Saba N.
Dreamer Stories • Texas

Saba N.

A PhD candidate uses math to understand disease.

We still don’t know a lot about cancer. We still don’t know about genetic diseases. My research at Texas Tech goes right into the heart of that.

It uses pure mathematics to look into why all these genetic diseases exist and how they exist, so someday we can come up with cures for them. We’re far from that point, but this is the challenge I work on.

In addition to conducting research at Texas Tech, I’ve taught undergraduate students as a teaching assistant. This past semester, I got to teach anatomy and one of my students was blind and had a service dog. It was a blessing, a great experience to teach her anatomy– something that she got to touch and feel to learn. It taught me a lot of patience. It taught me what it’s like to work alongside my American students and peers. I’m just as much a part of their lives as they are mine.

If DACA is repealed, I would be out of a job immediately and I won’t be able to teach my students. I won’t be able to continue conducting the research that I’m conducting right now. This research could help scientists understand diseases like cancer and lead down a path towards a cure. Without DACA, I can’t continue this critical work.

My name is Saba, and I was born in Pakistan. I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. I’m doing my PhD at Texas Tech University. I came to the U.S. when I was 11 and now I’m 24. At this point, I’ve been here for about half my life.