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2nd Biomedical Research Symposium

The 2nd Biomedical Research Symposium was held at Bethlehem University, on the 12th of May 2012. The symposium was organized by the Palestinian Forum for Medical Research (PFMR) in cooperation with Bethlehem University and the Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU).

The event started with a welcome note by Prof. Adnan Shukair, Dean of Scientific Research at Bethlehem University and Br. Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University.  This was followed by Dr. Rami Aqeilan, the President and a founding member of PFMR, and Prof. Moein Kanan, a professor at Bethlehem University and organizing committee chairman, who discussed the importance of biomedical research for Palestinians and draw a roadmap of possible venues to better support biomedical research in the Palestinian universities, hospitals and institutes.

After these introductory notes, the scientific program of the symposium started. The morning session included a lecture on a study of early and intermediate phases of rotavirus cycle by Dr. Rasha Khayyat, Assistant Professor at Al-Najah National University. This was followed by three talks given by MSc. students; Mrs. Suhair Lolas, Ms. Uraib Sharaha and Mr. Wasif Al Shareef focusing on research conducted in Palestine.

The second session started with a talk given by the Symposium’s keynote speaker: Dr. Nabieh Ayoub from Technion Univeristy, who presented his work on KDM4 histone demethylases.  The session continued with two talks given by two students, Ms. Amal Abu Rayyan and Mr. Muneef Ayash who presented their exciting work on novel sequencing technology and screening.

The excitement continued in the afternoon session, where several talks were given by one MSc. students; Ms. Zahra Al Jabary and two lab technologists, Ms. Suzan Idkeidek and Ms. Elena Awwad. The final session included two talks by MSc. Students, Ms. Isra Al Qadi and Mr. Mohammad Al Issa.

Following the alks, there was a general discussion on the future aspiration of PFMR moderated by Dr. Akram Alian, a founding member of PFMR. The president of PFMR underscored the importance of supporting graduate students in the Palestinian scientific community and emphasized the need for such symposiums to promote the networking of the Palestinian minds. The participants also discussed the challenges faced by the Palestinian researches and the need of approaching Palestinian University administrations to fulfill their commitment of supporting graduate students and biomedical research.

The meeting concluded with awarding the best three presentations. Three of the graduate students were awarded the PFMR Trophy for their excellent presentations and these were Mrs. Suhair Lolas, Mr. Muneef Ayyash and Ms. Uraib Sharaha.

The first prize was given to Mrs. Suhair Lolas, who holds a Masters Degree from the University of Jordan and who is currently pursuing her PhD at the Faculty of Medical Human Genetics at the Hebrew University.

The second prize was given to Mr. Muneef Ayyash who holds a Masters degree from Birzeit University and who is pursuing a PhD at the Weizmann Institute.

The third prize was given to Ms. Uraib Sharaha who is pursuing a Masters degree in Biotechnology at Bethlehem University/ PPU joint program.

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