Ten ambitious college students interested in research gained a solid foundation in hands-on laboratory skills, thanks to a new training programme launched by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).

The students spent a week working in the state-of-the-art laboratories of WCM-Q, learning key practical skills from the college’s world-class biomedical research faculty under the Young Scientist Journey to Research programme.

The programme, which is open to Qatari nationals and long-term residents aged 18 years and older who are college students, is comprised of four training workshops covering essential laboratory techniques in biomedical research. These workshops include:

  • Principles of cell culture
  • Protein extraction, separation and detection using the Western blot method
  • Fluorescence imaging and confocal microscopy
  • Basics of cloning and bacterial transformation

In addition, the participants also learned lab safety protocols and the chance to conduct scientific experiments under the supervision of WCM-Q lab staff, gaining experience in research data analysis using special formulas and programmes.

Training early for research

The students trained in the laboratories of Professor of Physiology Dr Khaled Machaca and Professor of Physiology and Biophysics Dr Dietrich Büsselberg. The programme was the brainchild of Dr Laith Abu Raddad, associate dean for extramural research funding to support the training of Qatari nationals and residents in research early in their scientific career. The programme was developed and implemented through the efforts of a committee led by Assistant Professor of Research in Physiology and Biophysics.Dr Raphael Courjaret.

According to Dr Machaca, the programme gives ambitious young students direct, hands-on experience of life in a working biomedical research laboratory. He said that the students who have just completed the inaugural cycle of the programme did exceptionally well, rising to each challenge and learning a great deal of practical knowledge and skills, as well as discovering an entry point that could eventually lead to a rewarding career in biomedical research.

He added that in this way, the programme furthers the mission of WCM-Q to build research capacity in Qatar in line with the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030 to build a vibrant R&D sector in the country.

For more information about the programme, visit qatar-weill.cornell.edu

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