The multitude of opportunities for alumni of Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q) to engage in biomedical research were outlined by some of the country’s leading researchers at a recent symposium.

Graduates of the college, many of whom are working as doctors at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Sidra Medicine, were invited to the WCM-Q 1st Research Opportunities Symposium to learn more about the ways they could become physician scientists – doctors who practice medicine but also undertake research to increase the canon of medical knowledge, allowing them to work on areas of special interest and, if their work is significant, to gain international reputation and enhance their careers.

Dr Robert Crone, Vice Dean for Clinical and Faculty Affairs and Professor of Clinical Paediatrics at WCM-Q, said that their message to WCM-Q alumni is simple: take advantage of these unique circumstances and engage in research that will further their own career and – most importantly – help improve the health of patients in Qatar and the wider world.

Dr Ibrahim Janahi, the Executive Director of Medical Research at HMC said research is one of the three pillars of HMC – along with healthcare and education. He underlined the importance of research in driving change in clinical practices and improving outcomes for patients. He stressed the support that HMC offers physician doctors, both financially and logistically, to ensure their research is valid and meets the highest of international requirements.

Dr Khaled Machaca, Associate Dean for Research at WCM-Q, discussed the development of the university’s research programme and the infrastructure that the college has at its disposal. He mentioned the impact of WCM-Q research – almost 16,000 citations in scholarly works since the launch of its biomedical research programme in 2009, placing Qatar firmly on the scientific world map.

Thanks to the importance that Qatar’s leadership places on research and its investment – through Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) – Qatar has become a regional scientific hub, and attracts collaborations with highly prestigious institutions and established research programmes across the world.’

The criteria required for QNRF funding formed the basis of Dr Laith Abu-Raddad’s presentation. He gave an overview of the QNRF funding programmes and outlined the focus of its National Priorities Research Programme.

Dr Sara Al Khawaga, one of the alumni who attended the symposium, and who now works at Sidra Medicine’s Clinical Research Centre, said it was very helpful to re-connect with Weill Cornell’s scientific community. She is currently doing research on neonatal diabetes, familial and rare forms of diabetes in children, with reference to molecular mechanisms.

For more information about about the recent symposium, visit the WCM-Q website.