Researchers share results of their Qatar National Research Fund projects

April 2, 2014 10:47 am

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) hosted the second in the series of Qatar Foundation Research & Development (QF R&D) seminars in which key findings were revealed into different health-related projects.

The Research Outcome Seminars (ROS) are designed to give researchers a public platform to shed light on the results of QNRF funded cutting-edge research.

Focussing on biomedical and health research, four researchers on Monday gave their in-depth findings on pressing topics in the field that could ultimately benefit the general population in Qatar as well as have an impact globally.

Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director at QNRF, sharing his thoughts on the event, said: “QNRF is constantly working to raise awareness about its funded research projects and demonstrate to the public how their findings will benefit both local and international communities. For this purpose, the presentations, although technical in content, were structured to be more easily absorbed by non-scientists and to stimulate further interest in the chosen topics.”

QNRF, now in its second phase of development since its inception in 2006, aims to focus on the outcome and impact of its funded research projects by accelerating the dissemination of research results through outreach initiatives.

The Program Manager for Biomedical and Health Sciences at QNRF, Dr Thenaa K. Said commented that biomedical and health research is a very important element in fostering a research culture in Qatar. “The projects presented today highlight Qatar’s potential to produce cutting edge and serious research in the biomedical and health field. Not only is the research QNRF is supporting relevant to the needs of Qatar, but the results will contribute to knowledge globally,” she said. Dr Suhaila Ghuloum, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at Rumaillah Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, and Assistant Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, presented her study into determining the prevalence of major mental health disorders among the Qatari population between the age of 18 and 65. The research has contributed to the development of Qatar National Mental Health Strategy and is guiding implementation plans.

Dr Laith Abu-Raddad, Associate Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, presented his work on HIV. His study examined why those infected with HIV and another infection, such as malaria, have a higher concentration of the HIV virus and are therefore able to more easily pass the sickness to other individuals, increasing the risk of epidemics in regions such as in sub-Saharan Africa, where contagious diseases other than HIV are most commonly found.

Associate Professor of Human Physiology, Pathophysiology and Endocrinology from the College of Arts and Sciences in Qatar University, Dr Nasser Mostafa Rizk, presented the results of his team’s research that had found a better way to predict the course of diabetes by comparing metabolites, the products of metabolism, of diabetic versus non-diabetic patients. Dr Rizk explained that, as more knowledge is gained, the findings can be taken to a medicinal chemist who can then help target pathways and develop better interventions.

Dr Abdallah- Al Nasser, Head and Senior Consultant of Paediatric Haematology/Oncology Department at Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, spoke about the study conducted by The Middle East Childhood Cancer Alliance. His team used childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia as a model to uncover the biology of childhood cancer and also looked at the resources available in Middle Eastern and neighbouring countries.

The first seminar held in the ROS series was conducted in December 2013 and featured projects in the disciplines of energy and environment.

QNRF is a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and a centre within Qatar Foundation Research and Development. Visit the QNRF website to learn more about QNRF research.

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