News Items from UNC Greensboro

Photo of Faris Almubaslat and Dr. Bruce Kirchoff looking at a slide in the lab.

The best word to describe UNCG’s Faris Almubaslat? Focused.

Since high school, Almubaslat has been acutely focused on pursuing a career in medicine. And now, with less than one week until graduation, the biochemistry major is closer than ever to achieving his dream.

“I’ve always been fascinated by medicine – it’s my passion,” he said. “I had kidney surgery when I was younger, so that opened my eyes to the hospital setting and everything that doctors do.”

For Almubaslat, hands-on experience in a lab has been a critical step in his journey to a career in medicine. This semester, he has worked alongside Dr. Bruce Kirchoff on systematic and developmental plant morphology – an undergraduate research experience that has allowed him to dive deeper into his coursework and learn from a seasoned biologist.

Almubaslat has been part of a team that is exploring ways to improve how researchers analyze plants. He explains that when you look at a plant under a microscope, the slides are more clear if the plants are thinly cut. However, when researchers cut a plant into thinner sections, it has a greater chance of breaking apart.

“Our team has explored a variety of new methods to help keep the plants intact,” he said. “As Dr. Kirchoff tells us, ‘It wouldn’t be called research if we knew what we were doing.’”

Outside of the lab, you can find Almubaslat volunteering with the Muslim Student Association on campus. Almubaslat serves as the volunteer coordinator, a position that he proposed to the organization’s board after his sophomore year.

“I thought that showing our faces and getting involved in the community would be a great way to combat Islamophobia,” he said. “We want people to know who we are as individuals, rather than make assumptions based on what they may hear on the news or read on the internet.”

As a member of the UNCG Lloyd International Honors College, Almubaslat completed his study abroad requirement in the spring of his sophomore year in Copenhagen, Denmark. During his time there, he took a break from science and instead chose courses particular to the setting, such as Nordic Mythology.

Experiences like volunteering in the community and traveling throughout Europe have not only helped Almubaslat grow personally, but they’ve also helped him to become more empathetic and develop the communication skills needed to interact with patients from a variety of backgrounds in the future.

So what’s next? Almubaslat is focused on studying for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and finding a job in a research lab.

“My ultimate goal and inspiration is to help those who are in need,” he said. “Surgery is an interest of mine, but those who know me best say I would make a great physician. I’m excited to explore different areas of medicine.”


Are you or is someone you know graduating this month? Help us celebrate the special day on social media by:

  • Participating in our social video contest (graduates only).
  • Posting graduation photos, videos and well-wishes using #uncggrad.
  • Following @uncg or #uncggrad for tweets during the Commencement ceremony on Dec. 15.
  • Using our special Snapchat filters on the day of the event. 


Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications

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