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As a Collaboration between the Universities of Sharjah and Lubeck in Germany Discussion of the first PhD Theses in Molecular Medicine - College of Medicine

​30 May 2020

Four doctoral theses in the specialty of molecular medicine were discussed at the University of Sharjah's College of Medicine, which are some of the first specialized theses in this important field at the level of the University of Sharjah and the United Arab Emirates. His Excellency Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah, witnessed the discussions using remote communication technologies. He praised the scientific and academic level of researchers, and also conveyed the highest congratulatory blessings to His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah and President of the University of Sharjah, on this achievement thanks to his continued patronage and support of the University of Sharjah. The support also contributed to achieving the position of the University of Sharjah as one of the first universities specialized in this field nationally and regionally. The Chancellor indicated that the PhD program in Molecular Medicine and its applications is taught in cooperation with the German University of Lubeck, which is one of the major medical universities specialized in this field globally, allowing the researcher to obtain two PhD degrees from the Universities of Sharjah and Lubeck.

His Excellency the University Chancellor added that the specialization of molecular medicine and its applications is of great importance in the health sector in general and hospitals in particular, because it is applied to a large number of common diseases, including diabetes, cancer, rheumatism, rheumatoid, and other diseases and health fields. This specialization, with its various applications, helps the Medical Campus at the University of Sharjah, which consists of Colleges of Medicine and Health Sciences and a number of research centers and institutes, be one of the most important medical research complexes at the regional level.

For his part, Prof. Qutaiba Hamid, Vice Chancellor of the University for Medical Colleges Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine, stressed that over the past four years, more than ten master's and PhD programs have been launched in the medical and health sciences colleges at the University of Sharjah, and the molecular medicine program is one of those most popular programs with a high demand by  researchers. More than 70 students are now studying in its various stages, and 12 male and female students have recently graduated from the master's stage, where the study varies between the theoretical side and the applied side. We all celebrate now, he added, by discussing the first four PhD theses of this program, which are the first in the history of the University and in the United Arab Emirates in this specialization. The theses are distinguished at the scientific level under the supervision of an elite of faculty members at the University of Sharjah and the University of Lubeck and were examined by a number of scientists and specialists from universities inside and outside the country.

Discussions began with the thesis presented by the Researcher Mahmoud Yassin Hajim Al-Mashhadani, on the topic of "Integrated Use of Omex Techniques to Decipher Diseases with Complex and Heterogeneous Mechanisms such as Severe Asthma." Then the Researcher Rakieh Ramakrishnan, presented the second thesis on the topic "The Role of Mitochondria in the Development of Airway Fibrosis in Severe Asthma." As for the third thesis, Researcher Noha Musaad Taha Hassan Al-Imam presented her work on the topic "The Role of Natural Killer Cells in Cancer and Autoimmune Diseases: Colon Cancer and Rheumatoid Arthritis as a Model."

Finally, the researcher Haya Saad Muhammad Othman Al-JeebaJi presented the fourth thesis titled "Discovering the Pathological and Curative Properties of Phospholipase XD3 as a Molecular Target for Diabetes."Prof. Raafat Al-Awadi, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, attended the discussions along with a number of faculty members and researchers from the College of Medicine.

For their part, the researchers praised the scientific and academic level of the program, stressing the importance of the theses presented in the service of the local community, where researcher Mahmoud Yassin confirmed that asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic respiratory diseases in the world, so the topic of his study was chosen to focus on understanding the roots of the disease to try to identify vital signs that can be examined in an effective and cheap way to see if a person has asthma or not. This is to assist doctors in providing accurate diagnosis. Biomarkers have been identified as the genetic fingerprint of the DNA that can be extracted from the patient's saliva without the need to take a biopsy of the lung or draw blood. The examination has been tested on patients and has proven its ability to assist doctors in the diagnosis and preliminary approval has been obtained for a patent from American Invention Office.

As for the Researcher Noha Musaad Taha Hassan Al-Imam, she added that her study aims to increase the migration of natural killer cells to colon cancer sites using drugs: dimethyl fumarate (DMF) or monomethyl fumarate (MMF) that increase their susceptibility to kill cancer cells. She also used multiple tools for identifying genes that distinguish between different immune cells and natural killer cells, and distinguish between natural killer cells for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and healthy individuals. This study will help to increase understanding of the potential role of natural killer cells in cancer and autoimmune diseases. Natural killer cells can be harnessed as a tool for cancer immunotherapy and for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis.

The Researcher Raky Ramakrishnan confirmed that her study aimed to identify new pathways to help reduce fibrosis in severe asthma. The study reached a set of results, including the appearance of abnormalities in the mitochondria and the associated defect in the regulation of autophagy as a contributing factor in fibrosis diseases. This contributes to a better understanding of the causes of the complicated development of fibrosis in severe asthma, which paves the way for the development of drugs targeting those causes to reduce fibrosis, especially in individuals with severe asthma.

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