Posted on June 16, 2015

Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), a Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) entity, and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have signed an agreement to establish the Harvard Medical School Cancer Biology and Therapeutics training programme (HMS-CBT).  It is anticipated that the programme will launch in the fall of 2015 with the first residential workshop in Doha.

The agreement is part of an effort to support specialised training that promotes a deeper understanding of cancer biology, cancer screening, diagnosis and personalized treatments. The programme does not involve clinical care. As a key research and development entity, QBRI contributes to the mission of Qatar Foundation to build Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity by improving and transforming healthcare through scientific research in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. With the primary aim of addressing national priorities for growth and development, the work of QBRI also highlights Qatar’s role as an emerging global centre for healthcare innovation.

QBRI and HMS will contribute to the development and implementation of the course through joint admission and curriculum development committees. QBRI will provide will offer a limited number of full and partial scholarships to qualified participants from Qatar, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions. There will be a joint effort to promote the course in Qatar, the GCC and MENA regions.

HMS-CBT is a one-year, non-clinical blended-learning certificate programme that is designed to provide participants with the key skills and knowledge in cancer biology needed to effectively treat cancer patients. The programme will develop expertise through an understanding of the molecular and cellular events that result in tumour formation, progression, and metastasis. It will also cover important topics related to screening, detection, and diagnosis, as well as electives in clinical cancer genetics, pathology, and drug development. The course will be anchored by three separate residential workshops that will take place at the beginning, mid-point, and end of the programme, in Doha, London, and Boston, respectively. The programme will also feature 15 interactive live webinars with world experts in cancer, and 45 pre-recorded lectures. 

Qatar Airways flies daily to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

At the conclusion of this specialised training programme, participants will have a basic understanding of the scientific underpinnings of cancer biology and will have acquired core knowledge in pharmacology, drug development pertaining to cancer. In addition, participants will have gained expertise in the general management of cancer therapeutics with a focus on both the principles of, and targeted therapies for, specific cancers. The programme will also enhance understanding of the emerging scope of personalised approaches to cancer and its treatment.

“The HMS-CBT programme will provide specialised education and training in cancer research and treatment, and will also help build capacity in the region’s research and health care community,” said Dr Hilal Lashuel, QBRI Executive Director. “It will provide a unique opportunity for both clinicians and scientists to gain training and up-to-date understanding of the latest advances in cancer biology and therapies, contributing to Qatar’s efforts to implement and pioneer personalised healthcare in the region,” Dr Lashuel added.   

Experts from HMS and its affiliated teaching hospitals and research institutions, as well as other premier international institutions and organisations, will participate both as faculty and as mentors. The programme will develop skills among clinicians and scientists specialising in cancer and serve as a catalyst for future collaborations and exchanges.

“This collaborative initiative will benefit both QBRI and HMS through the exchange of ideas and will develop a regional and global network of future leaders in cancer research and treatment,” said Ajay Singh, Associate Dean for Global Education at HMS.For more information, please visit HMS-CBT