With a PhD in Virology and a Master’s in Bacteriology from the University of Manchester, Dr. Bandar also did another Master’s degree in Leadership and Management from the University of Salford. Dr. Bandar was keen to apply his combined learning in academia and continue his research work and he did just that upon returning to Saudi Arabia and is currently an Assistant Professor of Virology at the Faculty of Medicine, the Head of the Virology Research team and the Chairperson of Research Laboratories at King Fahad Medical City.
During his 8 years in the UK he wrote a book called ‘Deer Crossing’ (80 tales from a Saudi student in Manchester) published in Arabic in 2014. Dr. Bandar credits his time at the University of Manchester in enhancing his clinical research skills on a variety of techniques, including cell culture, viruses, molecular cloning and sequencing – most of which have translated into his work today. More recently, he has devoted his time in establishing COVIDAT, a website aimed at providing scientific information on Covid-19 in Arabic. He saw a need, at the start of the pandemic, to translate medical research developments to the everyday Arabic reader in a simplified and digestible way to avoid misinformation and misconceptions about the virus. Dr. Bandar believes in the power of social media for good, sharing his knowledge through multiple TV appearances, blog posts and newspaper articles to reach a wider audience.
In addition to his online presence, Dr. Bandar is also actively participating in research of respiratory viruses including MERS and COVID coronaviruses across the Kingdom and is the national Lead PI for the phase III clinical trial of the CanSinoBIO vaccine in Saudi Arabia. He is committed to advancing his research and staying up to date on latest scientific findings by reviewing for medical journals from time to time.