The joint scientific committee between the University of Sharjah and University of Lübeck in Germany held the "1st Virtual Sharjah-Lübeck Dual Degree Program Scientific Retreat" to discuss and present the ideas and research projects submitted by researchers in the joint PhD program in the field of molecular medicine for the academic year 2020/2021.
Prof. Maamar Bettayeb, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, attended the Retreat along with Prof. Qutayba Hamid, Vice Chancellor for Medical Colleges and Health Sciences and Dean of College of Medicine; Prof. Gabriele Gillessen-Kaesbach, President of the University of Lübeck; Prof. Raafat El-Awady, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies; Prof. Taleb Al Tal, Director of the Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Research; Prof. Saleh Ibrahim, Program Supervisor; as well as members of the joint scientific committee supervising the program from the two universities, and several researchers and graduate students.
The scientific retreat aimed to encourage exchange experience, information, and developments in the various medical fields – especially in molecular medicine – between both universities. The Dual Degree Program between the two universities is in the field of molecular medicine and its applications due to its great importance to the medical and health sector. The University of Lübeck is also one of the best international universities in this field. Through it, the University of Sharjah aims to provide the best scientific opportunities for its students to obtain a Dual PhD Degree with international universities.
Prof. Qutayba started the Retreat by welcoming the attendees and extending his gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of the University of Sharjah, as well as His Excellency Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah, for their unceasing support of the program. He continued praising this cooperation between both universities that enriches the expertise of researchers and graduate students in research and issues of concern to society through joint supervision by scholars and researchers from the two universities. This cooperation has been going on for nearly 8 years, he added, when it was launched at the Emirati-German Congress in Medicine and Dentistry. Following the Congress, they developed this bilateral scientific cooperation between the University of Sharjah and the University of Lübeck, which began with joint research and ended with joint doctoral programs.
Prof. Gabriele Gillessen-Kaesbach, President of the University of Lübeck, expressed her happiness with this 1st Virtual Sharjah-Lübeck Dual Degree Program Scientific Retreat. She conveyed the greetings of the Board of Trustees of the University of Lübeck. She said this dual program is a successful initiative and has proven the level of high-quality scientific research that students in the first batch of the program produced. She stressed that they aspire to continue providing support and opportunities to students considering the COVID-19 pandemic.
On his part, Prof. Maamar Bettayeb expressed his happiness for the continuation of cooperation between the two universities in the field of medical sciences, and his aspiration to achieve more cooperation and exchange of experiences in the future between the two universities in many research fields. This program, he added, demonstrated the efficiency of the graduate students and the quality of the research that they worked on. Through the infrastructure established by the University of Sharjah for Scientific Research, he continued, the University looks forward to applying the distinguished projects and applied research.
Prof. Qutayba moderated the first session of the Retreat along with Prof. Jenny Hundt from the German University of Lübeck, during which Prof. Mohamed Sayegh gave the first lecture in the scientific retreat entitled "Collaborative Research: Path to Success". He addressed scientific cooperation between the two universities, praised the program, and offered his expertise and advice to students. He also provided an overview of his work promoting research collaboration between the National Health Institutes and research institutions in the MENA region.
This was followed by a presentation of the papers by: Prof. Henrik Oster on "The Circadian Clock System - From Genes to Behavior"; Prof. Rifat Hamoudi "The role of immune microenvironment in HER2 overexpressing breast cancer"; and Prof. Malte Spielmann "The dark side of the genome: non-coding mutations and disease".
Prof. Taleb Al Tal moderated the second session along with Prof. Hauke Busch. The session discussed several research papers presented by: Prof. Rabih Halwani "Novel therapeutic approaches for steroid resistant Chronic Respiratory Diseases: repurposing Abatacept"; Dr. Hany Omar "Novel Agents Targeting Cancer Cell Metabolic and Survival Pathways"; Dr. Ralf Pries "Distribution of circulating monocyte subsets with regard to inflammation"; Dana Mazen Zaher "The role of metabolic reprogramming in the sensitivity of breast cancer to chemo- and Immunotherapy"; Sarah Musa Hammoudeh "The role of intra-cellular heterogeneity in lung and breast cancer and COVID-19 pathogenesis: strategies for early disease detection and management"; Wafa S. H. Ramadan "The role of histone acetyltransferases CBP and GCN5 in the response of cancer and normal breast cells to cellular stress"; among several others.