Qatar Scientific Services

Applying Medical Research to New Treatments & Procedures

Researching scientific advancements in medicine is only half the battle. We have a responsibility to implement our findings into practice and share them with other institutions across the world. Once research has reached a point where it can be safely applied to medicine, we take steps to implement it into practice. Sidra Medicine Research Branch has a dedicated Clinical Research Coordination team that oversees and supports the initiation and execution of research projects.

Laboratory Research Facilities

Sidra Medicine Research Branch has laboratory core facilities that provide scientific services and expertise to Qatar, Gulf region and the rest of the world academic and private research institutions.

Applied Genomics

Sequencing Platforms

The Sidra Medicine Research Branch offers researchers access to new methods for high throughput sequencing for a wide range of applications. The experimental workflow includes library preparation, cluster generation and sequencing.

We currently operate several different types of Illumina, PacBio, and Bionano sequencers, offering researchers access to sophisticated technology for high throughput sequencing that can be used in a wide range of applications.

The members of the sequencing platforms are postdoctoral research scientists, engineers, and technicians who are professionally trained and form a highly qualified team to accomplish the specialized scientific tasks of sequencing.

Single Cell Genomics

The Single Cell Genomics Team at SMRC is dedicated to advancing genome research of single cells. We apply Massively Parallel RNA Single-Cell Sequencing (MARSseq) to evaluate transcriptome profiles of single cells or from ultra-low input material.

To be also able to characterize the single cell genome and epigenome, we are developing new computational strategies are supported by our single cell data analysis experts with computational methods deconvolute tissue composition, determine cell type heterogeneity, identify novel cell type defining markers or track transcriptional dynamics.

We are equipped with a microfluidic device (Fluidigm C1), an automated liquid handling platform and we collaborate with our experienced FACS facility.

Proteomics and Metabolomics

The Proteomics and Metabolomics core facility uses mass spectrometry as the key technology for qualitative and quantitative protein characterization. The chemical analytics core provides customized chemical analysis, biochemical synthesis and drug screen.

Flow Cytometry and Microscopy

The deep phenotyping core has 16 color FACS analysis, cell sorting and cytokine profiling instruments.

Stem Cells Biology

The stem cell biology core provides support to develop induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and has the capacity to differentiate them into different types of adult cells.

Model Systems

The zebrafish facility provides top-quality tailor-made service for our users, combining sophisticated techniques with expert guidance and support that allow even users with no previous experience of the zebrafish system to achieve optimal results.

Zebrafish embryos are transparent and develop outside the mother’s body, which greatly facilitates manipulation and imaging of biological processes. The facility allows researchers to take advantage of these unique features, and provides initial advice on feasibility and experimental design as well as running support over the course of the project. Users can order services such as expression analysis and the establishment and evaluation of disease models/transgenic lines, thus the facility functions to considerably lower the initial resistance to move from testable biological hypotheses to experiments.

Clinical Research Services

One-third of the research conducted at Sidra Medicine Research Branch is clinical research. Clinical research is patient-oriented research, and includes mechanisms of human disease, therapeutic interventions, clinical trials, the development of new technologies as well as epidemiologic and behavioral research, outcomes research and health services research.

Clinical Research Services supports investigators, staff and trainees who conduct clinical research, and provides advice, support, materials and resources for all types of clinical research studies.

Clinical research support services include:

  • Bio-repository
  • Clinical Research Coordination
  • Experimental Therapeutics
  • Clinical Trials
  • Scientific Resources

Clinical Research Services also provides an orientation program for new clinical research staff including a training manual, and various educational and professional development opportunities. Additionally, this department works collaboratively with other Research Institutes and clinical departments and services to ensure a more integrated and efficient process for researchers conducting clinical research.

Bio-Repository

The Sidra Medicine Research Branch Bio-repository collects, quantifies and stores the DNA and RNA samples for genomic projects.

We ensure that appropriate DNA/RNA extraction procedures are followed, to determine the sample requirements for the experiments to be conducted by the Sidra Medicine Research Branch and to coordinate the sample shipment. Barcode labels and tubes are sent to the collaborators for safe tracking of samples.

At the Sidra Medicine Research Branch, samples are checked for purity and integrity before processing. The DNA QC includes detection of incidental present inhibitors by regular PCR amplification. Concentration is verified by fluorometry. RNA is subjected to rigorous quality control to monitor degradation on Bioanalyzer and quantitated by fluorometry.

Samples are stored under highly controlled conditions and, if appropriate, distributed in several aliquots to avoid thawing and refreezing.

Experimental Therapeutics

Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility

The GMP facility provides Sidra Medicine Research Branch the ability to develop and produce innovative treatments for our patients that may not find an initial investment by a major pharmaceutical company. The diverse products manufactured in the facility include novel vaccines, gene therapy products, monoclonal antibodies or recombinant proteins.

Bone marrow transplantation and cellular therapy

Another major function of GMP staff is to work closely with Sidra Medicine Research Branch employees to prepare high-quality, cell-based products for bone marrow transplantation and cellular therapy procedures.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials provide medical researchers with the opportunity to see the results of their work put into practice, and offers volunteer patients a chance to try a new form of treatment when traditional treatments have proved ineffective. Clinical trials are carefully assessed for safety before being put into practice, but there are still risks for the patient. It is ultimately up to the patient if they are comfortable with the risks of a clinical trial. However, it should be noted that there are many potential benefits to these trials, particularly for patients with conditions that are unlikely to improve with the treatment that is currently available.