• 2/8/2024

    Doha, 7 February 2024: Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Department of Dermatology and Venereology has been awarded a 36-month research grant by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). The growing occurrence of Atopic Dermatitis (AD) in Qatar and the surrounding region, coupled with its significant impact on a patient's quality of life, served as a primary motivation for securing the research grant. The ongoing research is a collaborative effort between the Department of Dermatology, the Translational Research Institute, and Hamad Bin Khalifa University.

    AD is a very common chronic inflammatory skin disease, characterized by a hyperactive immune response to environmental factors and dry, itchy skin and is associated with substantial impairment of a patient’s quality-of-life. The effects of the illness can result in profound emotional, psychological, economical, and social burdens on the patients and their families. Its prevalence is between 5-30% in Qatar, dependent on age group.

    The QNRF has awarded the Department of Dermatology and Venereology the research grant in alignment with QNRF’s criteria for medical research - the ultimate potential outcomes are personalized health applications, programs, and protocols aimed at the categorization and stratification of diseases in large cohorts locally and regionally.

    Professor Martin Steinhoff MD, PhD Chairman of the Department of Dermatology and Venereology stated: “Receiving this research grant from QNRF highlights HMC’s commitment to undertaking research into the most common health conditions affecting Qatar’s population. Our objective is to test the concept that the differences among Qatari AD patients are a result of diverse molecular pathways, demanding distinct therapeutic approaches. By initiating a new innovative strategy, we will be able to better treat patients according to the severity of their condition. This funding will help us to better understand seriously debilitating skin conditions and how we can provide better treatment options for those affected in Qatar.”

    One of the criteria that the QNRF require from candidates who apply for research funding is the integration of genomics and other omics in clinical diagnostics. Omics methodologies tailored to individuals, such as the genetic sequencing of cancers, are gaining prominence in clinical settings. They play a pivotal role in streamlining disease diagnosis and pinpointing biomarkers for monitoring illnesses or suggesting optimal treatment strategies.

    Dr. Jassim Al Suwaidi, Chief of Scientific, Academic and Faculty Affairs at HMC said: “As a key partner in Qatar’s Academic Health System, HMC is continuously working to combine innovative research with top-class education to deliver excellent clinical care to our patients.

     QNRF’s funding will support HMC departments to achieve research goals that aim to guide healthcare decisions based on the genomic and other omics data towards more effective prevention diagnosis and treatment. Receiving the grant and using it towards medical research strengthens our commitment to the Qatar National Vision 2030 to improve patient centered care, resulting in a healthy population both physically and mentally.”