Reema Moussa (BS ’23) has a track record of exceptional academic achievements and a strong commitment to leadership and service. She majored in biology with a minor in Spanish at The University of Tulsa, reflecting her passion for health care and communicating effectively with a variety of people.
Between her second and third years, Moussa took on the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge (TURC), which allows students to undertake hands-on research projects much earlier than they would at many large state schools.
Moussa began working in a chemistry/biochemistry lab with professors Angus Lamar and Robert Sheaff. “The research we were working on was taking a commonly used Alzheimer’s drug and altering it slightly to target brain cancer cells,” Moussa said.
“The best part of my undergraduate research experience was that the compounds we developed in the lab actually killed brain cancer cells at a significant rate,” she said. “That was just such an amazing experience because this could lead to medicine in the future that will target those brain cancer cells while not harming healthy human cells.”
Over the years, students have contributed greatly to cancer research, with some co-authoring publications and some winning nationally competitive awards, such as the Goldwater scholarship.
For her part, Moussa earned membership in prestigious organizations such as Phi Beta Kappa and the Mortar Board Honor Society.
Apart from her classwork, Moussa was actively involved in campus organizations where she serves as a university ambassador, a peer mentor, and president of Global Health Brigades. These roles enabled her to make a positive impact on the university community and beyond.
Her skills did not go unnoticed, as she was recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the National Gold Leadership Award, the Global Health Brigades Leadership Award, and the Outstanding Student Leader Award.
“I started out my freshman year kind of shy and then decided to jump in and get involved,” she said. “My experience at The University of Tulsa has pushed me out of my comfort zone. It turned me into a leader and has really prepared me for my future as a physician.”
And if all that wasn’t enough, Moussa was named a 2022-23 Jess Chouteau Outstanding Senior and was even crowned 2022 homecoming queen. She began medical school at the University of Oklahoma on a full-ride scholarship this fall.
“The freshman version of Reema would have never thought in a million years that she’d be homecoming queen,” she laughed. “It was just so fun to be surrounded by my friends and family and to get to celebrate with a lot of people that I really love and to get to represent a university that I love so much.”