Medical Research in UAE Round Table 1 - May 2, 2005

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Medical Research in UAE Round Table 1 - May 2, 2005

  1. 1. Medical Research in UAE Round Table 1 - May 2, 2005 How to fund basic research and how to link local research laboratories with global centers
  2. 2. Medical Research in UAE Round Table 1 - May 2, 2005 An insider’s view of research capacity in the region S. George Carruthers MD Professor of Medicine (Clinical Pharmacology) Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences United Arab Emirates University Al Ain, UAE
  3. 3. Medical Research in UAE UAE – federation of emirates 1971 UAE University established 1976 Faculty of Medicine established 1986 – first medical graduates 1993 – first health sciences graduates 2005
  4. 4. Medical Research in UAE Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
  5. 5. Medical Research in UAE Strengths – Young, energetic country – Visionary, enlightened leadership – Wealth – a prerequisite for medical research – Strong desire to move from developing to developed nation status (including trappings of developed nations) – “transitional” disease status of nation offers research opportunities and challenges (disease of the third world and the developed world)
  6. 6. Medical Research in UAE Strengths – Research intensive culture in FMHS/UAEU – Outstanding laboratories and equipment – Experienced investigators – Adequate internal funding UAEU and FMHS – Adequate external funding – Research priority areas linked to national needs
  7. 7. Medical Research in UAE Weaknesses – The importance of research is not widely appreciated – UAE has no “Medical Research Council” or “NIH” – Research philanthropy is underdeveloped – Disease related support is limited – Big “Pharma” is not a player – Hospitals and staff have little tradition of research – Research does not bring fast returns on investment – Regional perspective on ethical issues – Uncertainty about intellectual property issues
  8. 8. Medical Research in UAE Weaknesses – Data bases are inadequate • diabetes mellitus (Type 2) • cardiovascular health • trauma • cancer – High turnover of faculty – Clinical research not well developed (basic sciences research much stronger foundations) – The vital circle between basic and clinical sciences (bench to bedside, bedside to bench) is fragile
  9. 9. Medical Research in UAE Opportunities – HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Awards for Medical Research – Terry Fox Cancer Funds, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – UAE Red Crescent Association – International collaborations • British Council • Universities, e.g. USA, UK, Sweden – International granting agencies • Wellcome Foundation • Michael J. Fox Foundation Other international granting agencies
  10. 10. Red Crescent
  11. 11. Medical Research in UAE Threats – Lack of critical mass of investigators – Lack of infrastructure – Fragmentation, lack of central “plan” – Inability to complete projects • cultural barriers • turnover in faculty, staff • funding short-falls for “mega-projects”
  12. 12. Medical Research at UAEU Priority Research Areas at FMHS “…to develop medical scientists and to support programmes of research in the basic medical sciences and clinical sciences, with emphasis on areas of special need in the United Arab Emirates…” Mission Statement of FMHS, 2001
  13. 13. Medical Research at UAEU Priority Research Areas at FMHS – Congenital and developmental disorders – Cancer – Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases – Immunology and infection – Neurosciences – Trauma – Aging and degenerative diseases
  14. 14. Medical Research at UAEU Congenital and developmental disorders • consanguinity common • high morbidity and mortality in childhood • thalassemia, G-6PD deficiency Links to Al Maktoum Centre for Arabic Genetics, Dubai Major research conference in Dubai 2003 Al-Ghazali syndrome named after Professor Lihadh Al- Ghazali at FMHS by Malaysian investigators in 2004
  15. 15. Medical Research at UAEU Cancer • Tissue bank • Cancer registry • Cell biology (anatomy, biochemistry) • Genetics and cancer • Gynecological cancer/screening • Psychological aspects of cancer in families Cancer conference planning includes regional and world congresses
  16. 16. Medical Research at UAEU Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases • Rodent models of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus • Isolated cardiomyoctes • Islet cell transplantation • Natriuretic peptides in heart failure (clinical) • Cardiac remodelling (clinical) Clinical investigation of Diabetes Complications in collaboration with UAEU Research Affairs, Research Triangle International and UAE Red Crescent Association International conference in 2001, planned 2006 in Al Ain
  17. 17. Medical Research at UAEU Immunology and infection • Bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, virology • Immunology • Innate immunity • Th1/Th2 modelling • Epidemiology • Zoonoses • Emerging infections International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases 2005, Al Ain
  18. 18. Medical Research at UAEU Neurosciences • Neuroanatomy • Neurophysiology • Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology • Autonomic function and disease • Epilepsy modeling • Brain imaging • Toxicology International conference planned in November 2005, Al Ain
  19. 19. Medical Research at UAEU Trauma • morbidity and mortality from Road Traffic Accidents – Seat belt use, speed – Cyclist safety • morbidity and mortality from workplace accidents • Trauma Registry – Special injuries such as scapular, spinal, pelvic fractures – Radiological assessment of trauma victims • Monash-UAEU Road Safety Centre in Al Ain ( Faculties of Engineering and Medicine & Health sciences in conjunction with GM Australia) • ATLS programs (American College of Surgeons) • FAST ultrasonography program for trauma assessment
  20. 20. Medical Research at UAEU Priority Research Areas at FMHS – Congenital and developmental disorders – Cancer – Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases – Immunology and infection – Neurosciences – Trauma – Aging and degenerative diseases www.uaeu.fmhs.ac.ae
  21. 21. Medical Research at UAEU Links with Global Centers – They already exist – There is a lot of room for further development – Foundations of relationships need to be robust • Challenges in UAE include developing of true academic health centers and academic networks • Excellent medical research needs context of excellent patient care and education • Medicine for profit is unlikely to encourage research • International partnerships should be win-win • Global partners should demonstrate regional commitment
  22. 22. Medical Research at UAEU Building a Superior Healthcare System Superior Healthcare Systems integrate • Superior healthcare based on evidence and high standards • Superior education of patients and health professionals • A spirit of curiosity, together with a commitment to research • A commitment to quality improvement • A commitment to ongoing accreditation Superior Healthcare Systems require effort!
  23. 23. Medical Research at UAEU Building a Superior Healthcare System UAE University and the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences are open to partnerships.

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