Qatari CMU-Q alumni are making an impact in medical investigation
Doha, Qatar, September 26, 2018: Graduates of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) showcased their work at the Conference series on Understanding molecular mechanisms in cardiovascular biology, Diabetes, Obesity and Stroke (CUDOS 2018), organized by Sidra Medicine. The conference, which featured leading diabetes specialists from around the world, explored current research innovation, health care challenges and treatment options for mothers and children with type 1 diabetes.
The theme of the CUDOS 2018 conference was “Childhood Diabetes: From Novel Discoveries to Clinical Practice,' and served as an informational touchstone for health care professionals, doctors and experts. The conference also featured the work of Qatari researchers in the 'Young Qatari Council Investigators in the Medical Sciences' track. Five of those researchers are graduates of CMU-Q who are now working in various departments at Sidra.
Mohammed Janahi, a graduate from the Computer Science Program, spoke of his undergraduate experience: 'I was always interested in biology, and found that CMU-Q equips students with the confidence, skills and ability to find solutions. This allowed me to find success in my studies and to enter the field of computational biology.' After graduation, Janahi completed his master’s degree in computational biology at Cardiff University, and now works at Sidra Medicine. His presentation at the conference focused on creating a graph-based pan-genome to help identify genetic patterns.
'CMU-Q has prepared me in the best way for working at Sidra Medicine,' said Reem Hasnah, a graduate from the Biological Sciences Program. “I was presented with several concepts that were very important in addressing the areas of medicine I wished to work on. Classes and extracurricular activities also contributed to the development of my skills and abilities.”
At CUDOS 2018, Hasnah spoke about a case of childhood obesity that has a monogenic cause and how translational medicine can help. Her work at Sidra Medicine is focused on understanding the genetic causes of childhood hereditary obesity.
Alya Al-Kurbi, also a Biological Sciences graduate, is currently focused on diabetes-related projects at Sidra Medicine, in addition to drawing and designing scientific images for different publications. She remarked that 'The CMU-Q Biological Sciences Program has added much to my career, helping me use real biological techniques to find solutions. During my last year of study, I received an internship to do research at the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, where I worked extensively on research for diabetes.”
Al-Kurbi presented on whole genome sequencing of families with rare Mendelian diseases in Qatar, which seeks to discover and build on the genetic mutations that cause rare diseases to promote clinical practices and find effective remedies.
Biological Sciences graduate Asma Al-Naama noted: “CMU-Q opened many doors for me, and my education really helped me in my current job in the Sidra lab, since I mastered so many lab techniques at CMU-Q.”
Al-Naama’s talk at CUDOS 2018 centered on the genetic basis of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, which is caused by problems with the hypothalamus affecting the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis.
Omair Al Nuaimi, who is now a graduate associate in the immunology, inflammation and metabolism research branch at Sidra, also spoke at the conference on research methods to study the human gut microbiome profile.
CMU-Q offers programs in biological sciences, business administration, computational biology, computer science and information systems that support Qatar's long-term development and growth.