Abdul-Mannaan Giles has always had a passion for the lab and wanted a degree that would make him marketable in the workforce while furthering his career in medicine and clinical research. He knew a Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) degree from Wichita State would provide him with these opportunities and more.
Originally from New York, Abdul chose Wichita State because he felt the investment made in undergraduate students through research opportunities would allow him to grow as an individual.
Abdul completed two undergraduate research projects and was selected to present at six national research conferences. He presented his first project regarding aerobic exercise in early-stage Alzheimer's patients at the Harvard University National Collegiate Research Conference and Undergraduate Research Day in Topeka.
In his second study, Abdul investigates if biomarkers in blood can be used to diagnose early-stage Alzheimer’s. Out of 400 national entries, he was selected to present this study in Washington, D.C., to members of Congress on Capitol Hill and serve as an advocate for student research. Abdul’s research poster drew the largest audience at the event and he was able to network with national university and government officials.
Abdul says completing his research projects has been very rewarding and greatly enriched his education at WSU. Through the McNair Scholars Program and the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College, he has been exposed to many unique research opportunities and traveled to multiple countries, which has broadened his perspective on life. He says he is grateful for his education because many people don't have the opportunity to pursue that dream.
He also says the relationships the College of Health Professions has built with labs, clinics and hospitals have helped identify what qualities employers are seeking in graduates and those skills are emphasized in students’ training.
“The faculty and staff here treat you like family and honestly care about students’ success,” he says. “They set students up to be top-caliber health professionals by finding the right balance between being helpful and challenging.”
Abdul has been very involved at WSU. On campus he played intramural basketball, served as director of external affairs for the college travel association and was a member of the biology club. Locally he volunteers, tutors and participates at local charities. Nationally he works for summer camps with the Muslim Scouts of America and runs an annual national basketball tournament to raise money for rural areas. He is also a member of ISTAART, an international organization that focuses on Alzheimer's cure and research. He also serves as an abstract reviewer and volunteers his time co-authoring literature review publications.
Outside of academics Abdul enjoys hiking, following politics, watching documentaries and the news, playing sports and dissecting sports statistics. He loves ice cream, cooking and making naan. He also owns a small tutoring business called Ustad On Demand, where he mentors and teaches homeschooled students kindergarten through 12th grade.
Abdul recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology and a minor in honors studies. He will be completing his bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory sciences this summer. Abdul looks forward to completing his master’s and doctorate degrees in the future. He also hopes to start a nonprofit research institute and clinic that serves the rural population and provides a platform for young students to engage in research.