High-level participants discuss pressing global health challenges in virtual setting
In line with its mission to advance positive transformation at home while having a global impact, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has participated as a partner at WISH 2020.
Taking place between November 15 and 19, the biennial conference of Qatar Foundation’s World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) brought together some of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners to discuss the most pressing issues facing global healthcare systems today. Based around the theme ‘One World, Our Health,’ proceedings included forum sessions, policy briefings and keynote speeches covering COVID-19, climate change and health, digital mental health, immunology, infectious diseases, and much more.
As a WISH 2020 partner, HBKU, a member of Qatar Foundation, made an extensive contribution to the 10 core research topics and issues discussed. On November 16, Dr. Paul Thornalley, Director at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute Diabetes Research Center (QBRI), chaired a session titled: 'Emerging Diagnostics, Repurposed Therapeutics, and Prophylactics for COVID-19', with participation from senior scientists Dr. Fares Al Ejeh and Dr. Prasanna Kolatkarand, and research associate Dr. Nour Majbour, all from QBRI.
Also on November 16, Dr. Georges Nemer, Professor at the College of Health and Life Sciences, took part in a discussion on cancer care.
The following day, Dr. Dena Al Thani, Assistant Professor at the College of Science and Engineering, contributed to an expert forum panel on mental health and digital technology. Later in the day, Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid, Executive Director of Qatar Computing Research Institute, joined a discussion on cybersecurity and healthcare.
November 18 saw Dr Omar El-Agnaf, Executive Director of QBRI, participating in a session on dementia. Dr. Fouad Alshaban, Senior Scientist, QBRI, gave a talk on the Effect of COVID-19 on Autism Spectrum Disorder, presenting preliminary findings of a research project done in collaboration with Qatar Autism Society and WISH.
On the same day, Dr. Mohammed Ghaly, Professor at the College of Islamic Studies’ Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics, co-chaired a forum on infertility and Islamic ethics. He discussed the findings and policy recommendations of a new report Islamic Ethics and Infertility Treatment, which he co-authored.
Aside from the main sessions, Dr. Majbour was among the 30 winners from 11 countries for WISH 2020’s two Innovation Award competitions ‘Spark’ and ‘Booster.’ QABY, a rising biotech start-up represented by Dr. Majbour, was among the Spark winners. The initiative aims to translate healthcare innovations from academia to industry, supporting an applied knowledge-based economy.
In keeping with many events around the world, WISH was a fully-immersive virtual summit and also featured an interactive Innovation Hub where HBKU showcased its cutting-edge technology solutions for healthcare.
Speaking after the conclusion of WISH, Nicholas Bradshaw, Director of Partnerships and Outreach, WISH, said: “It was an honor to have HBKU participate as a partner at WISH 2020. As an academic institution determined to advance the health of local, regional and global communities, HBKU participated in a number of high-profile discussions and debates. To this end, WISH is an important global platform to highlight the research activities and breakthrough technologies developed by our colleges and research institutes.
“On behalf of WISH, I’d like to pay tribute to everyone involved in this year’s virtual summit. Organizing a high-profile event under such exceptional circumstances was no mean feat, and we were determined to provide our full support and commitment from the outset. WISH 2020 was a resounding success, a point amply demonstrated by the quality and caliber of the participants. We look forward to supporting and partnering at future summits.”
Hamad Bin Khalifa University organizes a range of events to highlight its research activities and interests. For more information, please visit www.hbku.edu.qa.