Posted on March 30, 2020

As scientists around the world grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, research funded by Qatar Foundation that aims to tackle infectious diseases is to be placed in the webinar spotlight this week.

The latest edition of the Research Outcome Seminar series – an initiative of Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) that highlights the impact of the projects it supports – will show how researchers in Qatar and beyond are developing new ways to reduce the spread of communicable diseases, and directly address the health risks they create.

The webinar will hostsix scientistswho will present the outcomes of their research projects, with the topics including whether the COVID-19 pandemic can still be suppressed; a survey of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome infection: viruses linked to hepatitis C and gastroenteritis; Human Papillomavirus; influenza complications in diabetes patients; and whether face masks can protect people against viral respiratory infections. All the projects have been funded by QNRF, which is a Qatar Foundation (QF) member.

“QNRF is hosting this online seminar at a crucial time, as the global community is in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, and authorities all over the world are taking unprecedented measures to deal with this evolving crisis,” said Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie (pictured), Executive Director, QNRF. “The impact of COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of better understanding infectious diseases, formulating strategies to mitigate their spread, and – ultimately – finding cures. To achieve these aims, a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional approach is required, including all relevant stakeholders.

“This seminar provides an opportunity to highlight the critical role that scientists and researchers play in our society, as the whole world is counting on them to produce a vaccine or develop a drug to abate and treat COVID-19. In this region, Qatar Foundation and Qatar National Research Fund have helped Qatar take a lead in the field of infectious disease studies by sponsoring cutting-edge research projects, providing state-of-the-art research laboratories, and building much-needed human capacity.

"We hope people will participate in this Research Outcome Seminar to learn how our researchers are addressing the many risks posed by infectious diseases, and seek answers to questions they may have.” Researchers from the Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation, and entities including QF member Sidra Medicine, QF partner university Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, and Qatar Universitywill present the projects they lead during the webinar, which runs from 10am-1pm on Wednesday, April 1.

The online event will also see Dr. Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani, Director of Public Health at Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health, speak about the knowledge base on coronavirus, and QNRF’s Senior Program Manager for Biomedical Science and Health, Dr. Mohammed Jarrar, provide an overview of its funding for infectious disease research. QNRF’s Research Outcome Seminars promote the importance and impact of research to the public, and enable the exchange of knowledge and information between members of Qatar’s scientific community and key stakeholders. To register for the webinar, click here.