KUCEB Director Dr. Habiba Alsafar to Address 5th Arab-American Frontiers Symposium in Morocco

nawras.ghusini@gmail.com (Super User) | Sun Sep 10, 2017

Emirati Research Scholar to Highlight KUCEB’s Latest Activities at Leading Symposium for Science and Medical Professionals

The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has invited Dr. Habiba Alsafar, Director of Khalifa University Center for Biotechnology (KUCEB), to share her research experience at the fifth Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Symposium 2017, which is to be held in Rabat, Morocco this fall.

Hosted by L'École Nationale Supérieure d'Informatique et d'Analyse des Systèmes (ENSIAS) on its Rabat campus from 2-4 November 2017, the symposium is held in partnership with ENSIAS and Mohammad V University. The event is supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Selected from among hundreds of applicants in the Arab region and the United States, Dr. Alsafar is a proud recipient of the First Emirati Pioneers medal in the field of genomics in 2014. In addition, she also won the L'Oréal-­UNESCO Fellowship for Women in Science, and the Emirates International Award for Best UAE researcher in Genetic Diseases Prevention in the same year, besides other prestigious awards.

Dr. Alsafar said: “I feel privileged to be invited to address the fifth Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Symposium in Rabat. This will be a great opportunity for me to showcase the extent of Khalifa University’s advanced research capabilities to a wider global audience. I thank the UAE leadership for their support of scientific research in educational institutions and for encouraging academic professionals like me to take up research relevant to the UAE and the region.”

An Emirati research scholar and author of several publications, Dr. Alsafar’s primary research interest lies in constructing the genomic structures of individuals of Arab descent to identify segments that carry genes that are predisposed to disease. More specifically, her research addresses diseases that are increasing in prevalence amongst Emirati communities. She has successfully identified a gene strongly associated with the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes among the Emirati population. Moreover, her Genome-Wide Association Study of the UAE Bedouin population is the first of its kind in the Middle East.

Dr. Alsafar has previously presented details on KUCEB’s research activities at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris in March 2016. Under her stewardship, the KUCEB, which currently focuses on research themes such as metabolic diseases, cancer, and mental disorders, has achieved several milestones over the years.

The fifth Arab-American Frontiers symposium will bring together researchers from many different disciplines to explore the frontiers of research in the fields of water, sanitation and hygiene, renewable energy, cancer, smart agriculture, and smart cities. The Fourth Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering and Medicine Symposium was jointly hosted by Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in partnership with Petroleum Institute, Khalifa University of Science Technology and Research, and New York University Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi. The event attracted nearly 100 scientists, engineers, and medical professionals from the US and 21 countries of the Arab League.

The Arab-American Frontiers program brings together outstanding young scientists, engineers, and medical professionals from the US and the 22 countries of the Arab League for a series of symposia to discuss advances and opportunities in their respective fields. The meetings seek to enhance the scientific exchange and dialogue among young researchers in Arab countries and the US, including the Arab science diaspora, and facilitate research collaboration within and beyond the region.

Clarence Michael
News Writer
11 September 2017