Sidra Medicine Awarded Eleven Grants by Qatar National Research Fund

QF Entity on continued path to supporting Qatar’s Precision Medicine Program Strategy

15 June 2020, Doha, Qatar – Sidra Medicine, a member of Qatar Foundation, has been awarded eleven grants valued at approximately QR 10.4 million from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF).

The grants will support both Sidra Medicine’s as well as Qatar’s national precision medicine program; enabling personalized clinical care for patients in Qatar and beyond.

Commenting on the grants, Dr. Khalid Fakhro, Acting Chief Research Officer, Sidra Medicine said: “Over the past four years, Sidra Medicine’s research department has been awarded over 35 grants from the Qatar National Research Fund. This is testament to the foundational role Sidra Medicine is playing in expanding Qatar’s research capacity and knowledge base. Many of our grants are tied to addressing a real clinical or research challenges that can positively impact patient outcomes.”

The grants are under four QNRF streams: the National Priorities Research Program Cycle 12; Path Towards Precision Medicine Cycle 3; Conference and Workshop Sponsorship Program Cycle 17 and the Researchers Exchange and Mobility Program.

Key projects awarded include biomedical and health programs that will allow clinicians to select suitable treatments for specific infectious diseases; how stem cells can be used as a therapeutic tool for type 1 diabetes as well as a precision medicine approach to prevent diabetic complications in affected Qatari individuals. Grants were also awarded to projects that will map the genetic causes of infertility and genome editing for cell-based cancer immunotherapy.

For details about Sidra Medicine’s research agenda, please visit: www.sidra.org/research.

Read the Arabic press release here.

ENDS

About the Qatar National Research Fund grants received by Sidra Medicine:

Under the National Priorities Research Program cycle 12 (NPRP-12), three grants covering the Biomedical and Health Pillar were awarded to Sidra Medicine:

  • Implementation of clinical metagenomics-based diagnostics for infectious diseases` which serves to identify hospital pathogens that cannot be identified through existing methods, and allows clinicians to select suitable antimicrobial treatments to the specific pathogen – led by Dr. Mohammad Rubayet Hasan (Pathology Sciences Unit).
  • Mesenchymal Stromal Cells for Type 1 Diabetes: in vitro studies, characterization and biobanking for clinical use ` focuses on how stem cells can be used as a therapeutic tool for type 1 diabetes – led by Dr. Chiara Cugno (Advanced Cell Therapy Core).
  • `From molecular etiology to improved reproductive health for male infertility in Qatar (The FERTILITY-IQ study)` focuses on mapping the genetic causes of infertility in Qatar and searching for personalized treatment – led by Dr. Khalid Fakhro (Human Genetics).

The Path towards Precision Medicine (PPM) by QNRF supports research for disease treatment and prevention utilizing the genomic samples and data collected by the Qatar BioBank and the Qatar Genome Program. In its third cycle, Sidra Medicine was awarded two projects:

  • `Qatar Genome Polygenic Risk Score: A Precision Medicine Approach to Prevent Diabetic Complications in the Affected Qatari Individuals` aims to create predictive models to prevent type 2 diabetes complications such as renal and cardiovascular diseases – led by Dr Ammira Akil (Human Genetics – Precision Medicine Program).
  • `HLA transcriptomics` will help advance knowledge on the complex expression of Human Leucocyte Antigen and its advance risk associations – led by Dr Abeer Fadda (Systems Biology & Immunology Division).

Sidra Medicine has two symposiums under the Conference and Workshop Sponsorship Program as it supports projects that foster collaboration between researchers in Qatar and the global research community:

  • `Maternal & Child Health Symposium 2020` held from 7th-9th March focused on the most recent developments, innovations and challenges faced in the field of Maternal and Child Health – led by Dr. Souhaila Al Khodor (Maternal & Child Health).
  • `Advances in Flow Cytometry` will fund a state-of-the-art workshop designed to provide training to local stakeholders in the best global practices in flow cytometry The Precision Medicine Symposium in December 2020 – led by Dr Jean-Charles Grivel (Deep Phenotyping Core).

The Researchers Exchange and Mobility Program (REMP) supports graduate students and employees in gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to build research collaborations to spur strong economic growth. REMP also focuses on encouraging graduate students to tackle and overcome the global challenges confronting the sciences. The awarded projects:

  • Calorie sensing by neuropod cells in the gut and organoids – Led by Miss Reem Hasnah.
  • Genome editing for cell-based cancer immunotherapy – Led by Miss Asma Alsulaiti
  • Antigen-specific antibody-based immunotherapy of solid tumors – Led by Miss Moza Alkhulaifi
  • The study of ancient biological materials with special focus on ancient DNA – led by Muna Al Hashmi