Posted on November 29, 2019

While Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) was an eager contributor to Sidra Medicine’s CUDOS Congress 2019, its contributions by no means stopped at providing logistical and material support. Instead, the four-day event was the ideal opportunity to highlight the university’s contributions to the fight against diabetes and obesity.

Held November 23-26, Sidra Medicine’s CUDOS Congress 2019 promoted a deeper understanding of diabetes, obesity and related syndromes, as well as their implications for Qatar and the wider world. In doing so, the event attracted academics, healthcare professionals and policymakers at the cutting edge of global efforts to confront and tackle these conditions. A mix of speeches, lectures and panel discussions considered the consequences of childhood obesity, treatment options for Type 1 and 2 diabetes, and a wealth of interrelated issues.

For its part, HBKU fielded faculty members from across its colleges and research institutes. Contributions included a discussion on digital health’s contribution to childhood health promotion led by Qatar Computing Research Institute’s (QCRI) Dr. Luis Fernandez-Luque. Elsewhere, Dr. Edward Stuenkel, dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS), and Dr. Essam Abdelalim, a scientist at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute’s (QBRI) Diabetes Research Center, chaired sessions on islet biology. Dr. Abdelalim was also the Program Scientific Co-chair of CUDOS 2019. Principal QBRI investigators Dr. Alexandra Butler, Dr. Paul J Thornalley, Dr. Hyung-Goo Kim, and Dr Essam also contributed to the discussion.

Four CHLS students and QBRI researchers were presented with awards for their contributions to the healthcare field. Speaking after this year’s event, Dr. Paul Thornalley, director of the Diabetes Research Center, QBRI, said: “Our involvement in CUDOS Congress 2019 was important for two reasons. First, QBRI is focused on developing innovative healthcare solutions and technologies for diseases affecting the Qatari population. As things stand, diabetes and obesity have major implications for the country’s health services and providers.

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“Second, QBRI is a regional hub for biomedical research that partners with international institutions to tackle shared heath challenges. Diabetes, obesity and related conditions are among the defining illnesses of this century. Proactive and productive partnerships offer the brightest prospect for confronting both head-on.” “Multifaceted health problems such as diabetes require multidisciplinary responses,” added Dr. Edward Stuenkel, Dean of CHLS. “CHLS is all about applying multidisciplinary approaches to research and discovery so it was an honor to highlight this at CUDOS Congress 2019. Congratulations is also due to Sidra Medicine for steering four days of insightful debates and discussions.”

Dr. Ammira Akil, Principal Investigator and Chairperson of the CUDOS Congress 2019, said: "The collective contributions made by institutions during CUDOS 2019 gave rise to stimulating discussion and insightful outcomes relating to the investigation and treatment of prevalent diseases in Qatar and the region. Our ongoing collaboration with HBKU, whose colleges and research institutes are at the forefront of invaluable research, enables us to support national efforts to work towards the prevention and improved treatment of diabetes and obesity."

Also speaking after this year’s event, Dr. Luis Luque, a scientist at QCRI, said: “While lifestyle changes and medicines are frontline treatment for diabetes and obesity, technology can help us to better understand the lifestyle of patients and also given them extra encouragement. We’re confident that our contribution to CUDOS Congress 2019 reflected QCRI’s capacity for world-class multidisciplinary research where it is needed most.”

Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) regularly holds events to highlight its research activities and projects. For more information, please visit hhbku.edu.qa  

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