Posted on May 28, 2017

Researchers from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and partner organizations including Qatar Foundation, Qatar University, Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar and Sidra Medical and Research Center convened on 14 May, 2017 for HMC’s sixth Research Forum, which focused on the theme of obesity.

First launched in 2015, the Research Forum is organized by HMC’s Medical Research Center and is designed to nurture and strengthen research areas in Qatar’s developing health system. “The Medical Research Center creates a platform via the Research Forum where ideas can be exchanged to enable a higher quality of research within HMC and Qatar,” said Professor Ibrahim Janahi, Executive Director of Research at HMC. “The Research Forum has strengthened our long-standing partnerships with Qatar Foundation, Qatar University, Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar, Sidra Medical and Research Center, and Hamad Bin Khalifa University. The resounding success of the Research Forum program is evident from the participation of other biomedical and health institutes in Qatar,” explained Professor Janahi.

The sixth Research Forum featured a thought-provoking program under the theme of obesity. Delegates heard how obesity is a complex condition that affects and threatens to overwhelm virtually all age and socio-economic groups in Qatar. Speakers discussed many different diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental health and diabetes and how they link to obesity while highlighting different research in the various areas.

Research on obesity in young children and adolescents and various treatment options were also presented.

“Qatar Biobank data 2016 reveals that obesity affects over 40 percent of the population and is associated with rates of diabetes that are double the global average. This forum focused on co-morbidities of obesity, other than diabetes, that are often associated with inflammation and oxidative stress, including cancer, heart disease, and mood disorders. Speakers showcased basic and clinical research that may translate in the near future to new treatments,” stated Dr. Monica Skarulis, Director of the National Obesity Center, Qatar Metabolic Institute, who moderated the morning thematic session.

Ms. Sunitha Shyam, Corporate Research Grants Manager at HMC’s Medical Research Center and the Research Forum Lead, highlighted the success of the Research Forum since its launch: “We have successfully hosted five previous forums, focused on the varied research themes of neurosciences, heart, infections, cancer and metabolism. Overwhelming attendance at these events makes us confident that the Research Forums will continue to contribute to Qatar’s health research ecosystem and lead to ongoing advancements in medicine and health.”