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Advance research strategies highlighted at conference

Qatar Business

A health panel session highlighting the progress that has been made towards advancing Qatar’s cancer and diabetes strategies took place as part of the recent Qatar Foundation Research and Development’s (QF R&D) Annual Research Conference 2016 (ARC’16).

The session, titled ‘Biomedical and Health Research in Qatar: Transforming Challenges into Competitive Advantages and Economic Opportunities’, dealt with two of the nation’s Research Grand Challenges pillars in the Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS), said a statement.

A key topic of discussion during the session was the prevalence of diabetes in Qatar and effective strategies that can be employed to reduce the number of people suffering from the illness, it added.

The session highlighted the major achievements made by the National Center for Cancer Care and Research at Hamad Medical Corporation, which contribute towards advancing Qatar as a regional leader in cancer research and care.  

Additionally, the session closed with two presentations on the progress that has been made on the implementation of the Qatar Genome Project (QGP), which was announced by HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) at the World Innovation Summit on Health (WISH) in 2013. The project is currently being spearheaded by Qatar Biobank and Sidra Medical and Research Center.

The session was organised, chaired and moderated by Dr Hilal Lashuel, from Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) who emphasised in his opening remarks the critical importance of continuing to invest in basic and translational research for the national economy and for improving the quality of life and healthcare in Qatar.

The session and panel discussion brought to light the economic implications that accompany dependency on assistance from the outside world. It highlighted the great investment opportunities and economic returns from investing in research that could yield innovative strategies and technologies for early detection and prevention of diseases such as diabetes and cancer.  

The speakers and panellists provided clear examples that illustrate how current investment in research is already impacting the quality of healthcare in the country. They also discussed the potential of more investment in research and how it could position Qatar as a leader in the region, thereby fuelling future innovations and economic opportunities.

They included scientists and industry experts that are playing an instrumental role in the implementation of the national health strategies and the Qatar Genome Programme. They include Dr Hadi Abderrahim, Qatar Biobank; Dr Francesco Marincola, Sidra Medical and Research Center; Dr Alexander Knuth, National Center for Cancer Care and Research; Dr Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, Hamad Medical Corporation and Qatar Metabolic Institute;  and Dr Erik Stenehjem, Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, QF R&D.

Dr Lashuel said: “Investment in research and development today is essential for ensuring economic prosperity and health security tomorrow. It is not an option, not a luxury, but is a must to fulfill Qatar National Vision 2030 and Qatar’s National Health Strategy.” – TradeArabia News Service

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