Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) Class of 2023 are graduating from an academic institution that encourages multidisciplinary innovation, entrepreneurship, and commitment to finding cross-cutting solutions for today’s complex challenges. In today’s Q&A, the College of Health and Life Sciences’ (CHLS) Jamil Mahmoud Ali Alenbawi outlines why he was inspired to study at HBKU, his future ambitions, and highlights from his academic journey.
Why did you choose HBKU and this particular degree program?
I chose to pursue my PhD in Genomics and Precision Medicine at HBKU because of the university's world-class facilities and resources, such as the Qatar Genome Programme and the Qatar Biobank database. The university's state-of-the-art laboratories and advanced equipment allowed me to conduct my research using cutting-edge technologies and techniques.
Moreover, HBKU's focus on entrepreneurship significantly influenced my work. The university's emphasis on innovation and commercialization allowed me to collaborate with health facilities such as Sidra Medical Center and develop practical solutions for real-world health problems. As a result, I was able to expand the scope and impact of my research beyond the academic realm and contribute to the development of personalized medicine in healthcare facilities.
How has your time at HBKU influenced your future plans?
My time at HBKU has been transformative, and I am now more confident and better equipped to tackle complex scientific problems in the field of genomics and precision medicine. I had the opportunity to work with leading researchers and industry experts, collaborate with peers from diverse backgrounds and develop essential skills in data analysis and interpretation. Through the program, I gained a deep understanding of the ethical considerations involved in precision medicine and the importance of developing culturally specific interventions. The experiences I gained at HBKU have fueled my passion for research and a determination to make a difference to the lives of patients through personalized medicine.
What was the highlight of your time at HBKU?
Perhaps we should talk about highlights, starting with the completion of my research project on sitosterolemia, a rare inherited disorder that is prevalent in the Middle East. Through my studies, I was able to identify several genetic variants and mutations that have potential implications for the disease, and my research has paved the way for future studies covering the region. The experience has allowed me to hone my skills in data analysis, scientific writing, and communication, which have been invaluable in my professional development.
The opportunity to present my research at various international conferences and workshops has also been an excellent platform for me to share my work and learn from other leading experts in the field. For instance, I was invited to present my Ph.D. work at the recent Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Organization for Rare Diseases Annual Meeting, where I won the award for Best Poster Presentation. The conference took place from March 3rd to 5th, 2023, and brought together over 500 attendees from various medical disciplines, academic institutions, support groups, and advocacy organizations dedicated to rare diseases. Overall, my time at HBKU has been a life-changing experience, and I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that I have had.