Partnerships | Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Partnerships QBRI

QBRI is committed to achieving Qatar National Vision 2030 and advancing the strategic objectives of Qatar’s national health research strategies.

Towards achieving these goals, QBRI aims to establish centers of excellence and translational research programs in three focused health priority areas (Diabetes, Cancer and Neurological Diseases) as identified in the Qatar National Research Strategy.

These centers will enable Qatar to harness the latest advances in science, medicine and technology and recruit the best minds and talents in the world to develop new knowledge and transformative medical advances aimed at improving the quality and effectiveness of healthcare while contributing to advancing science and innovation globally. This will be achieved thorough coordination and building strategic alliances and partnerships with other institutions and stakeholders in Qatar as well as leading scientists and centers of excellence around the world.

QBRI is actively seeking collaborations and strategic partnerships with world-renowned scientists and research institutions to support the development of its program and build scientific capacity while engaging in groundbreaking research at the frontiers of biology, medicine, engineering, biomarkers and drug discovery, translational medicine and personalized healthcare.

More specifically, QBRI is interested in establishing collaborations in the following areas:

  1. Development and application of novel genomic technologies
  2. Innovative prevention and diagnostic strategies in Cancer, Diabetes, and Neurological disorders
  3. Development novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of Cancer and Diabetes
  4. Early detection and targeted Cancer therapies
  5. Use of iPS cells in disease modeling and therapeutic screening
  6. Personalized Healthcare
  7. Development of novel tools and technologies that promises to address current bottleneck and transform our capabilities to elucidate complex disease mechanisms and develop novel diagnostic tools and therapies
  8. Development of innovative training programs in biomedical and health sciences
  9. Establishing regional and international research consortia to advance biomedical and health research in the MENA region

QBRI is currently engaged in active discussions with several leading US, European and Japanese biomedical institutions to develop joint initiatives aimed at leveraging the latest technologies to address local health challenges in Qatar while pushing the frontiers in the areas of genomic sequencing, single cell analyses and personalize healthcare.

Current Partners

Riken Institute, Japan



QBRI is negotiating an agreement with RIKEN that calls for establishing a joint Omics Science Center with QBRI in Doha. Additionally, the partnership calls for RIKEN to train scientists in the area of breast cancer genomics utilizing RIKEN’s Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE) transcriptomic technology. 

The RIKEN-PMI collaboration will include a joint research laboratory for molecular diagnostics in Qatar, which will enable researchers to discover new biomarkers and develop personalized preventive medical solutions. The partnership’s first project will focus on breast cancer, the most common form of cancer in Qatar, and will be conducted in collaboration with researchers from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). QBRI and RIKEN‐PMI will address the possibility of implementing the biomarker discovery project utilizing RIKEN’s genomic technology to identify disease signatures. RIKEN‐PMI will also train QBRI scientists and facilitate the transfer of genomics technologies and expertise in transcription network analysis. Researchers will apply these skills to diagnostics and precision medicine to address health issues that prevail among the Qatari population. 

QBRI and RIKEN are discussing organizing a workshop in the bioinformatics area to be conducted in 2015.

Hamad Medical Corporation 



 Hamad Medical CorporationThe Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) ethos is based on three key pillars: Health, Education and Research, which signify the organization’s commitment to providing high quality healthcare, the training and education of healthcare professionals, and research that develops evidence-based medicine. Therefore, the strategic partnership between HMC and QBRI is essential to translate findings and innovations from the basic and translational research programs into novel diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic strategies that will improve quality of healthcare for the people in Qatar and the region.

QBRI and HMC are in the process of finalizing and executing an MoU that is a platform for scientific exchange, rich and productive research interactions and truly facilitates translational medicine. QBRI and HMC diabetes and cancer research groups are engaged in collaborative projects on type II diabetes and breast cancer

Qatar University

Qatar University

Qatar UniversityRecently, Qatar Foundation and Qatar University (QU) executed an MoU that establishes an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program (See the News Article). QBRI and QU are implementing strategies to forge a long, lasting strategic partnership predicated on mutual benefit to involved parties. For instance, QBRI is collaborating with the QU’s Health Sciences Department – Biomedical Sciences Program on Ph.D. program and curriculum development. QBRI and QU are in the process of finalizing an agreement on joint education, training and professional development programs including cross-appointments and activity sponsorship. 

QU operates the Laboratory Animal Research Centre (LARC), which is the first of its kind in Qatar and offers unique opportunities for scientist, faculty and research students to utilize laboratory animals as valuable tools to study biological processes, elucidate disease mechanisms and test new treatments and therapies.

Sidra Medical Research Center


Sidra logoBoth QBRI and Sidra share a commitment for education/training and translational and clinical biomedical research. Recently, QBRI and SIDRA executed an MoU that facilitates biomedical program interaction and creates a cohesive, synergistic and complementary interface thus expediting translational research activity.

  1. SIDRA and QBRI will jointly recruit principal investigators to assure mutual interest and compatibility of goals and will co-organize seminars, workshops or conferences.
  2. SIDRA is providing office and lab space to QBRI with an estimated area between 450-500sqm where QBRI will be hosting in these facilities its personnel, which shall support SIDRA’s researchers in their basic biomedical research programs.
  3. QBRI space is intermingled with SIDRA’s laboratories according to relevance and discipline to foster interactions among scientists of both institutions, thus creating a cohesive, synergistic and complementary interface thus facilitating translational research activity.

Current Research Collaborations

Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar Weoll Cornell Medical college

WCMCQ–PI: Dr. Lotfi Chouchane
QBRI–Co-PIs: Dr. Mariam A. Al-Muftah and Ms. Moza AL-Kowari
Project Title: “Apoptosis resistance in prostate cancer cells and cancer stem cells: Implications of pro- and anti-apoptotic molecules in neuroendocrine differentiation”

Prostate cancer (PC) is the most common cancer in men in Qatar according to recent statistics of the year 2011. This study which is done in coordination with Weill Cornell Medical College Qatar (WCMC-Q) aims to investigate the mechanisms of resistance to apoptosis of NE cells using microRNA (miRNA) expression profiling on NE-enriched PC models to ultimately contribute to the development of novel drugs that can specifically target NE cells in prostate carcinoma and halt the progression into the aggressive castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) phase.

Institut Gustave-Roussy & Hamad Medical Corporation Gustave roussyHamad medical corporation

Project Title: “Graft versus Leukemia potential of allogeneic NK cells in human hematopoietic transplantation”

This project is an ongoing partnership initiative between QBRI, Hamad Medical Corporation and Institut Gustave-Roussy. The project aim is to understand the impairment of NK cells function in patients with myeloid hemopathies and to optimize conditions for adoptive transfer of allogeneic NK cells to improve the GvL effect after transplantation.

Hamad Medical CorporationDr. Salem Chouaib is the lead PI from Gustave-Roussy working with a joint team from QBRI & HMC scientists to achieve the goals of the GvL project. The research is being conducted in HMC’s new interim Translational Research Institute (iTRI) facility.

In addition, QBRI & HMC are strengthening their working relationship and are actively engaged in developing joint projects in the areas of Breast Cancer and Diabetes. The scientific leaders within HMC include

  • Cancer - breast cancer

Prof. Alexander Knuth, Medical Director, National Center for Cancer Care & Research (NCCCR).
Dr. Salha Bujassoum Al-Bader, Director of Breast Cancer Screening.
Prof. Ramzi Mohammad, Head Research Medicine.

  • Diabetes – type II diabetes (T2D)

Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, MD., Ph.D., Chairman Department of Medicine.

CNRS France cnrs

QBRI–PIs: Dr. Mohamed Chikri
Project Title: “Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS)”

The genetic contribution to T2D is a well-recognized element with established susceptibility loci identified primarily through large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Part of this project is carried out in collaboration with scientists from CNRS France. The principal aim of the study is to conduct a whole genome genotyping array in Arabic population by using the Illumina high-density array Human Core BeadChip with Qatari and Moroccan populations as an example. The intent is to explore the implication of fine mapping of type 2 diabetes GWAS-identified-loci in order to provide insight into the genetics and physiology of T2D in Arabic countries.