Research on human ageing and vertebrate retina repair shared by leading academics
As part of its commitment to providing essential educational and research training, the College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recently held public seminars covering topics at the cutting-edge of biomedical sciences and precision medicine.
The series began September 25 with a session on the regulation of human aging genes and their association with frailty and clinical phenotypes. Delivered by Dr. Imad Abugessaisa from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Japan, the seminar emphasized that regulating human aging genes is essential for understanding aging processes and discovering biomarkers for risk, diagnosis and the prognosis of frailty in elderly adults. This has inspired researchers at the RIKEN Center to utilize the CAGE method to profile transcription start sites (TSSs) from the whole-blood of a cohort of old adults. Doing so enabled Dr. Abugessaisa to characterize promotes and enhancer activities within this cohort.
Held October 2, the second seminar considered the state of research concerning the repair of the vertebrate retina. Delivered by Dr. Peter Hitchcock, University of Michigan, Regeneration of Photoreceptors from Intrinsic Stem Cells was an opportunity for the Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences to outline his research on the function of the cytokine/growth factor, Midkine-a, and the inflammatory protease, matrix metalloproteinase-9. His findings were informed by examining photoreceptor regeneration in zebrafish. Sharing such research, in turn, reflects HBKU’s commitment to identifying molecular mechanisms that regulate the birth, death and regeneration of neurons and photoreceptors in the vertebrate retina.
Speaking after the most recent seminar, Dr. Edward Stuenkel, Dean, College of Health and Life Sciences, HBKU, said: “These seminars were delivered by prominent scholars in their respective fields. Their research has a global reach and sets an example for like-minded academic institutes to follow. These include HBKU, which remains focused on developing the type of healthcare required to fulfil Qatar National Vision 2030. For that, the country requires highly-trained and intellectually-curious medical professionals. We are determined to develop these individuals through our academic programs and seminars.”
CHLS regularly hosts public lectures and seminars that reflect its multidisciplinary projects and research activities. For more information, please visit chls.hbku.edu.qa.