Nour Majbour, a research associate at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), earned second place in Qatar Foundation’s reality TV show Stars of Science Season10 recently.
Majbour’s innovation, the Parkinson’s Early Detection Kit, carries great scientific and medical relevance with a potential to advance the current processes of Parkinson’s disease (PD) diagnostics, thus enabling thousands of patients worldwide to receive treatment before their neurological state degenerates progressively. The kit harvests the power of antibodies - a type of protein integral to the body’s immune system – to identify biological signs of the onset of the neurodegenerative condition that currently affects circa 10mn people worldwide.
Acting executive director at QBRI, Dr Omar El-Agnaf, said, “Through her innovative idea and scientific quest, Nour has already become an active player in the advancement of health sciences, which, in turn, impact social sustainability by developing tools for a resourceful and secure future. As of now, modern medicine still lacks accurate reports about the prevalence of PD due to a lack of accurate diagnostics methods.”
With a global trend towards increased life expectancy, PD prevalence is expected to rise correspondingly - making Nour’s research crucial to the global medical quest for answers in the treatment and diagnostics of PD.
Likewise, Majbour’s entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering dedication, which stem from personal experiences with family members afflicted by PD, positioned her as a strong contestant and effective role model for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professions.
Majbour said, “I am both honoured and thankful for the votes I received from viewers all over the world. Naturally, my research aims to improve diagnostics and aid in patient care; however, experiencing this spirit of support and understanding my responsibility as a contributor to the furtherance of women in STEM also invigorated my motivation to continuously advance my research into real-world solutions for the biomedical field.”
Looking towards the marketability of her innovation, Majbour plans to develop her kit for an up-and-coming Qatari biotech company that aims to develop new scientific tools for early diagnosis, treatment, and management of devastating diseases, thus supporting Qatar’s position as a global player in the healthcare industry.