Qatar Genome-CHLS Scholarship Presents Pathways for Students

Qatar Genome-CHLS Scholarship Presents Pathways for Students

02 Dec 2021

Qatar Genome-CHLS Scholarship open to graduate students in HBKU’s Genomics and Precision Medicine program

A collaboration agreement signed at the end of 2020 formed the basis for the scholarship
A collaboration agreement signed at the end of 2020 formed the basis for the scholarship

Joining efforts to accelerate research and discoveries in the genomic medicine field, Qatar Genome and the College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), have established competitive scholarships in the Genomics and Precision Medicine (GPM) program at CHLS. 

The Qatar Genome-CHLS Scholarship is an effort to enhance education and research opportunities for promising local and international students in the multidisciplinary GPM’s Master of Science (MS) and PhD degree paths. Recipients will be expected to leverage whole genomic sequencing data from Qatar Genome to address their research questions. Opportunities for professional development during their studies will include support to attend a high-profile international conference within the genomics and precision medicine field.

With the aim of developing human capacity in precision medicine, a collaboration agreement signed at the end of 2020 has paved the way for Qatar Genome to extend support to CHLS faculty and students. To enable their research, students in the program have free access to its wealth of genomic data. 

The multidisciplinary GPM program at CHLS aims to educate and train practitioners and researchers who can contribute to enhanced healthcare solutions in Qatar. Both the MS and PhD programs offer advanced knowledge and training in state-of-the-art information gathering and analysis technologies in order to integrate “omics” – the branch of biology that deals with data on global changes at the molecular level in patients – with clinical data. Students explore clinical, technological, legal, ethical, and computational aspects of genomic medicine while gaining hands-on research experience. 

“The Qatar Genome-CHLS Scholarship builds on the foundational role we played in establishing the landmark GPM program and affirms our support for HBKU’s academic mission toward excellence in precision medicine education. The breakthrough discoveries and new knowledge generated by these future professionals will guide our policymakers in planning for future healthcare priorities and establish Qatar among the leaders in implementing precision medicine,” said Dima Darwish, Scientific Education Head at Qatar Genome, part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI). 

Dr. Borbala Mifsud, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Omar Albagha, Professor of Genomic and Precision Medicine, worked closely with Qatar Genome’s leadership to establish the scholarship. CHLS embodies a multidisciplinary learning approach and integrates scientific expertise by working with a collective of research partners and external clinical and health science partners. 

Explaining the aims, Dr. Edward Stuenkel, Founding Dean of CHLS, said: “CHLS has been striving to advance genome-based scientific discovery in Qatar by preparing qualified professionals with a strong foundation and advanced knowledge in theoretical and applied aspects. We are delighted to expand access to our GPM program for promising students, given the significance of this field for the future of healthcare worldwide. The Qatar Genome-CHLS Scholarship will open unique opportunities for researchers and qualified professionals to implement genomic and precision medicine in clinical or research settings.” 

Applications to HBKU's programs are now being accepted. To find out more, please visit