Posted on November 22, 2015

Students from Qatar University (QU) colleges of Pharmacy (CPH) and Arts and Sciences (CAS) along with their counterparts from Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar (WCM-Q), the College of the North Atlantic Qatar (CNA-Q), and University of Calgary-Qatar (UCQ) recently participated in the Inaugural Interprofessional Education Student Society (IPE-SS) Research Day.

Organized by IPE-SS, the event saw students present their research findings and compete in the best poster and oral presentation categories. Topics included Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory problems related to Qatar’s climatic environment, adverse drug reactions, and thalassemia, among many others.

Presentations were delivered in front of a panel of judges which included CPH assistant dean for Student Affairs and IPE Committee Chair Dr Alla El-Awaisi, CAS associate professor of Human Nutrition Program Dr Kay Bruening, WCM-Q associate professor of Biochemistry Dr Nasrin Mesaeli, CNA-Q School of Health Sciences Pharmacy Technician lead instructor Dr Norman Wong, UCQ nursing instructor Dr Diana White, and Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions Professor of Pharmacy Sciences Dr Naser Alsharif.

Among the 19 posters presented, WCM-Q student Nahel Tunio and Vignesh Shanmugan won 1st place in their categories for their respective research on “Mutant Tau Propagation and Toxicity” and “Comparative gene expression profiling of pilocytic (Grade I) and diffuse (Grade II) astrocytomas - Identification and validation of new biomarkers”. CPH 4th-year student Nermin Al-Hasan and 2nd-year student Sawsan AlMukdad placed 2nd and 3rd for their research on “Assessment of quality control parameters and in-vitro bioequivalence/interchangeability of multisourced marked metformin hydrochloride tablets” and “The Health Belief Model” respectively.

CPH dean Dr Ayman El-Kadi congratulated the students saying: “Participating in these competitions helps our students to build their knowledge, experience and skills, and provides them with opportunities to interact with their peers and gain more insight into the pharmacy profession. This underlines the College’s efforts to provide students with a highly intellectual environment to explore and achieve their full potential, which will contribute to shaping the future of healthcare professionals in line with the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Health Strategy.”

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IPE-SS President and CPH Master’s student Myriam Jihad Jamm said: “With events such as this we hope to further develop a good communication between pharmacy colleges in various institutions and learn about each other’s values and roles.” Dr El-Awaisi said: “Through these IPE events, our students will learn to understand, respect, and implement the core values of interprofessional collaboration: teamwork, mutually supportive relationships, knowledge sharing and problem solving.”

CAS Head and associate professor of Virology and Health Sciences Dr Asma Ali J F Althani said: “Participation in this event is an excellent opportunity to improve communication and knowledge transfer between students. Their dedication and hard work shows their commitment to their fields of study as well as to the improvement of clinical practice and the health of society as a whole.”

WCM-Q assistant research professor Dr Nayef Mazloum said: “We are delighted to see so much enthusiasm for both research and interprofessional education among students from each of these esteemed colleges. This is helping our professions to grow together and I am sure that the commitment shown by all of the students will have a very positive impact on the health of the community in years to come.” Dr Wong said: “It was a privilege to judge such a successful event that showcased the excellent work of our partnering Health Sciences students. These students are involved in important research and I hope that the success of today’s event will help garner increased support for more students to participate in future research that will benefit the residents of Qatar.”

Dr White said: “It is known that healthcare is its most effective delivered from an interprofessional team approach. Research Day and other IPE activities go a long way to build the relationships and interdisciplinary respect that is foundational to excellent healthcare. Congratulations for a very successful day.” Nermin said: “Winning second place inspires us to continue to strive to do our best research that will produce solutions for the wider community and will have a positive impact in pharmaceutical science and in clinical practice in Qatar.”

4th-year CPH student Fatima Maraghi said: “While research is a core component of our program requirements at QU College of Pharmacy, this is a very tough competition to be selected for, and to be chosen is such an honor. It also helps us gain confidence in research and presentation abilities, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals.”