Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie
The Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) has announced the awardees of the ninth cycle of its flagship National Priorities Research Programme (NPRP), and the inaugural Path towards Personalised Medicine (PPM) grant. The announcements came during the Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference 2016 recently. QNRF, a member of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), presented grants to 89 research proposals across 18 institutions in Qatar for the ninth cycle of the NPRP. The five awardees of the first cycle of PPM were also disclosed. Qatar University was the recipient of nearly 40% of the NPRP awards, with 37 proposals receiving grants. Texas A&M University at Qatar was awarded 16 proposals, while Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute received awards for 11 proposals. The remaining research proposals were divided across other institutions, including Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q), Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) and Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. Nadine Younes, NPRP programme officer at QNRF, indicated that the majority of awarded proposals are aligned with the four pillars of the Qatar National Research Strategy. “The NPRP awarded proposals cover a wide spectrum of research areas such as engineering, water security, cyber security, road safety, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases and other research areas,” she explained. QNRF also announced the proposals awarded under one of its most recent initiatives, the first cycle of its new PPM grant, which falls under the Thematic and Grand Challenges Research Programme. Three proposals were awarded to Sidra, while one went to HMC and one to WCM-Q. The PPM focuses on supporting and advancing research that seeks to provide tailored healthcare for patients based on their genetic profile, to guide decisions made in regard to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. It aims to achieve this goal through supporting, and benefiting from, the pilot phase of the Qatar Genome Programme. QNRF’s executive director, Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie, said the awards represent the continued endeavour of QNRF to support original research that serves the development and building of Qatar’s human capacity, and raising its research profile internationally.