Posted on November 15, 2016

Qatar University launched yesterday the 3rd Middle East Molecular Biology Congress & Exhibition 2016 with an opening ceremony attended by QU officials, faculty, students and staff, and a number of experts and researchers in the field of molecular biology.

The event (November 14-18), the first of its kind in the region, is a collaboration between QU and Middle East Molecular Biology Sources (MEMBS), and is sponsored by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar Biobank for Medical Research, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), Qatar Genome Programme, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), Sidra Medical and Research Center, and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q). Its aim is to provide a platform for representatives of the academic and industrial communities to interact and promote the translation of research into therapy.

The forum brings together around 500 leading biologists and biomedical engineers, including professors and their trainees from the academic, clinical and pharmaceutical fields to showcase their latest research, highlight the use of innovative and emerging technologies, and encourage interactions and new interdisciplinary collaborations in the field of molecular biology.

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Keynote speakers are Associate Dean for Research, Laura H Carnell Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Director of the Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research (MCDDR) at Temple University School of Pharmacy Prof Magid Abou-Gharbia, Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Harvard Stem Cell Institute Principal Investigator Dr Chad Cowan, WCMC Department of Genetic Medicine Chairman Dr Ronald Crystal, The Rockfeller University Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and St Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases Attending Physician Prof Jean-Laurent Casanova, University of California Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology Prof Alexandra Butler, Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Biomedical Optics at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Prof Theo Lasser, University of Zurich Institute of Experimental Immunology Group Leader Prof Maries van den Broek, Professor of Medicine at University of Manchester Prof Rayaz Malik, and Professor of Biotechnology at American University of Ras Al Kaimah Prof Muhammed Mukhtar.

The event’s program comprises sessions in the form of presentations, discussion panels and workshops that address a wide range of topics related to “Genomics and Personalized Medicine”, “Stem Cells and Cellular Therapy”, “Metabolism and Endocrinology”, “Diabetes”, “Cancer Epigenetic”, “Neurosciences: Synaptic function in health and disease”, “Signaling and Systems Biology”, “Neurosciences: Neurodegenerative Diseases”, “Infectious Diseases”, “Neurosciences: Therapeutic”, “Cancer Immunology”, “Biotechnology”, “Structural  Biology and Molecular Imaging”, and more. It also features an exhibition including a number of booths offering equipment, services and publications related to molecular biology.

Commenting on the forum, QU President Dr Hassan Al Derham said: “QU is proud to host the 3rd Middle East Molecular Biology Congress & Exhibition 2016, which brings together leading experts to showcase the latest technologies in molecular biology. During the past years, molecular biology has made a progress in key areas such as genome sciences, cell therapy, cancer treatment, and diabetes, which has a positive impact on human life and health. QU continues in its efforts to advance exact sciences under the umbrella of ethical values to serve the needs of the society.” 

QU VP for Medical Education and CMED Dean Dr Egon Toft said: “In hosting such an event, QU is demonstrating its ongoing efforts to raise awareness on molecular biology in the Middle East and to promote research in key medical areas such as genetic diseases and stem cells to provide efficient solutions to medical issues that impact the wider community and to ensure that research efforts align with the needs of the healthcare sector in Qatar and the region. We are delighted to collaborate with MEMBS in organizing this congress that serves as a platform for experts and researchers from academia and industry to share their experiences and pave way for future interdisciplinary collaborations in molecular biology.”

Qatar Biobank for Medical Research Vice-Chairperson, Qatar Genome Programme Committee Chairperson and QU College of Health Sciences (CHS) Dean Dr Asma Al-Thani said: “We, at Qatar Biobank for Medical Research and Qatar Genome Programme, are pleased to be sponsoring and participating in MEMBS annual congress and exhibition. Qatar Biobank for Medical Research and Qatar Genome Programme are committed to promoting the understanding of local and regional health and diseases by advancing new research that moves towards breakthroughs in health and medicine, and by organizing events that create an excellent platform for experts to exchange their ideas in the field of health and medicine.”