Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), a research institute under Qatar Foundation member Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), has signed a collaborative research and training agreement with the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) in Boston, US.
The five-year initiative includes technical training and research in stem cell biology, which are essential for discovering viable treatments for diabetes. Recent advances in stem cell research, led by HSCI scientists, are set to help both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients cope with their condition by producing new insulin-producing cells, and these advances can be extended to address many diseases with a major impact on society.
Through this new collaboration, QBRI scientists will work with HSCI researchers to exchange knowledge and best practice, and accelerate the translation of discoveries into clinical applications. In addition to building scientific capacity in the region, the partnership will support groundbreaking research in stem cell biology.
Clinical trials that arise from these endeavors will be conducted in collaboration with QBRI’s major stakeholders, including Hamad Medical Corporation and Sidra Medicine, a member of QF. HSCI – a network of 1,000 scientists at Harvard University and its eight affiliated hospitals – is a champion of research in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, and will support QBRI’s strategic plan to develop the first cell-therapy program in the region.
“This partnership with HSCI is another step towards our primary goal of conducting research that has tangible, meaningful impact on the wider community. Innovation and entrepreneurial vision are at the core of QBRI’s activities,” said Dr. Omar El Agnaf, Acting Executive Director, QBRI.
“This partnership with leading stem cell researchers at Harvard is a crucial step in spurring progress towards our strategic vision, to solve some of the critical challenges facing Qatar and the region. Thanks to this agreement, newly recruited investigators at QBRI will be engaging in groundbreaking research within the largest collaborative network of stem-cell researchers in the world.”
Brock Reeve, Executive Director, HSCI, said: “Qatar has been proactive in building scientific capacity in the Middle East, and its current focus on stem cell biology shows its commitment to supporting progress in personalized medicine.
“Partnering with QBRI allows us to share knowledge and expertise efficiently through advanced training, and to conduct meaningful research with a focus on translation. We are really looking forward to working together, and to seeing what new opportunities for discovery arise as a result.”
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