• 12/10/2015
    More than 400 researchers and senior leaders from across Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) came together for Annual Research Day 2015 on 1 December at the Sheraton Doha Resort and Convention Hotel. The event, organized by HMC’s Medical Research Center (MRC), highlighted the recent progress made by researchers and emphasized the importance of research in improving patient care.

    Annual Research Day 2015 embraced the theme “A Stairway to Research Excellence” - identifying the steps required to ensure HMC’s research output is of the highest standards. The day’s presentations began with a welcome speech from Professor Ibrahim A. Janahi, Executive Director of Research, who outlined the current priorities for research at HMC. “The research we undertake at HMC must be of the highest quality. We must ensure that our research is credible and ethical, and that the intended outcomes are relevant to Qatar’s population,” he said.

    The MRC has been working hard to put in place systems and processes to ensure quality remains the focus, as Professor Janahi explained: “We have recently introduced new levels of governance, including our Hospital Research Committees, which review all research proposals from within their hospital before approving them for ethical consideration by the Institutional Review Board.”

    The inaugural speech was presented by Professor Ed Hillhouse, Chief of Scientific, Faculty and Academic Affairs at HMC. “Annual Research Day continues to grow each year and it’s wonderful to see that researchers from across all departments are represented today. I’m delighted by the recent progress we have made in the field of research. HMC is committed to supporting high-quality research and ensuring that research is seen as a profession in its own right, not merely an additional aspect of our medical staff’s work,” Prof Hillhouse noted.

    Dr. Yoshihide Hayashizaki MD, PhD, Director of the RIKEN Preventive Medicine and Diagnosis Innovation Program, Japan, was this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Hayashizaki talked about his own experiences as a young researcher and the challenges he faced on his journey to becoming an internationally-renowned researcher. “I encourage researchers to be clear about the direction and intended outcomes of their work. Research can be very powerful and lead to significant improvements in people’s health. As a doctor I knew I could help cure a lot of patients, but as a researcher I knew I could help cure infinitely more,” he said.

    There were more than 50 abstract poster presentations on display throughout the day and eight oral presentations in the afternoon session. These highlighted the vibrant research culture at HMC and showcased researchers’ efforts to improve outcomes for patients through the implementation of new practices and treatments. A number of awards were also presented during the event, recognizing the highest quality research carried out in 2014.

    Annual Research Day 2015 award winners:
    • Best Oral Presentation Award: Interobserver variation in CT vs. MRI based delineation of the lumpectomy cavity in breast cancer radiotherapy.

      Dr. Primoz Petric, Noora Al-Hammadi, Saju Divakar, Mohamed Riyas, Palmira Caparrotti, Suparna Halsnad Chandramouli, Sally Sheim, Rabih Hammoud, Radiation Oncology, National Center for Cancer Care and Research.

    • Best Poster Presentation Award (shared by three posters):
      1. The diagnostic value of conducting voiding cystourethrogram (a technique for visualizing a person's urethra and urinary bladder while the person urinates) in all infants younger than two months after their first urinary tract infection.

        Samar Osman, Shabina Khan, Adiba Hamad, Hendaus Mohamed, Lukman Imam, Fayhaa Ahmed Abdelgadir, Amal Haider, Eshraqa Taha - Department of Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital
      2. From metabolomics to simple biochemical assay: 1,5 – Anhydroglucitol to facilitate non-invasive screening for diabetes.

        Michal Kulinski, PhD, interim Translational Research Institute, Anna Halama, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical College Qatar (WCMCQ)/HMC, Abdul Badi Abou-Samra, MD/PhD, Internal Medicine, HMC, Karsten Suhre, PhD, WCMCQ, Ramzi M Mohammad, PhD interim Translational Research Institute.
      3. Neuromodulin (GAP-43) (a protein associated with nerve growth) regulates calmodulin level necessary for rapid endocytosis in neurosecretory cells.
      4. Dr. Fouad Azizi, interim Translational Research Institute, Ellen Tisdale, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Cristina Artalejo, Wayne State University School of Medicine.

    • Best Publication Award: Emotional intelligence and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS patients among healthcare professionals in the State of Qatar. Dr. Elnour E. Dafeeah, Department of Psychiatry.

    • Best Researcher Award: Dr. Talal Ibrahim, Sr. Consultant, Orthopedics - Surgery Department.

    • Best Department Award: Department of Surgery

      In his closing remarks, Professor Janahi reinforced the importance of research for HMC and its patients. “In recent years we have been working hard to develop HMC into a thriving academic research center. This means combining innovative research with top-class education and excellent clinical services to ensure our patients receive the highest possible standard of care. Annual Research Day 2015 has given us the opportunity to come together and celebrate the valuable role that research plays in our vision to deliver the safest, most effective and most compassionate care to our patients,” he concluded.