PFMR Workshop at An-Najah University in Nablus

PFMR held a workshop at An-Najah University in Nablus on the 5th of October 2011. The PFMR delegation including Dr. Rami Aqeilan (PFMR president), Dr. Zaidoun Salah (PFMR Secretary), Dr. Yaqoub Ashhab (PFMR Founding Member), Dr. Musa Hindiyeh (PFMR Founding Member), and Mr. Monther Abu-Rmaileh (PFMR website designer) received a warm welcome from Dr. Rami Hamdallah, President of An-Najah University, who met with them and expressed his interest in supporting the PFMR initiative and working with the forum to serve the PFMR mission.

The PFMR delegation also met with the dean of the Medical School, Dr. Anwar Dudin. Dr. Dudin described the efforts made by the university to bring awareness on the importance of medical research. He also expressed his support to PFMR and its noble cause.

The workshop entitled “Bridging Knowledge in Medical Research between Palestinian Scholars” started by brief opening remarks given by Dr. Rasha Khayyat, a faculty member at An-Najah University and a welcome note by Dr. Anwar Dudin. This was followed by a speech delivered by Dr. Aqeilan, PFMR president, who introduced the PFMR vision, its mission and the steps needed to promote medical research in Palestine. Following his speech, a general discussion was held to discuss ways to build collaborations between PFMR and An-Najah researchers.

The excitement continued in the afternoon, when three PFMR members delivered scientific lectures. The first lecture entitled “Genetic Diseases: Current and Future Aspects in Clinical Diagnosis and Research in the West Bank” was given by Dr. Ayman Hussein, an active member in the PFMR and the head of the Genetics Laboratory at An-Najah University. Dr Hussein talked about genetic diseases in Palestine and discussed ways to reduce their prevalence. He also presented his research interests in Thrombophilia and its correlation with recurrent abortion in Palestine.

The second lecture entitled “Diagnostic Microbiology in Palestine: A Potential for Interesting Discoveries” was delivered by Dr. Musa Hindiyeh, a founding member of PFMR and the head of the medical laboratory at Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem. Dr Hindiyeh described his research in the field of infectious diseases in Palestine. He gave two examples showing the necessity of accurate diagnoses of infectious diseases in the hope of improving treatment. These included, the diagnosis and genotyping of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in Palestine, and the evaluation of zithromycin resistance between Shigella species in Southern Palestine.

The third lecture entitled “Bioinformatics for Biomedical Research and Diagnosis in Palestine: Opportunities and Challenges” was delivered by Dr. Yaqoub Ashhab, a founding member of PFMR and the head of the Biotechnology program at Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU). Dr. Ashhab introduced the field of bioinformatics and its importance in biomedical research in general and its applications in Palestine. Dr. Ashhab gave two examples of how at PPU they utilize bioinformatics tools to address novel issues in medicine and biotechnology. Dr. Ashhab described a new bioinformatic tool that his group developed to reveal caspases’ substrates and another novel tool that should define bacterial by their proteome.

The workshop ended by concluding remarks made by Dr. Aqeilan and discussion between PFMR delegation and the organizing committee at An-Najah University that included Dr. Rasha Khayyat. Dr. Iyad Al-Ali and Dr. Ayman Hussain. The discussion focused on possible future activities of PFMR at An-Najah University and on building bridges and collaborations between PFMR members in the country.

Media coverage for the workshop:

Categories News, Press Release | Tags: | Posted on October 17, 2011

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