Mufadhal Al-Kuhlani came to UC Merced to help reduce the threat of harmful diseases through innovative research.
Al-Kuhlani is studying immunology within the Quantitative and Systems Biology graduate program. He's working with Professor David Ojcius to better understand chlamydia.
More than 1.2 million cases of the disease were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009. Chlamydia represents the world's leading cause of preventable blindness and is a common cause of respiratory and sexually-transmitted infections in humans.
"It touches so many lives; a lot of people get infected," Al-Kuhlani said. "It's preventable and treatable. There are many cases that shouldn't happen in the first place."