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Sitara Brooj Akbar


Sitara Akbar is a multiple World Record Holder, Gold Medallist and Youth Ambassador currently enrolled as a graduate student at the Department of Oncology.

 As a child prodigy, she began giving speeches to large crowds and speaking on national television at 5 years. After leaving school in second grade, she was self-taught at home. She completed her IGCSEs when she was 11, becoming the youngest in the world, and completed her A levels at 13, another record. She went on to become the youngest non-native speaker to score a perfect Band 9 in her IELTS exam at 15 and the youngest Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist at 17 among other records.

She has been the recipient of many prominent awards for her achievements, including medals awarded by the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan and as well as the Parliamentary Forum on Children’s Rights. She is active in the media and writes for several international publications.

Driven by curiosity, Sitara was inspired by polymaths who pursued research and learning in multiple fields instead of a single specialisation. Beyond science, she has experience in financial crime prevention, education management, international relations and community service.

Personal Life

Sitara hails from a small town, Rabwah, in Pakistan and is the eldest of five siblings. She resides in Dubai off term with her parents, Muhammad Akbar Bhutta and Bushra Akbar along with her brother and three sisters.

Aside from academics, Sitara is an avid reader, and travel enthusiast who enjoys volunteering.  She is the Religious Equality and Diversity Officer for Reuben College and a representative to the Graduate Joint-Consultative Committee.

Research groups

Research Summary

Her research is investigating the use of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) as a non-invasive tool to study the genomic heterogeneity of cancer. The project focuses on the profiling and monitoring of Richter’s Syndrome (RS), a rare complication of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL).