Qatar Research Leadership Programme (QRLP), part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), has announced that its first two Doctors of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences have graduated following their outstanding work on cancer research. 
Dr Hamda al-Thawadi and Dr Halema al-Farsi graduated with honours from QRLP, a programme dedicated to science and research and developed by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. The innovative initiative aims to develop and nurture Qatar’s human capacity in R&D.
Dr al-Thawadi’s work highlights the effects microparticles from ovarian cancer have in initiating the formation of blood vessels that promote the growth of tumour cells. Her research identified that targeting these microparticles could be of therapeutic use in treating cancer in the future. Dr al-Thawadi’s work was published in the Oncotarget Journal. 
Also focused on ovarian cancer research, Dr al-Farsi chose a very original approach, including computer simulation, to look at genes that are protected against mutation and to discover pathways that are essential for tumour survival. 
Her work is in preparation for publication.
Dr Dirar Khoury, executive director of Research Coordination and Special Initiatives, said “Dr al-hawadi and Dr al-Farsi are two outstanding individuals who exceeded our hopes and have set the standard of achievement extremely high at QRLP. Their success is a reflection of our investments to become a knowledge-based society, filled with innovative people and ideas that will take us forward.”
Both doctors received their degrees from the University of Paris-Sud (Paris 11) in France, while performing their research in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar.
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