The Core Team: The People Behind PHTT


The Public Health Think Tank is led by a team of diverse students from NYU Abu Dhabi, hailing from a range of different countries and pursuing different majors:

IMG_1160 Dhanya Baby is a Biology major from Australia and India. Her passions include chocolate, brunch, and gardening. She also passionate about public health and finds organising the conference a great way to get involved with public health issues concerning the UAE. Dhanya began her involvement with the Public Health Think Tank as a volunteer, joined the core team the following year, and is excited to organize her third PHTT conference.
IMG_1265 Sjur Hamre is an Economics and Political Science major from Norway. Besides being a public policy and grammar aficionado, he enjoys running, climbing, and stand-up comedy. He thinks fondly of his high school years in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and sees Norwegian milk chocolate, Pukka tea, and excessively compounded sentences as his inescapable guilty pleasures. He believes that public health changes the world for the better, and that enabling diverse groups of students to tackle complex public health challenges produces valuable intervention insights and equips them with the skills required to successfully influence public policy later in life.
Alvaro Yañez is a Biology major specializing in Brain and Cognitive Science. He was born in Peru and lived in both Chile and Peru prior to joining NYU Abu Dhabi. Apart from the natural sciences and healthcare, he loves music, particularly playing the guitar and singing. Alvaro aspires to be a neurosurgeon in the future and serve in missions with Médecins Sans Frontières International. He first became involved in the Public Health Think Tank as a participant in 2015 and decided to join the Core Team because he believes that youth involvement in issues of public health is key to empowering citizens of the future.
JooHee Choi is an NYU Abu Dhabi student studying Biology, alongside other interests such as Film and Computer Science. She is from South Korea and has also spent parts of her childhood in the US. In her free time, she enjoys strawberry ice cream, Youtube videos, and cloud gazing. This is JooHee’s first year participating in the Public Health Think Tank, and she is excited to contribute towards making this year’s conference the best one yet.
IMG_1174 Hala Aqel is a Palestinian-American student who is pursuing a degree in Biology. Although she has lived in New Jersey in the USA for as far back as she can remember, please do not bring up the infamous TV Show “Jersey Shore” to her if you value your life. She solely devotes her free time to productive tasks such as re-watching old sci-fi films and trying to match all the socks that have had their pairs devoured by the washing machines of the universe. Through PHTT, she hopes to boost her passion for public health by exploring local issues and assembling a team of the foremost specialists and students to address the topic at hand.
Alaa Soliman is a pharmacy student at Fatima College of health sciences, from Egypt, Cairo. Aside from her great interest in biology and pathophysiology, she is also interested in historical mythologies and modern Asian culture, such as anime and Korean pop music. She sees caramel as a magical potion that will brighten gloomy days. She first became involved with PHTT as a participant last year, where she become fond of the idea, seeing it as noble steps for youth to contribute to society and change it for the better. She thinks it is amazing to be part of PHTT Core team 2016, for it offers the opportunity to meet new people and getting new valuable experiences.
Maha Abdulah was born and raised in Abu Dhabi, and is studying physiotherapy at Fatima college for health sciences. She aspires to become a pediatric physiotherapist because she loves kids (obviously), as well as running, exercising, books, food, movies, sarcasm, Italy, and her friends. She is very talkative and could start up a conversation with anyone and become friends and never know their name (sorry!) This is her first time volunteering in the Public Health Think Tank.


The PHTT 2016 core team is indebted to our advisors whose contributions make PHTT possible:

Abdishakur Abdulle, PhD serves as Associate Director of the Public Health Research Center at NYU Abu Dhabi. Dr. Abdulle is a Harvard Global Clinical Scholar in Epidemiology and Clinical Trials and earned his PhD from the University of Central Lancashire, UK. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management from Australia.
Alexandra Dimitri, PhD serves as Department Head and faculty at Fatima College of Health Sciences, where she oversees more than 30 faculty at four colleges. Dr. Dimitri previously worked as a pre-health and STEM advisor and faculty at NYU Abu Dhabi, and has advised the PHTT from the first conference in 2014.
Andrea Leinberger-Jabari, MPH serves as Assistant Director for Tobacco Research at NYU Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining NYU Abu Dhabi, she held positions at The Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Minnesota, where she has been responsible for various community engaged research activities. Ms Leinberger-Jabari has also served as the Director of US-based Health Programs for an international, community-based organization, where she was responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating community-based health promotion initiatives primarily serving immigrant and refugee families.
Victor Lindsay, MEd serves as Associate Director of Student Activities at NYU Abu Dhabi. Mr. Lindsay has extensive experience with managing student services at NYU Abu Dhabi, including in Global Education, Special Projects, and Student Activities. Prior to joining NYU Abu Dhabi, he has worked as an educator, youth outreach coordinator, and graphic designer. Mr. Lindsay holds a Master of Education from Wake Forest University and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Davidson College.