Posted on February 16, 2020

The expertise of Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in the field of autism is set to grow following the signing of a Letter of Understanding (LoU) with Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University (SQU).

The LoU was signed by Dr. Omar El Agnaf, Executive Director of QBRI, and Dr. Khalid Alrasadi, Director of the Medical Research Center from SQU. Against the backdrop of the 1st Gulf Autism Conference (GAC 2020) in Muscat, both organizations outlined their intentions to cooperate on cutting-edge multidisciplinary research. Collaborative projects in the field of autism are expected to focus on biomarkers, prevalence, genetics and related topics. Research will be undertaken using both entities’ facilities and disseminated through co-organized conferences, seminars and workshops. Joint publications will also provide another important channel for highlighting key research findings and outcomes.

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Training and development is an important feature of the LoU, with QBRI and SQU’s Medical Research Center agreeing to share professional and technical expertise with scientists and researchers. Research activities and initiatives will also be supported by professional training covering required areas of expertise. In addition, the LoU makes provisions for selected SQU students to undertake internships at QBRI according to existing policies and guidelines.

Speaking after the signing, Dr. Omar El Agnaf, Executive Director, QBRI, said: “This Letter of Understanding underlines the importance of partnerships to our mission to improve, innovate and transform healthcare at home and across the wider region. By organizing GAC 2020, Oman has signaled its intention to build proactive partnerships in order to address challenges posed by autism and related disorders. Through its Medical Research Center, SQU is an essential feature of the country’s initiative and an obvious partner for QBRI. We’re looking forward to working with them to enhance our understanding of the causes and potential treatment of autism.”

Qatar Biomedical Research Institute regularly holds events to highlight its research activities and projects. For more information, please visit https://www.hbku.edu.qa/en/qbri

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