Participants of the annual program receive mentorship from QBRI experts
Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), recently hosted the closing session of the fifth edition of its annual Summer Research Program, which provides participants with valuable insights and hands-on laboratory research experience in the areas of diabetes, neurological diseases, and cancer.
The annual research program offered exceptional undergraduate students intensive research training opportunities in a supportive, challenging, and conducive environment. The internships also aim to enrich participants’ experience outside the laboratory through a series of seminars, workshops, and informal interactions with members of the scientific community at QBRI and other biomedical research institutions in Qatar. At the end of the program, each student prepared a poster and gave an oral presentation about their projects.
Commenting on the event, Dr. Omar El-Agnaf, executive director of QBRI, said: “Investing in our talented students is of paramount importance to developing our local capacity in scientific research and development. Our annual Summer Research Program aims to encourage students to pursue excellence in the field of biomedical research . This year, the participants worked on several interesting projects and I am highly impressed by the level of complexity and sophistication our young scientists demonstrated.”
The program was divided into two batches this year, running from May 5 to June 27 and from May 19-July 11. Twenty students from universities across Qatar including Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar, Qatar University, and the University of Calgary in Qatar spent the summer developing their scientific research and laboratory skills. For the first time, the institute also hosted a student from Weill Cornell Medicine –Qatar (WCM-Q) as a part of the university’s Advanced Biomedical Sciences Research course.
Aljazi M Al-Khalifa, a student at WCM-Q, whose project explored Cancer Lactate Metabolism and Anti-tumor Immune Evasion in Breast Cancer, said: "During my summer research program at QBRI, I was fortunate to work alongside a team of experts who I learned a lot from. The two–month internship gave me an opportunity to explore a career in research. More importantly, it enhanced my laboratory skills and techniques and expanded my biomedical knowledge.”
The Summer Research Program forms part of QBRI’s commitment to providing extensive educational and research opportunities to aspiring young scientists. Several alumni of the program have continued their academic journey with QBRI by returning to seek supervision for their postgraduate and doctoral education.
During the program, Bana Alsahan, a Qatar University student, worked on the Identification of Alpha Synuclein Antibodies to Identify Disease Relevant Protein Conformations. “This experience not only opened my eyes to the world of research, but also opened new doors in the biomedical field. Through the program, I was able to explore my potential and what I’m capable of achieving,” Bana said.
QBRI aligns with the Qatar National Research Strategy and is home to three research centers – Cancer Research Center, Diabetes Research Center, and the Neurological Disorders Research Center. Through its ongoing outreach initiatives, the institute aims to promote innovative research among the wider community and nurture a passion for seeking out novel solutions to prevalent diseases in Qatar and the region.