Wadah Malaeb has spent many years trying to turn his dream into reality, and on Friday night – after winning the top prize in Season 12 of Stars of Science – he has proven that nothing can stand in the way of ambition and determination, even when faced with unprecedented challenges.

The 26-year-old Lebanese engineer claimed the title of top Arab innovator on the edutainment TV show at Qatar Foundation, after winning over the jury members and viewers and receiving 54.8% of the vote with his innovation, Ductal Organoid-on-a-Chip.

Wadah, who is in Baissour and learned about his win via a virtual ceremony, was delighted and thanked everyone who believed in his project and voted for him.

Stars of Science provided me with the platform to succeed and helped me turn my idea into a tangible model – from the experts who provided critical feedback, to the equipment and supplies that allowed me to build the prototype. Three months on Stars of Science is the equivalent to working three years outside in the real world.

He said that he will continue developing the product, establish an industrial pipeline, and work with research institutions to test and perfect the innovation.

Challenging Season 

Stars of Science winner with family
Stars of Science winner Wadah Malaeb with his family

In a season filled with challenges brought on by the pandemic, Wadah explained that when he applied for Season 12, coronavirus was primarily in China, and that he did not think that it would reach the Arab world – or spread across the globe in a short space of time.

Learning to adapt to change was one of the many skills Wadah learned during his time on the show. He said that he was presented with challenges, as many institutions and research centres – on which his project was dependent on – closed their doors.

Ultimately, Qatar Foundation and Stars of Science provided the necessary support to us – the contestants – to present our ideas and develop them, and because of this we were able to complete what we started, and this is an achievement in itself.

Wadah attributes his success to his family. Wadah’s mother Hilana could not hide her joy at her son’s win. The greatest joy for any mother is to see her child succeed, Hilana said, adding that her feelings for his son’s winning is indescribable.

Wadah’s brother Wiam was also very happy,  and said he was delighted to see his brother achieve his goals and reap the fruits of years of hard work.

If you think you have what it takes to be a ‘Star of Science’ like Wadah, application for Season 13 is now open. Visit starsofscience.com for more details.