Episode Seven: Nuclear Physics, Nueroscience, and Chisme

Sameera Moussa was an early 20th century Egyptian nuclear physicist who held a doctorate in atomic radiation. She was the first woman at her Univeristy to earn a PhD in her field, and the first woman to hold a university post in any field there. Her research, among other things, worked to use nuclear technology for medical purposes, she saw it as a way to make medical care affordable to all. Sameera was a prominent figure not only at her university, but in her country and at an international level. In the mid 50s, she was invited to travel to the US, and it was then, at the age of 32, that her life was cut short in a mysterious car accident.

Sound like drama? It totally is.

Here to chismear with us, and also to be inspirational and badass is our guest, Malak El-Quessney! Malak is a nueroscience PhD at UC Berkerly. She works at the Helen Wills Nueroscience Institute, where she studies the development of direction selective circuits in the retina (what does that even mean? We’ll ask HER to explain it).  

Show Notes, References, and Further Reading

Malak El-Quessny


Feller Lab at Berkerly. 2017.

Neuroscientist Portrait Project: Malak El-Quessny. Pg. 28 - 33. 2016. Two Photon: Art & Science.

Sameera Moussa

Today in History: Sameera Moussa. 2017. Physics Today.

Sameera Moussa: Dedicated her life to making nuclear technology accessible for medical use. 2014. Ignite: Women Fueling Science and Technology.

Was the Egyptian Pioneer of Atomic Science Murdered? 2013. Thaqafa Magazine.

"Raqia Ibrahim: Egyptian Jewish Actress Recruited by Israel to Prevent Egypt Owning Nuclear Bomb" 2014. Egypt Independent.

Physics and Medicine

Physics and Medicine: A Historical Perspective. 2012. Dr. Stephen F. Keevil. The Lancet; Volume 379, Isue 9825.

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