A student at the College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) received recognition from the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSSCR) for her outstanding research on diabetes.

Bushra Memon, currently pursuing her PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, was honoured with the ISSCR Abstract Merit Award during the 2019 ISSCR Conference in Los Angeles, USA. Her research examines how human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived pancreatic beta cell progenitors present a promising alternative to traditional means of treatment for diabetes.

The research was conducted under the guidance of Dr Essam M Abdelalim, assistant professor at CHLS and a scientist at the Diabetes Research Center at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) – part of HBKU. Through her research, the HBKU student discovered that these novel hPSC-derived  beta cell precursors can be used as a promising alternative source of insulin-secreting cells for cell therapy for diabetes and studying human pancreatic beta cell development.

Memon said she is grateful to Dr Abdelalim for his guidance and support as her adviser, for his expertise and for ensuring her access to a state-of-the-art laboratory.

CHLS delivers graduate programmes in biomedical and biological sciences, and in genomics and precision medicine, enriching students with knowledge and hands-on experience in basic, clinical and translational research approaches.

According to Dr Abdelalim Diabetes is a prevalent illness in the region and a key medical challenge for Qatar.

Through our research, we are committed to promoting a deeper understanding of the illness so that we may be better equipped to formulate advanced means of diagnosis and treatment. It is a proud moment for all of us, to have the work of one of our students recognised and honoured on a global stage.’

CHLS Founding Dean Dr Edward Stuenkel said they are dedicated to offering students an integrated learning experience where theoretical course work is complemented by hands-on research.

Our strong emphasis on research ensures that our students graduate with the right tools to address the most pressing challenges in Qatar and further afield.’

CHLS offers five graduate programmes: Master of Science in Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Master of Science in Genomics and Precision Medicine; Master of Science in Exercise Science; PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences; and PhD in Genomics and Precision Medicine. For more information, visit hbku.edu.qa.