Doha – June 19, 2023: Six aspiring biomedical scientists acquired key research skills and experience by completing Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s (WCM-Q) Biomedical Research Training Program (BRTP) for Nationals.
The interns who completed the BRTP this year were Layan Sukik, Dalal Zafer Alqahtani, Areej Khaled Baraka, Waad Amir Osman Ahmed, Wadha Ahmed Al-Attiya, and Maryam Muthanna Almansoob. Apart from Waad, who graduated from the University of Huddersfield, all others are graduates of Qatar University.
The program is designed to give Qatari nationals and long-term residents who have recently graduated from college a firm foundation in practical laboratory and research administration skills, and experience of conducting real clinical research projects while working alongside WCM-Q’s highly qualified scientific faculty in the college’s state-of-the-art laboratories.
To mark their successful completion of the program, the interns were presented with certificates at a graduation ceremony. So far, BRTP has provided training to 50 interns since its launch in 2011, including this year’s cohort. The interns graduate after demonstrating their mastery of the skills and competencies covered in the program.
The WCM-Q faculty who provided mentorship were Dr. Khaled Machaca, professor of physiology and biophysics/senior associate dean for research, innovations, and commercialization; Dr. Laith Jamal Abu Raddad, associate dean for extramural research funding/professor of population health sciences/director of the biostatistics, epidemiology, and biomathematics research core; Dr. Rayaz Malik, professor of medicine and assistant dean for clinical investigations; Dr. Lotfi Chouchane, professor of genetic medicine and professor of microbiology and immunology; Dr. Ali Sultan, professor of teaching in microbiology and immunology; and Dr. Nayef Mazloum, assistant professor of microbiology & immunology/assistant dean for student research.
The program has become an established bridge for college graduates to transition to the workplace and kickstart successful careers in research. Graduates from the previous cycles have gone on to publish in leading journals, have been accepted to graduate school programs in Qatar and abroad, while others have established careers in research at prestigious institutions across Qatar such as Qatar National Research Fund, Anti-Doping Lab Qatar, Sidra Medicine, Qatar University, Hamad Medical Corporation, the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar Foundation, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa), and WCM-Q.
Besides providing individuals with a wide variety of research skills, the program is aimed at growing a generation of highly skilled scientists from the local talent pool in order to equip Qatar with the capacity to build the knowledge-based economy of the future.
Shaikha AlQahtani, BRTP alumna and biomedical research training manager at WCM-Q, said: “In its 11th cycle, the program has mentored many interns who continue to excel in the field of research. We feel honored to see our previous BRTP graduates attend the graduation ceremony to celebrate our latest group of graduates. This helps build a strong bond amongst different cohorts and through that we have created a network of researchers over the years.”
Graduate Areej said: “BRTP is the best experience I have ever had. I enjoyed learning by following my passion in science and helping patients with the clinical research team. I highly recommend the program to recent graduates.”
Waad, another graduate said: “The biomedical research training program gave me an opportunity to have hands -on experience in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery in the field of cancer research.”
On her part, Dalal said: “Thank you Dr. Machaca's lab team for making this experience a joyful one. It was an honor to participate in this program and I gained a lot of experience and knowledge.”
Dr. Machaca said: “I wish to convey my congratulations and best wishes to our latest batch of BRTP graduates who dedicated 10 months to be part of the program. We are delighted for the growing BRTP alumni community, and this will support the continuity of the BRTP mission of building excellent careers in research in Qatar. The graduates are a great asset to the research and development sector in the State of Qatar.”