Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) recently published the findings of an air pollution study conducted by five students of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) in its open access journal, QScience Connect, on QScience.com.

The study is part of the Student Research Mentorship Program (SRMP) in collaboration with Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC).

Education CityThe study was aimed at measuring and reporting on air pollution levels in Education City to assess the impact of air pollution on public health and well-being. The study, undertaken from March 2019 to March 2020, assessed air quality samples from two ​locations in Education City during the summer, fall and winter seasons, when the researchers developed a method for on-site calibration of air pollution sensors in real time.

The study found air pollution levels in Education City to be much lower than previously reported for other locations in Doha. Based on the results, a widely applicable calibration scheme for two air quality sensors was developed.

HBKU Press Head of Academic and Journals Publishing Dr Rima Isaifan, said that by publishing articles about topical issues without barriers to subscriptions and in open access journals like QScience Connect, local researchers are provided a global platform on which to reach international audiences, and to make available local research on global indexing services.

At HBKU Press, we aim to support local researchers that evaluate pertinent issues related to a wide variety of topics, including public health.

The findings are of interest to policymakers and public health workers in Qatar and the greater Gulf and MENA region as they seek to mitigate pollution in the naturally arid and dusty climate.

Air pollution is a universal threat to human health and well-being which makes real-time air quality monitoring of paramount importance, explains Dr Mohammad Yousef, an Associate Professor of Physics at WCM-Q and the mentor overseeing the research.

For maximum public health benefits, air pollution monitoring systems should be accurate, robust and real-time. The findings of this study can support the development of data-driven pollution management policies in the future.

The research was funded by the Student Research Mentorship Program (SRMP). With the help of accomplished and experienced mentors at WCM-Q, students formulate their research question(s), carry out the research and submit a written report.

The  authors of the study – Kevin Zhai, Mohammad Bhatti, Omar Khalil, Laila Khalil, and Moza Al Hail, are students under the six-year medical programme at WCM-Q. Together with Dr Yousef and QMIC who provided data sharing, technical support and institutional expertise, the full details of the study and results were published in an article titled, Real-time air pollution (PM2.5) measurements in Education City, Doha, Qatar: Evaluating data from two different photometric monitors.

In a joint statement, the authors said the SRMP programme is a testament to the commitment of WCM-Q to learning through experience as meaningful research is pivotal to their training as future physicians.

We also had a remarkable experience during the publishing process with HBKU Press. The peer review process was thorough, timely and very constructive. The staff were very professional and efficient throughout the publication process. It is really great that we have such an outstanding outlet for research of impact here in Qatar.

To learn more about the study and read it in full, visit the QScience Connect Journal on QScience.com. 

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