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Interview with Biomedical Research Scientist, Tariq Muhammad

 

Photo Credit: Tariq Muhammad
 
In my interview with Tariq Muhammad, he shared with me his journey to becoming a biomedical research scientist. 

 

Nadine Muhammad: Please, would you tell our readers about yourself?

Tariq Muhammad: My name is Tariq Muhammad and I’m a professionally trained biomedical research scientist and COO of Original Man Scientific. I’m also the clinical manager for a growing nursing agency and health education company, Comer By Night Healthcare. Originally from Harlem, New York, I was born and raised in the Nation of Islam by my mother Sis. Qubilah Muhammad, with two sisters, Zakkiyyah and Nahdiyah. In fact, my grandfather, Brother George 35X, came into the Nation of Islam in Muhammad Mosque No. 7, in 1960 and Islam has been in my family ever since. When I was about 10 years old, my mother decided to take my sister and I’s education into her own hands and register herself as an independent educator with the New York Board of Education. She homeschooled us for six years. In 2009, we relocated to my grandmother’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia and became members of Muhammad Mosque No. 24.

 

Photo Credit: Tariq Muhammad

Nadine Muhammad: Would you share with us your educational journey?


Tariq Muhammad: My educational journey has been very interesting and it’s still going. Any true scientist knows that real education never ends! My experiences as a homeschooled youth really opened up how I receive the art of being educated. In my junior year of high school, I started my first medical research project involving a characteristic of heart disease, atherosclerosis. After I graduated high school in 2013 and attended Virginia State University that fall, I brought my research pursuits with me and earned a research position just 1 month into my freshman year. I then went on to receive professional training in biomedical and agricultural laboratories from Virginia State, Virginia Commonwealth, and Virginia Polytechnic Universities. But with all that professional training, I was still met with challenges of the medical research I owned. Tenured researchers were trying to pull me in different directions with my research and it wasn’t sitting right with me. In 2015, I started Original Man Scientific to help control the business activities of my research and development.

Nadine Muhammad: Would you explain to us what is a biomedical research scientist?

Tariq Muhammad: I was always taught that if you want to know the meaning of a word, you look at the prefixes and suffixes. Bio means “life”, medical means something related to medicine or a disease. A biomedical research scientist is someone who has formal education in biology and applies that knowledge towards the treatment of human diseases. Biomedical scientists must have sufficient knowledge and training on the anatomy and physiology of the human body. To paint a picture, some of us may be developing a therapy for a respiratory illness or conducting laboratory experiments on better ways to mass produce insulin for diabetic patients. The life science or healthcare laboratory is the primary place of work for biomedical scientists.

Nadine Muhammad: At what age did you know that you wanted to major in science?

Tariq Muhammad: I know I was very young. My mother often reminded me of how young I was when I said I wanted to study medicine. I was 3 years old in love with saving lives one day. I don’t remember that but she never steered me wrong! From elementary school to college, I studied all I could and didn’t let my grade level determine what I read about. I remember being 12 years old studying pathology textbooks. Couldn’t help myself.

Nadine Muhammad: What was the one experience  in your educational journey that had the most impact in your early educational career  that made you say, I would like to study science?

Tariq Muhammad: It had to be when I was challenged on the merit of my research. When I was working under a tenured scientist at Virginia State, he wanted me to redirect my work towards genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Unfortunately for many universities, especially HBCUs, government funding has a higher prevalence when a researcher pursues GMO related experiments. With researchers trying to sway me, it forced me to start studying intellectual property, which is information you bring to life that is properly protected. I also studied basic business principles so that I could implement my intellectual property towards the right industries. I thank Allah (God) for these challenges because it helped to create a brand and company that is still growing today, Original Man Scientific!

Nadine Muhammad: In your career as a biomedical research scientist, share with us your current  project ?

Tariq Muhammad: I can’t go too deep into my current projects but one involves atherosclerosis, the plaque build up in the arteries that supply blood to all parts of the body especially the heart muscle and a thyroid medication.

Nadine Muhammad: To pave the way for the next generation of scientists, what can parents do to encourage their children to study the sciences and take on  STEM careers?

Tariq Muhammad: Children are natural explorers. What exactly do they explore? They explore nature, sound, colors, objects that have structure and so much more. These things they explore are the things we study as STEM professionals. The best thing parents can do is allow their children to explore and see how far their interests take them. Once the parent notices what their child enjoys, help facilitate a more focused learning space in that area.

Nadine Muhammad: I am huge fan of The STEM Files, Please, tell us about your platform, The STEM Files and how can we subscribe?

Tariq Muhammad: Original co-hosts, myself AKA “Tariq Cardiac" and Jabril Muhammad AKA "Jabrilliant Engineer," noticed that there were no black-owned and operated platforms that told the uncompromising stories of our black professionals, moguls, students, and enthusiasts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In 2016, The STEM Files was born on Blog Talk Radio, and two years later, with over 100 episodes, we transitioned to live streamed episodes on YouTube and Facebook. It was also during this time, The STEM Files became the media arm of parent company, Original Man Scientific!In the height of the global pandemic and other scientific events around the world, The STEM Files has remained dedicated to bringing black and brown people on the platform who can speak to these events! In October of 2023, we welcomed our newest addition to our co-host crew. Dr. Joy 2X AKA “The Qi Mechanic”, has provided a much needed balance to the team and has served as a shining light for black women in science and medicine.
From episodes featuring the scientist Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered Chronic Traumatic Brain Injuries in athletes, to engineer Moses West, who created a machine that generates water from the atmosphere, we strive to live up to being the Voice of STEM Talent in Black Culture!

Tariq Muhammad: Check out our latest episodes airing LIVE on Thursdays at 6pm EST/5PM CST/3PM PST on Facebook & YouTube @thestemfiles! All new episodes return April 11th!

 Photo Credit: The STEM Files

Nadine Muhammad: Thanks for taking time out of your schedule  for this interview article.

To expose children to science, here's a few books that parents can get to add to their home library: Black Pioneers of Science and Invention,  Black Men in Science: A Black History Book for Kids (Biographies for Children),  Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids,  School Zone - Big Science Workbook - 320 Pages, Ages 7 to 9, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Weather, Seeds, Plants, Insects, Mammals, Ocean Life, Birds, and More, and Chemistry for Children: Elements of The Periodic Table