Posted on January 21, 2018

Qatar University College of Health Sciences (QU-CHS) organized on January 9-10 a seminar to present the students’ graduation research projects in Biomedical Sciences, Public Health and Human Nutrition. 12 Biomedical Sciences students, 18 Public Health students and 29 Human Nutrition students presented their projects. 

Reem Almulla and Wesam Alyazidi presented their research project titled “Genetic screening of Leptin and Melanocortin-4 receptor genes in obese subjects”, which was supervised by Assistant Professor Dr Mashael Alshafai. In this study, MC4R mutation was reported as a potential contributor to the pathogenicity of obesity. Dr Hatem Zayed also supervised two projects that focused on computational analysis of mutations. Ummay Salma Abu Habib and Tanzila Zenith presented the first project. It identified six different mutations that cause spinal muscular atrophy disease, a rare neuromuscular genetic disease that has been reported to be present in the Qatari community. The second project, which was presented by Sara Ghazala and Elaheh Ahmed, analyzed specifically mutations that result in galactokinase deficiency, a rare inherited metabolic disorder that leads to hypergalactosemia and develops cataract as a primary clinical manifestation.

Ala Abdelrazeg and Yara Kotb presented a project supervised by Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences Dr Gianfranco Pintus. This study found that high doses of resveratrol negatively influence the activity of protein kinase C and induce endothelial cells apoptosis. In a pilot study supervised by Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences Dr Pejman Hanifi-Moghaddam, Raghad Al-Ishaq aimed to investigate the effect of fasting on the gut virus. Feryal El-Araby presented her project supervised by Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences Dr Ibrahim Mustafa. She investigated the protective effect of iron chelators on erythrocytes against oxidative damage.

Ghada Al Naimi, Amani AbdulRahman, Mai Osama, Sara Helal, and Nour Hammad presented their project on the “Level of awareness and knowledge about MERS-CoV among health sciences students: a cross-sectional study” which was supervised by Associate Professor of Public Health Dr Mujahed Shraim. Assistant Professor of Public Health Dr Mohammed Fasihul Alam supervised the project of Yousra Ziyada, Maha Ahmed, Muna Alsomali, and Balqes Al-Sadi on “Investigating the association between depression symptoms and socioeconomic, demographic, psychological and health-related factors in Qatari population”. This project utilized data from Qatar BioBank. Professor Lukman Thalib’s students, Hana Abukhadijah, Teresa Marie Caccam, Farah Abou Hamda, Hosna Gias Uddin, and Najuma Ali studied the changing patterns in obesity and smoking among Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) patients in Qatar using population-based cardiac registry data from 1993 to 2013. Associate Professor of Public Health Dr Ula Nur supervised Sahar Oraby, Dema Alnass, Farah Rayyan, and Basma Hosny’s analysis of inequalities in colorectal cancer incidence by ethnicity, gender and age group.

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Two projects were presented in the field of food science under the supervision of Human Nutrition Department Head and Assistant Professor Dr Tahra El Obaid. Neda Dirar, Yusra Bamasir, Maha Al Tairi, and Maimouna Mohamed conducted a study on “Nutrient Profile of Qatari Foods: Qatari food consumption data and base application”. While another group of students, Doaa Dalloul, Jannat Habib, Omnya Ahmed, and Reem Al Sharshani presented their study on “Antioxidant and antimicrobial quality of camel milk produced in Qatar”. These studies demonstrated the effective application of foods for future food product development.

Additionally, two projects supervised by Professor of Human Nutrition and Clinical Training Head Dr Hiba Bawadi were presented. The first one titled “Validity of body mass index for the assessment of body fatness among Qatari Adults” was conducted by Bshaeer Al Tamimi, Nisreen Jaber, Deena El Kahlout, and Rabea Souissi. The study concluded that World Health Organization’s (WHO) cut-off values underestimate obesity among Qatar’s population. The second project titled “Prediction model for quantification of the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in food” was presented by Elham Jalaluddin, Farjana Khaliluddin, Husna Kakkat, and Shifa Sharif. It indicated that saturated fat, protein and monounsaturated fat had the highest effect on the AGEs content in food.

Under the supervision of Associate Professor of Human Nutrition Dr Abdelhamid Kerkadi, Blqis Reiad, Hajar Farhat, Mayada Magdy, and Rodayna Ashraf presented their research study on “Assessment of dietary and physical activity pattern of preteen school children”. They concluded higher consumption of unhealthy food and less physical activity among obese children. Hafsa Omar, Omama AbuAker, and Walaa Mohamed conducted a research on the “Association between fat distribution and iron status among Qatari adults”. The findings reported a high prevalence of iron deficiency anemia among obese Qataris. 

Last but not least, two projects supervised by Associate Professor of Human Nutrition Dr Vijay Ganji were presented. Maha Hommos, Karam Al Alwani, and Rawan Al Jomat discussed the “Assessment of dietary intake of folic acid and knowledge and believes of young adults in Qatar on folic acid and its relation with health and disease”. Their study showed that young university students are consuming less than the recommended intake of folate. The study conducted by Haya Alaayesh, Hodais Rasoulinjad, and Ayah Sukik highlighted the “Relationship between serum vitamin D concentrations and Cardio metabolic diseases in Qatari women”. It indicated an inverse relationship between prevalence of MetSyn and serum 25(OH)D concentrations in Qatari women.

CHS Dean and Biomedical Research Center Director Prof Asma Al-Thani said: “This is one of the distinctive days at the College of Health Sciences, in which undergraduate students who devoted their skills and knowledge to conduct meaningful and valuable studies in health care present their achievements. This day also showcased the spirit of teamwork through the collaboration with local health care providers and educational institutes such as Weil Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Hamad Medical Corporation, and Sidra Medical and Research Center.”

She added: “Performing research projects is one of the essential degree requirements for our undergraduate and graduate students. It is also a major component for the faculty career and professional development. The seminars were  true reflection of the core values for CHS academic deliverable and research outcomes.”