University of Sharjah pharmacy students win grand prize

University of Sharjah pharmacy students win grand prize

The winning team’s project focused on inhibiting proteins that aggravate cancer, diabetes and neurological diseases.



By (Staff Reporter)

Published: Sun 14 Jun 2015, 12:48 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:51 PM

The winning team of students along with their faculty staff.

Dubai — A project on inhibiting proteins that aggravate cancer, diabetes and neurological diseases has bagged two prizes, including a grand award, at the annual Think Science Competition organised by Emirates Foundation for Youth Development.

Lujain Aloum, and her team members Mohammad Rourou and Amer Koraiem, from The College of Pharmacy at University of Sharjah, received first prize in the universities’ category for Applied Sciences and Engineering, as well as the grand prize for all sciences across UAE universities.

The nationwide science competition, launched in October 2012 by Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, aims to encourage the UAE youth to develop, design, and build science-based innovations that respond to society’s most pressing needs. This year’s competition was divided into 12 categories, with separate sections for school and university participants, and had 200 submissions from innovators across the UAE.

The winning team were able to conduct the necessary research and test their hypothesis of their project ‘Design and Synthesis of Selective HDACs as Anticancer Lead Candidates’, with the support of University of Sharjah, Sharjah Institute of Medical Research, their sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim, and in collaboration with Harvard University.

Lujain Aloum after being awarded the prize at the Think Science Competition. — Supplied photos

The students wish to continue their project and are trying to get a patent for their findings and publish it in leading international journals. 

Professor Taleb AlTel (Aloum, Koraiem and Rourou’s supervisor), the acting director of Sharjah Institute for Medical Research-University of Sharjah and the supervisor of the prize-winning student team said: “We are proud of Lujain and her teammates’ accomplishments at the Think Science Competition, and we hope that they will set an example and encourage other students to take the initiative of working on such projects. Sharjah Institute for Medical Research is one of the leading research institutions in the region, our main focus is on cancer and diabetes related researches at the molecular as well as at drug design and discovery.”

“By collaborating with institutions such as the University of Sharjah, we hope to reach our goal of enriching students’ education with a practical understanding of the work taking place in our industry and the research field,” stated Dr Mohammed Meshref, Regional Medical and Regulatory Director Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Boehringer Ingelheim.

As part of the MoU, Boehringer Ingelheim and the University of Sharjah will host another workshop in the coming school year with new students.  Boehringer Ingelheim will pursuit the funding of research papers to fulfil activities outlined in the memo, in order to put students’ new and innovative research ideas on the forefront, inspiring further R&D and fuelling innovation and knowledge transfer.

Aloum, Koraiem and Rourou had initially participated in a two-day workshop, which was organised by their university and Boehringer Ingelheim, targeting senior medical students.

 reporters@khaleejtimes.com


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