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 Programme, which provides participants with “valuable insights and hands-on laboratory research experience” in the areas of diabetes, neurological diseases and cancer.
The annual research programme offered exceptional undergraduate students intensive research training opportunities “in a supportive, challenging and conducive environment”, HBKU said in a statement. 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 programme, each student prepared a poster and gave an oral presentation about their projects.
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 Programme 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 programme was divided into two batches this year, running from May 5 until June 27 and from May 19 until July 11. Twenty students from universities across Qatar, including Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Qatar University (QU) 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 programme 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 Programme forms part of QBRI’s “commitment to providing extensive educational and research opportunities to aspiring young scientists”, the statement notes.
During the programme, Bana Alsahan, a QU 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 programme, I was able to explore my potential and what I’m capable of achieving,” Bana said.