Dr Rayaz Malik of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) has been named second most influential clinical researcher in the UK, from a list of Leaders in Diabetes Complications compiled by Expertscape, the world’s leading index of academic achievement and expertise in healthcare.

Expertscape ranks the performance of researchers impartially, using a series of objective metrics to judge the number and quality of research papers and the impact factor of the journal they have published in the last ten years.

Dr Malik, a Professor of Medicine at WCM-Q, left the UK to join WCM-Q in 2014, but still holds an honourary professorship at the University of Manchester, his previous institution. Dr Malik’s success and the strong links with internationally renowned research institutions underlines WCM-Q’s now well-established capacity and reputation for conducting world-class research. In addition to his research efforts, Dr Malik is also a practicing physician at Hamad Medical Corporation.

I am really pleased to have been placed so high up this list, especially as I had no idea it was being compiled and it came as a complete surprise. It’s very gratifying to be named alongside some exceptionally talented and prolific researchers in the UK, especially as the top researcher was my mentor, Professor Andrew Boulton.’

Dr Malik has pioneered the technique of ‘Corneal Confocal Microscopy’ (CCM) over the last 15 years. CCM enables real time imaging of the corneal nerve fibres and identifies nerve damage in a growing list of peripheral and central neuro-degenerative conditions including diabetic neuropathy, hereditary neuropathies, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia and autism. The test takes a few minutes, is non-invasive, utilises existing ophthalmic equipment and can be done in the clinic. It has become a powerful imaging end-point for early diagnosis and prediction of those who will develop or progress, and it is being used in clinical trials to identify a response to treatment.

I am in the privileged position of seeing patients and being at the cutting edge of research; this allows me to harness new diagnostic techniques like CCM and genomics to move into the world of ‘personalised medicine’ to make new or different diagnoses with early treatment to dramatically improve my patients’ lives.’

Dr Khaled Machaca, Associate Dean of Research at WCM-Q, said they are immensely proud of Dr Malik. He said that it is particularly pleasing to see the efforts and commitment of Qatar Foundation, through the WCM-Q Biomedical Research Program, translating into such accolades for scientists based in the country, as it bodes well for the future of biomedical research in Qatar.

Visit qatar-weill.cornell.edu for more information about the research programmes at WCM-Q.