physicians, attended classes, and prepared for the MCAT.

"Through JAMP, I've been able to join a community of students, both within and beyond my school, who all share the same career path. Together, we support and assist each other and have formed lasting friendships," she said. "These experiences have been instrumental in my personal and professional growth."

Ayah said that Todd Lang, Assistant Dean of Health Professions in the UNT College of Science, has been instrumental in his mentorship and career guidance.

"It has been an absolute joy and pleasure to serve Ayah over the past couple of years," said Todd. "She is an incredibly bright and driven young lady with a promising future ahead of her."

"Todd is an amazing mentor and has helped me on my pre-med journey since my first few years at UNT," Ayah said. "He has helped guide me through class choices, JAMP applications, medical school applications and interviews, personal statements, and so much more. I am grateful for his help and guidance."

Ayah hopes to present her research at Scholar's Day this spring and plans to graduate in May. Post-graduation, she looks forward to traveling over the summer before starting med school at UT Southwestern Medical in the fall.

"I hope to take what I learn from my current research, whether its scientific knowledge or methods, and apply it to the research I hope to pursue in medical school," she said.

Ayah is a President's List student and the STEM chair for the UNT Honors College Programming Council, a student-led group that creates opportunities for other students to engage with the Honors College community outside of the classroom.

When asked what advice she would give to new students interested in pursuing a similar path, she said, "Just go for it. Reach out to all the professors conducting research that interests you and ask to be a part of it. Learn from your mistakes, it's okay to mess up but be willing to grow from it. Don't be afraid to ask questions; everyone was in your shoes once!"