Although he was born with speech and listening difficulties and close to having surgery for a cleft palate, Aamir Hussain is now a part time lecturer in Biomedical Science and a Research Data Project Officer at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
While growing up, Aamir went through speech and listening therapy and trained himself to speak clearly and confidently.
He said: “It was very difficult communicating when I was growing up. Social situations at school and college were difficult, this equalled low confidence and self-esteem because of constantly having to repeat myself for everything I say.
“It was something that did affect me under the radar both in my younger and teenage years as it was a visual issue.“
Aamir chose DMU to study not one but two degrees. After completing an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science in 2014, he went on to study a PhD in Pharmacology, which he is due to finish this year.
He explained: “The difficulties were still there, a bit better, but once my perspective changed and I became more driven, my confidence grew, the training on learning to speak better started to pay off and things developed for the better.
“It has helped me to move forward. It’s not a huge disability but a problem from time to time. Without it I wouldn’t be able to get out of my comfort zone.”
Halfway through the second year of his degree he did one week work experience at Halfords. 18 months later he became involved in various projects, from being an ambassador for DMU Square mile and DMU Frontrunner and a volunteer for DMU Square Mile Diabetes CAM project and Ribera leukaemia campaign.
He assisted and supervised fourth year MPharm project students, was a volunteer lecturer to second year biomedical science students and received a PhD Scholarship award.
Aamir said: “My biggest weakness became my greatest strength. Public speaking became my biggest attribute.”
He gave his first lecture at the age of 19 to second year biomedical students on ‘MHC antigen recognition’.
He said: “My breakthrough moment for teaching came while I was studying in my third year of my degree. I am very proud of what I have achieved.”
He was a speaker at the National University Volunteering Conference in 2014 and a guest speaker on BBC radio Leicester. He also gave a presentation to the Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard and the Executive board at DMU.
He has also won a number of awards and honours, with the most recent being the DMU GSO research poster competition. He said: “I was awarded first prize for my poster presentation titled ‘Stop Cancer? Cut off its blood supply’ at the 2018 De Montfort University, Graduate School Research Poster Competition.”
He explained how he achieved all this: “I was determined to become the best I could be, I became relentless in my goal, I planned weeks in advance, managed my time to the minute and I became incredibly proactive.”
When Aamir lectures, he uses a model that looks at self-awareness, self-evaluation and reflection. He also gives the following advice: “We all have a potential that far exceeds what your minds can imagine. What you lack is the belief that you do and the desire to utilise it.”
Aamir is now in the process of setting up a UK national survey research project on the perception of genes vs lifestyle in disease development with his colleague Dr. Mariasole Da Boit.
Once he finishes his PhD this year, Aamir would like to set up a foundation on global preventative medicine both in the UK and internationally, to increase awareness on risk factors of non-communicable diseases.
He has received testimonials, which can be viewed on his website.
Aamir’s message to DMU students is: “A speech impairment kid 15 years later now teaches and researches at DMU, if I can do it then so can you. I was diagnosed with speech and listening difficulties but I continue to give speeches and presentations. I didn’t make excuses, I accepted I had difficulties but I didn’t let them stop me. I changed the perspective.”
Posted on Friday 12th October 2018