UAE: New facility for cancer research opens

GMU launches a zebrafish facility for cancer research in partnership with Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences



Officials during the inauguration of zebrafish facility for cancer research. — Supplied photo
Officials during the inauguration of zebrafish facility for cancer research. — Supplied photo
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 27 Nov 2021, 11:16 PM

A new cancer research institute has been inaugurated in the UAE.

Thumbay Research Institute for Precision Medicine (TRIPM) at Gulf Medical University (GMU) has launched a zebrafish facility for cancer research in partnership with Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences.

The facility is the second such facility in the UAE. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an ideal model to study a wide variety of human cancer types. They are easy and inexpensive to grow and maintain in a lab environment. This animal model allows for easy genetic manipulation and transplantation of human cancer cells to better study cancer behaviour in real-time. The model has gained traction in the fields of cancer biology, drug discovery, and immunotherapy.

The inauguration was attended by Abdulla Bin Souqat, executive director of the Award, Prof. Hossam Hamdy, chancellor of GMU, Prof Salem Chouaib, vice chancellor for research, and other vice chancellors, deans and faculty.

Calling it a landmark achievement, Prof Hamdy said the facility will take GMU to the next level of research and advanced research programmes.

Prof Salem Chouaib, director, TRIPM, said: “This facility is important for both GMU and TRIMP as zebrafish has become unique and key model in understanding cancer biology in people, and zebrafish have replaced other modes of research. This facility will be instrumental to carry out challenging and advance research programmes.”

Bin Souqat said: “We believe that the inauguration of this facility will enhance the culture of research in the UAE. The Award is considered the first non-governmental organization to establish medical research funding in the UAE since 1999, and has a long history of collaboration with academia, research institutes in medical research, and it aims to involve healthcare professionals as well.

TRIPM will serve as a bridge linking scientists, faculty members and clinicians who will work together in a synergistic manner in the frame of a well-focused programme in order to reach scientific excellence in the research domain.


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