The Interim Translational Research Institute (iTRI) in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City.
DOHA: Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Interim Translational Research Institute (iTRI) has opened to facilitate healthcare research in Qatar and enable the translation of scientific discoveries to aid development of new medicines, technologies and treatments for the benefit of patients.
The institute in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City was inaugurated by senior HMC officials and the Academic Health System Joint Steering Committee.
“The opening of the iTRI is an important development that reflects HMC’s commitment to expand our academic health capacity. Having iTRI in place will enable us to make key advances in research recruitment, training and education and research projects focusing on priority areas of the National Health Strategy, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, genomics, respiratory medicine and neurosciences,” said Dr Hanan Al Kuwari, Managing Director, HMC, who led a tour of iTRI facilities.
iTRI will provide core services to be managed by skilled managers. It will house a clinical studies unit with consultation rooms, waiting areas and administrative and office space for clinical staff; wet laboratories to enable HMC scientists and researchers to do pre-clinical, translational research; and a seminar and meeting room to promote formal and informal learning, collaborations and development of research topics.
Professor Ramzi Mohammad, Head of Research, Internal Medicine, HMC and the new Director of iTRI, said, “iTRI will provide a much-needed centralised facility for many of our physicians who love to do research but have had limited space. It will also provide an excellent opportunity for young Qataris to acquire research experience they need to be accepted to higher education programmes, and help us produce a new generation of physician scientists who will be assets to HMC’s future as an academic health organisation.”
The first floor is designated for clinical research, where physicians can see patients and collect data, while the second, third and fourth floors provide dedicated state-of-the-art core facilities where researchers can have their samples analysed, eliminating the need to send them abroad, which is costly and time-consuming.
The opening was followed by the first in a series of three lectures on translational research for health professionals across the Academic Health System network. It was delivered by Lawrence Lum, Professor of Oncology, Medicine, and Immunology and Microbiology at Wayne State University, where he is also Scientific Director of Immunotherapy and Bone Marrow Transplantation.