Riam was born in Bucharest, Romania to a Romanian mother and a Lebanese father. At the age of 1, the family moved to Beirut and established their life there.
Growing up with parents who were a surgeon and a mathematician, it was no surprise that she opted for the scientific path in High School. She consistently ranked top of the class, but despite excelling at Maths and Physics, her favourite subjects were Psychology and Philosophy.
When the time came to attend University, the American University of Beirut was on the cards as it was one of the leading institutions in the region. The SAT exams were compulsory to have a place in the university. Riam scored in the top 1% in the Middle East, which made her the 1st place winner of the Merit Scholarship, allowing her to study for the degree of her choice free of charge.
Riam started as an Architecture student but soon changed to a degree in Psychology. To keep her parents from worrying about her future, she also studied for a degree in Physics/Electronics. She adored the subjects and was encouraged by her Professors to apply to graduate schools abroad. At that time, she developed a fascination with Neuroscience, as it offered a chance to understand the human mind with scientific vigour. She decided to pursue Neuroscience for her graduate degree.
Riam has always had a special place in her heart for England. She had always been fascinated with British culture, film, music, and comedy. Therefore, she was very happy when she was accepted to Oxford University to study for a Masters in Neuroscience.
Riam moved to Oxford on September 27, 2008. Towards the end of 2008, she won the Clarendon Scholarship to continue studying for a PHD in Oxford, with all expenses paid. Riam worked on a Neuroscience thesis that examined the effect of social factors on the brain.
She enjoyed her years as a student in Oxford, attending many concerts all over the country and visiting most European cities. She still went back to both Beirut and Romania every year to see her family, so there was a lot of travel involved. In the middle of her PHD, she was an intern at the Royal Society, working on a project looking at Neuroscience and Security. The internship was in London, which convinced her that she should move there at all costs after her degree.
Riam finished her PhD in less than three years, and started working at University College London in 2012. Now in 2017, she has accumulated about 5 years of work experience, at the interface of academia and industry. Throughout her career, she has worked on building links between the academic world and the world of industry. She is also actively involved in the world of entrepreneurship, having started two companies, and helping others start and accelerate their own.
She is currently a co-founder of a successful company called Crowdhelix, which she started with four colleagues. It is a platform that connects academics and companies for collaborations on innovative projects. She is also a course supervisor at Cambridge Judge Business School, and continues to be a Business Manager at University College London.
Riam currently lives in London with her husband Nathan, whom she has shown the beauties of both her homelands and cultures. She keeps strong ties to her Lebanese and Romanian families, and has a network of both Lebanese and Romanian friends in Britain.