Posted on May 26, 2016

College of Health Sciences, Biomedical Science Master Program’s six graduate students Fadheela Dad Bakhsh, Attiyah Ramadan Saif, Maria Khalid Smatti, Iman Al-Azwani, Yasmin Walid Abuaqel and Lubna Zidan successfully presented their thesis on 24th26th May 2016 in the college’s third Master’s thesis defense oral presentation and examination.

24th May 2016: Fadheela delivered her thesis “Identifying the contribution of Toll like Receptors in Pathogenesis of Diabetic Retinopathy in Human Microvascular Retinal Endothelial Cells in vitro” supervised by Dr. Nasser Rizk stating that hyperglycemia induces TLR4 expression while its silencing does not restore the normal barrier function indicating it not to be the sole contributor to diabetic retinopathy. Attiyah under the supervision of Dr. Nasser presented her work “Effect of endoplasmic reticulum stress mediated by hyperglycemia in barrier function in Human Microvascular Retinal Endothelial Cells in vitro”. Concluding the study Attiyah stated that based on results of the current study hyperglycemia might activate ER stress significantly impacting angiogenesis, barrier function and progression towards diabetic retinopathy.  A panel consisting of Dr. Ahmed Malki, College of Health Sciences, Dr. Christopher Triggle and Dr. Shahrad Taheri from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar assessed both these theses.

25th May 2016: Presenting her thesis supervised by Dr. Gheyath Nasrallah “Seroprevalence and Phylogenetic Genotyping of Epstein Barr Virus among Blood Donors in Qatar” Maria concluded that this is the first study investigating the seroprevalence, viremia rate, and the molecular epidemiology of EBV among donors in Qatar marking EBV as a highly prevalent transfusion transmissible oncovirus. Dr. Mahmoud Naasse, CHS, Dr. Asmaa Al Marwani from Hamad Medical Corporation and Dr. Ali A Sultan from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar examined this thesis. Dr. Marawan AbuMadi supervised the fourth thesis delivered by Iman, examined by Dr. Hatem Zayed from CHS, Dr. Joel Malek and Dr. Ali A Sultan from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar. In the thesis titled “Transcriptional changes of Mycoplasma Contamination in gene expression studies”, Iman proposed that mycoplasma contaminated-cells should not be processed for gene-expression studies due to the significantly dis-regulated genes as consequence of either Mycoplasma or Antibiotics effects.

26th May 2016: On the third day of BMS Master Defense Yasmin delivered her thesis “Investigating the validity and significance of variant cells by next generation sequencing” stating that next generation sequencing analysis criteria could be devised to distinguish false positive and/or false negative sequencing calls to improve the quality of the generated sequencing data. This project was supervised by Dr. Ahmed Malki; assessed by Dr. Nasser Rizk, CHS, Dr. Hatem Elshanti, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute and Dr. Zafar Nawaz from Hamad Medical Corporation. Lubna supervised by Dr. Ahmed Malki and assessed by Dr. Jouhannes Graumann and Dr. Steven C. Hunt from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar presented the final Master thesis of year 2016 titled “Screening novel molecular targets of metformin in breast cancer by proteomic approach”. Her concluding remarks stipulated that metformin exert its effect on several cellular processes inducing apoptotic cell death and cell cycle arrest. Metformin indeed may offer supportive role in cancer therapeutic regimens as a neoadjuvant drug.

CHS Dean Dr. Asmaa Al-Thani said: “In the span of a few short years, the BMS Master program has successfully produced strong graduates with impactful scientific research work. Our MSc graduate program is a fruition of our commitment to Qatar in support of the National Vision 2030”. She also stated that “such students are asset to building this nation, strengthening the university and supporting biomedical research as a profession, by applying what they have learned during their master program among their current job practice either at Hamad Medical Cooperation, Weill Cornel Medicine-Qatar, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute or Qatar University”. 

CHS Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Ahmed Malki complimented the dedication, drive and scientific curiosity of the students, saying, “We are very pleased with the development, work ethic and scientific aptitude of the students. “They are an asset to the biomedical research community in Qatar”, he said. The students acknowledged their supervisors, internal and external committee members from Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medicine- Qatar; CHS and Biomedical Research Center at Qatar University research facility for their support and guidance.