Symposium explores treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
May 03 2019 11:09 PM
Dr Omar El-Agnaf speaking at the symposium.
Dr Omar El-Agnaf speaking at the symposium.

*Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) hosted the symposium

Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), recently hosted the first symposium on Neurodegenerative Diseases: Innovations in Biomarker Discovery Towards Personalised Medicine, which provided a comprehensive overview of the development and discovery of biomarkers to treat neurodegenerative diseases.
The symposium brought together local and international clinicians and researchers from diverse career and educational backgrounds to discuss various topics through a series of panel discussions and presentations. Among the main discussion points of the symposium were developing diagnostic tools for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Dr Omar El-Agnaf, executive director of QBRI, said: “The inaugural gathering enables delegates to explore how novel biomarkers can be used to advance the treatment of neurodegenerative disease and work towards personalised medicine where patients are treated according to their specific medical needs as individuals. It positions QBRI and Doha at the fulcrum of cutting-edge and inspiring work and ideas.” 
Delegates from numerous international institutions, including Hamad Medical Corporation, QBRI, University of Gothenburg, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Newcastle University, Oxford University and the University of Rhode Island, spoke on a range of key neurodegenerative topics. 
Dr Michael Schlossmacher, director of the Neuroscience Programme at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, said: “Many talented and young QBRI researchers presented their work demonstrating how much valuable progress has already been made since the institute was founded. I learned a lot from the poster presentations and talks, which informed my understanding of Parkinson's disease-related topics and presented opportunities for new collaborations.”
Dr Nasser Zawia, professor of pharmacology and toxicology and Ryan Research Professor of Neuroscience and Dean at the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School, said: “QBRI's first symposium on neurodegenerative diseases reminded me of the world-famous Gordon Research Conferences, where a group of experts from around the world meet to discuss the latest developments in their field. Dr Omar El-Agnaf and his team ran an excellent meeting full of substance. I enjoyed it tremendously.”
Dr Kaj Blennow, professor at the Clinical Neurochemistry Lab at the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology at the University of Gothenburg, added: “The symposium consisted of two days with excellent presentations by leading researchers; giving both an overview on what we know about the important age-related brain disorders Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and interesting new research findings.” 
The inaugural symposium was sponsored by Eppendorf, GulfMed, Khalid Scientific Co, Zahrawi, Sedeer, Intertrade Technical Supplies and HVD Life Science.
QBRI is home to three research centres – Cancer Research Centre, Neurological Disorders Research Centre (NDRC) and the Diabetes Research Centre.
The NDRC focuses on investigating neurological disorders of increasing prevalence in Qatar and the region, including neurodevelopmental diseases such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability and epilepsy, as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
For more information on QBRI and its achievements, visit qbri.hbku.edu.qa.



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