Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, to engineers of Palestinian and Jordanian descent, Omar grew up with strong commitments to science, engineering, and Islam. In high school he won a regional Intel Science and Engineering Fair and 4th place at the international level.
Omar went on to MIT where he was a Henry Ford and a Goldwater Scholar. He earned a perfect 5.0 GPA as a mechanical and bio-engineering major, was editor-in-chief of the MIT Undergraduate Research Journal and co-president of the MIT Bioengineering Society.
Following his freshman year at MIT, Omar worked with an NIH research team on the design of a vaccine based on engineered nanoparticles. In subsequent nanoparticle research he helped design sensitive tests for cancer and liver fibrosis, which led to co-authorship of a paper in Nature Biotechnology and presentations at scientific conferences.
Omar was extensively involved in the development of TIMtalks, a forum for MIT undergraduates that addresses personal setbacks. He also worked at Flagship Ventures on developing an early stage company leveraging the human microbiome for new therapies.
Omar is a candidate for MD and Ph.D. degrees in the Harvard/MIT MD/PhD program. His research focuses on cell signaling network models that will yield new biological insights and better therapies.