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Research Highlights

 
Initiative “lughati”

Initiative “lughati”

Lughati, the Sharjah-based initiative dedicated to supporting Arabic learning the smart way, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Sharjah. The MoU aims to conduct a research study to measure Lughati's impact on children and students who have been involved with the initiative throughout its first and second phases. The MoU, at the University of Sharjah, was signed by Badria Al Ali, Manager of the Lughati initiative and Prof. Maamar Bettayeb, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Sharjah. The signing ceremony was held in the presence of representatives from both organisations. Under the terms of the MoU, the Research and Graduate Studies Department at the University of Sharjah will conduct a study on the impact of Lughati initiative on the learning process of Sharjah's kindergarten and primary school students who were given smart tablet devices by the initiative. On the other hand, Lughati will provide the University of Sharjah's research team with data and samples taken from 100 teachers and 50 students. The study will aim to evaluate the initiative and measure its level of success in achieving its objectives and goals that seek to support the national Arabic curriculum and encourage students to use Arabic using modern scientific methods.

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Studies for Sheikh Zayed Housing Program

Studies for Sheikh Zayed Housing Program

Agreement has been signed between Office of Vice chancellor for Scientific Research and Graduate Studies and Sheikh Zayed housing program/ Dubai. In order to conduct the first two studies (The residential reality in the UAE: current characteristics and future visions). And the first objective of the study to know the degree of satisfaction of the families benefiting from the program about the current housing in terms of size, distance and design, and taking into account their needs. As well as the variables most related to the factors of satisfaction and dissatisfaction among beneficiaries of the Sheikh Zayed Housing Program. The second study entitled (A prospective study of the reality of the expected future needs of housing for citizens in the United Arab Emirates until 2040). Which aims to determine the impact of the demographic and economic factors witnessed by the UAE on the future housing needs. During the two decades and to identify the role of economic and investment plans currently facing to support the population movement to cope with the future preparation during the next two decades.

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Second: Conduct a study on Bullying among students in Sharjah Schools

Second: Conduct a study on Bullying among students in Sharjah Schools

A study has been conducted between the Family Development Centers that belong to the Supreme Council of the Family / Sharjah and Office of Vice Chancellor for Scientific Research and Graduate Studies to conduct study entitled: (Bullying among students in Sharjah Schools).The aim of this study is to measure the prevalence of these behaviors among school students in Sharjah, as well as to design preventive programs aimed at protecting young people and the community.

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Cooperation between the Family Development Foundation and the University of Sharjah

Cooperation between the Family Development Foundation and the University of Sharjah

An agreement has been signed between both Family Development Foundation /Abu Dhabi and the Office of Vice Chancellor for Scientific Research and Graduate Studies, which aims to cooperate in the field of studies and research that achieve the strategic objectives of the Family Development Foundation. Several studies have been conducted among these the study entitled : (Problems and challenges facing the family and Emirati women in the 21 century), which aims to identify the most important problems and challenges facing the family as a social institution and women as a social group in the United Arab Emirates in the twenty-first century in the following areas: - Social. - Health. - Economic. - Participation in public life. And, the second study entitled (A qualitative Study about Youth and Social network Sites), which aims to identify the most important social networking sites attractive to young people, topics discussed in these sites, the number of hours spent by the user of these sites, the positive and negative of social networking sites, and the concept of electronic addiction and its characteristics.

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Unprecedented Discovery of novel small molecule that target six drug targets upregulated in cancers

Unprecedented Discovery of novel small molecule that target six drug targets upregulated in cancers

Raafat ElAwady,1,2 Dr Srinivasulu Vunnam,1 Cijo George Vazhappilly,1 Taleb H. AL-Tel*1,2 1Sharjah Institute for Medical Research and 2College of Pharmacy University of Sharjah, Sharjah, 27272 UAE This invention describes novel heterocyclic systems, which possess many biological activities including but not limited to, anticancer activity and are useful in the treatment of many disease states related to cell proliferation. In particular, new pyran derivatives are provided having the general formula A and B, processes for their preparation, and methods for their pharmaceutical applications for example here as anticancer agents. These compounds were found to have antiproliferative effects against multiple cancer cell lines and showed considerably less toxicity to normal fibroblasts. These compounds exhibited typical anticancer properties by inducing caspase-mediated cell death mechanisms and arresting cancer cell progression. Further, these novel compounds were able to target multiple key proteins/enzymes, including thioredoxin reductase, glutathione reductase, transferrin receptors, inisitol-3-phosphate synthase, cystolic aminopeptidase and transketolase that are over-expressed in tumor cells, which may facilitate to address the current issues in therapy such as multi-drug resistance and/or tumor relapse.

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Combat of Multidrug Resistant Pathogens:  Discovery of Novel Compounds Against Multidrug Resistant Staphylococcus Species

Combat of Multidrug Resistant Pathogens: Discovery of Novel Compounds Against Multidrug Resistant Staphylococcus Species

Farah Ibrahim Al-Marzooq,1 Dr Srinivasulu Vunnam,1 Taleb H. AL-Tel*1,2 1Sharjah Institute for Medical Research and 2College of Pharmacy University of Sharjah, Sharjah, 27272 UAE Multidrug resistance is non-susceptibility to at least one agent in three or more antimicrobial categories (Magiorakos et al., 2012). Staphylococcus is one of most clinically important species of Gram-positive bacteria. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a common cause of severe infections in health care facilities and the community. World health organization has included this bacteria in the list of top 12 pathogens causing high morbidity and mortality worldwide (WHO, 2017). Novel antibacterial agents with unique chemical scaffolds are urgently required to combat the resistant bacteria. In this study, the group have developed new method for the synthesis of novel compounds which to the best of our knowledge has never been disclosed in the literature. These compounds were produced in one-pot at a large scale from cheap and commercially available starting materials. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the compounds were determined using broth microdilution method according to the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines (CLSI, 2015). For the definite determination of MICs, CellTiter-Blue® Cell Viability Assay (Promega, USA) was used. The compounds were tested against 10 multidrug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus species including S. aureus (3 MRSA strains), S. saprophyticus (4 strains), S. haemolyticus (2 strains), and S. epidermidis (1 strain). Some compounds were 10-20 times more potent than ciprofloxacin as indicated by difference in MICs of the compounds compared to ciprofloxacin. We have developed novel small molecules that inhibit bacterial growth, including multidrug resistant pathogens like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These molecules can modulate the patient immunity and fight infections effectively. This innovation has immediate relevance for treating and preventing many life-threatening infections.

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Health Promotion Research Group: A Research-Based Tool For Global Health

Health Promotion Research Group: A Research-Based Tool For Global Health

Distinguished Achievements The Health Promotion Research Group/Sharjah Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Research, has adopted a research-based approach to assess the health status of adolescents and children in the UAE. Over a two years period our research group has established a comprehensive health profile of adolescents and children from private and public schools across the UAE. The health profile included, rates of obesity, body fat composition analysis, sleep quality, levels of anxiety, levels of physical activities, smoking status, self-efficacy toward diet and exercise, nutritional profile and oral health status. A formal report will be shared with Ministry of education/UAE to tailor a collaborative interventions geared toward promoting health of adolescents and children. Several high quality manuscripts were published and others under the process of publications in peer reviewed, high impact journals. Future direction Currently the group is establishing another community-based projects that aims to assess cardiovascular disease risks among adult population. Risks for fall in elderly population will be another important project to be implemented in the coming period of the project. Publications 1. Bani issa, W., Al Yateem N., Al Makhzoomi, I, & Ibrahim, A. (2016). Satisfaction of Healthcare Providers with Electronic Health Records and Perceived Barriers to Its Implementation In The United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Nursing practice, 22, 408-416. 2. Bani‐issa, W., Al‐Shujairi, A. M., & Patrick, L. Association Between Quality of Sleep and Health‐Related Quality of Life in Persons with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. Journal of clinical nursing. (in press) 3. Bani-issa, W., Eldeirawi, K., Harfil, S., & Fakhry, R. (2017). Vitamin D Deficiency and Its Determinants in Adults: A Sample from Community-Based Settings in the United Arab Emirates. International journal of endocrinology, 2017. 4. Abraham SB, Al-Sakka AM, Khorshed N, Awad M. Quality of life of Dentists European Journal of Dentistry (in press). 5. Awad MA, , AlHammadi E, Malalla M, Maklai M, Tariq A, Al-Ali B, Al Jameel A, El Batawi H. Assessment of Elementary School Teachers’ Level of Knowledge and Attitude regarding Traumatic Dental Injuries in the United Arab Emirates. Int J Dent 2017; 1025324. doi: 10.

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A new era in community pharmacy – services to improve community health

A new era in community pharmacy – services to improve community health

Researchers in the “Improving health care delivery and medicines use” research group have recently rolled out a new screening service in selected community pharmacies in Sharjah and Dubai. To implement the screening service, the researchers received funding from the Harvard Medical School. The service aims to identify people at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases or diabetes by conducting point-of-care tests and measurements. As part of this service, pharmacists also provide advice on healthy lifestyle. This helps prevent or delay the onset of these diseases, and improve the collective health of the UAE society. To develop the screening service and tailor it to the local context of the UAE, the researchers worked in collaboration with key international experts from the University of Sidney and Deakin University, and with eminent local cardiologists, endocrinologists, and clinical pharmacists. In addition, the researchers conducted workshops and site visits to train the participating pharmacists in carrying out the study procedures and providing high quality counselling and care. Community pharmacies are at the forefront of patient care, and research in developed countries has demonstrated that they are valuable platforms where screening and other healthcare services can be delivered by pharmacists, leading to significant improvements in patient and public health outcomes. As such, the researchers at the University have also conducted several studies to assess the current provision of services in community pharmacies in the UAE and to explore their capacity to deliver professional services beyond dispensing, to make a meaningful impact on public health

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Use of Artificial Intelligence leading to better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of Asthma”.

Use of Artificial Intelligence leading to better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of Asthma”.

Asthma is a multifactorial disease with bronchial hyperresponsiveness, inflammation and airway obstruction episodes as the main characteristic features of the disease. Many theories on the factors that made people at risk of developing asthma with no conclusive results. There are many issues in Asthma research that hinder the reach for proper understanding of what makes people develop asthma or what makes fully controlled asthmatic cases to convert into severe or fatal ones. On the top of that a major issue in asthma start to emerge to make the issue more complicated which is the Heterogeneity of Asthma. The view of asthma as a single disease with main characteristics of airflow obstruction, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, and underlying inflammation was found to be a oversimplified understanding as all these characteristics are not necessarily to be found in all patients. Such heterogeneity can be attributed to the fact that the airways constrict heterogeneously in response to some provoking stimuli leading to variable airflow obstruction that will give rise to heterogenous clinical presentation that indicate the heterogenous underlying pathogenesis. Transcriptomic analysis of the airways has the potential to discover gene expression profiles that are characteristic in Asthma. Transcriptomic analysis of bronchial epithelial cells showed promising power to identify different molecular mechanisms that separate asthmatic phenotypes . Such approach in a broader range of patients with asthma has not yet been performed. Sharjah Asthma Research Group lead by Prof. Qutayba Hamid, Vice Chancellor of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dean College of Medicine, University of Sharjah and directed by Dr. Rifat Hamoudi and Dr.Bassam Mahboub start using the Artificial Intelligence approach to decipher the puzzle of Asthma Heterogeneity, such novel approach which benefited from the in house scripts made by Dr. Rifat who trained the first PhD Student and medical doctor, Dr. Mahmood Yaseen Hachim to explore publically available data to collect big data from large number of Asthmatic patients to predict the trend of upregulated genes that are differentially expressed across normal versus severe asthmatic. The promising results were presented by Dr. Mahmood in the Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference (PAHGC) organized by the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) and won the Best Oral Presentation http://pahgc.org/ .

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A multi-objective optimization of maintenance policies using weighted comprehensive criterion method (WCCM)

A multi-objective optimization of maintenance policies using weighted comprehensive criterion method (WCCM)

Maintenance is playing a crucial role in keeping and improving availability, performance efficiency, quality products, on-time deliveries, and environment and safety requirements at high levels. Usually decision maker has to consider conflicting criteria such as cost, reliability, safety, risk, and availability when selecting among various maintenance policies. The purpose of this work is to develop a multi-objective optimization model that will be used to compare the performance of maintenance policies (age, block good as new, block bad as old) based on four performance criteria which are cost, availability, life-time and reliability by using weighted comprehensive criterion method to convert all the objectives into a single objective. The results of the model demonstrated that using the suggested model enables the decision maker the select the most cost-effective maintenance policy under different scenarios. This work is documented in: Alsyouf, I., Hamdan, S. (2017). A multi-objective optimization of maintenance policies using weighted comprehensive criterion method (WCCM). The Seventh International Conference on Modeling, Simulation, and Applied Optimization - 2017 (ICMSAO'17), the American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, April 4–6, 2017. Published in IEEE Xplore: 29 May 2017. DOI: 10.1109/ICMSAO.2017.7934852

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Green Traveling Purchaser Problem Model: A Bi-Objective Optimization Approach

Green Traveling Purchaser Problem Model: A Bi-Objective Optimization Approach

The green traveling purchaser problem (GTPP) is a generalization of the Traveling Purchaser Problem which consists of selecting suppliers, allocating orders and choosing the best routes, while minimizing the purchasing and traveling costs and CO2 emissions. The two objective functions pertaining to minimization of CO2 emissions and purchasing costs are in some cases conflicting and are thus considered separately. This work presents an exact method to solve the proposed bi-objective optimization model where the bi-objective mathematical model is transformed into a single objective function model using the weighted comprehensive criterion method. Computational experiments were carried out using two random instances, and the results show that the algorithm gives the biobjective Pareto optimal solutions with significant difference in computation times when the speed is constant or varies between the routes. Using different weighting factors, this model can be considered as a decision making tool that allows decision makers to use the solution that fits the most with their organization's strategy. The work is documented in: Hamdan, S., Larbi, R., Cheaitou, A., and Alsyouf, I. (2017). Green Traveling Purchaser Problem Model: A Bi-Objective Optimization Approach. The Seventh International Conference on Modeling, Simulation, and Applied Optimization - 2017 (ICMSAO'17), the American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, April 4–6, 2017. Published in IEEE Xplore: 29 May 2017. DOI: 10.1109/ICMSAO.2017.7934841

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Design of economic X̄ chart for monitoring electric power loss through transmission and distribution system

Design of economic X̄ chart for monitoring electric power loss through transmission and distribution system

This work presents a model for the optimisation design of the X chart based on Duncan’s model for identifying unusual power loss through transmission and distribution system so that an immediate action can be taken to maintain the power network stability. The model optimises the chart parameters in order to minimise the mean cost of power loss (MLC) under random process shifts (e.g. mean shifts), and ensures that the false alarm probability of the control chart will not exceed the allowable level and extra inspection resources (e.g. operators and measurement instruments) will be avoided. A comparative study based on fractional factorial experiment shows that, from an overall viewpoint, the optimal X chart reduces the MLC by about 40% compared to the traditional X chart. The work is documented in: Shamsuzzaman, M., Haridy, S., Alsyouf, I., & Rahim, A. (2018). Design of economic X̄ chart for monitoring electric power loss through transmission and distribution system. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 1-21

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