H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum Chairs MBRU’s Fourth Board of Trustees Meeting
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chancellor of the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and Chairperson of its Board of Trustees, chaired the fourth meeting of the Board and reviewed its three-year impact report, hailing the University’s efforts in advancing health through furthering medical education and research. This was the first meeting of the newly reconstituted Board of Trustees following the issue of Decree no. 23 of 2019 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in June this year. MBRU also welcomed a new member to its Board of Trustees, Professor Ian Greer – President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast.
The impact report highlighted accomplishments achieved by MBRU in delivering its innovative strategy which is underpinned by six core pillars: Education; Research, Community Engagement; Sustainability; Governance, Emiratization.
Breakthroughs in medical healthcare
Striving to strengthen the journey of its healthcare students and to continuously integrate academia with health and research, MBRU’s network of clinical affiliates grew to include Mediclinic Middle East, Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, Dubai Dental Hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital in Dubai, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and the Ministry of Health and Prevention. In 2016 the MBRU team, including surgeons from the College of Medicine, in collaboration with Mediclinic City Hospital, made organ transplant a reality in Dubai, conducting the first ever kidney transplant in the Emirate, a testimony to MBRU’s immediate impact on healthcare.
In 2018, a joint medical team from MBRU and Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital also successfully performed Dubai’s first pediatric kidney transplant.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “The impact report is a clear indicator of MBRU’s commitment to the advancement of health in the UAE and region, and its goal to become a global hub for innovative and integrated healthcare education and research.”
Three years of key achievements
The three-year impact report highlighted the progress across all areas of the MBRU strategy.
Education with impact
Currently, MBRU’s future healthcare leaders come from 32 different countries; the 268 student-body is comprised of 205 students enrolled in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program at the College of Medicine, and 63 postgraduate dental students at HBMCDM.
88 dental specialists have graduated from the Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine (HBMCDM); currently serving in several health authorities including the Dubai Health Authority, and the Ministry of Health and Prevention. Graduates are recognized as specialists in the UAE upon graduation by all health authorities in the country.
Emiratization and building national capacity 61% of graduates, 35% of students, and 16% of the university’s faculty are Emirati. MBRU has also successfully attracted talented UAE Nationals to its faculty body, including Dr. Hanan Al Suwaidi, Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine, who was recently selected as the First Flight Physician to look after the health and wellbeing of the Emirati Astronauts.
Making strides in research
More than AED 13 million in external and internal grants have been secured, and over 260 peer-reviewed publications, exceeding the national average for impact and quality in a number of indicators, have been achieved.
Research topics have focused on regional healthcare challenges including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, autism, asthma and cancer.
Launch of the MBRU-AlMahmeed Collaborative Research Award, made possible by a generous contribution from Emirati cardiologist, Dr. Wael Al Mahmeed, has drawn global collaborative proposals. Dr. Al Mahmeed was the first to receive the ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Investing in Scientific Research’ by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in recognition of his efforts in support of research and the scientific community in the UAE.
An award-winning academic, Dr. Saba Al Heialy, Assistant Professor of Immunology at the College of Medicine, received the L’Oreal-UNESCO award for Women in Science. She is recognized as one of only 15 International Rising Talents for 2019.
A scientific team from MBRU’s molecular lab led by Dr. Mohammed Uddin, Assistant Professor of Human Genetics at the College of Medicine, has sequenced the first whole genome of an autistic Emirati boy from Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital ASD program, for the first time in the UAE. The scientific team included four students from the College of Medicine and is hopeful that through this research it will be possible to detect new genes which will aid precision diagnosis and future therapeutics of autism. Notably, Dr. Mohammed Uddin was recently shortlisted for the ‘Nature Research Awards for Driving Global Impact,’ an award presented to early career researchers whose work has made or has the potential to make a positive impact on society.
Investing in the future
MBRU has created an integrated academic health system through partnerships with private and public healthcare institutions on the local, regional and international level. An example is the MBRU’s Summer Scholars Program involving the placement of medical students in local and international clinical, academic and research institutes where they apply what they have learned during the course of the year allowing them to develop a global perspective on healthcare and learn what it means to be a working medical professional.
80% of the medical students voluntarily participate in the program which illustrates MBRU’s value of connectivity, and reflects its philosophy that learning is not limited to the classroom. The Summer Scholars Program resulted in the first MBRU-Mayo Clinic published research with one of MBRU’s Year-4 medical students, Aya Akhras.
New Board Member
MBRU welcomed Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), as a new member to its Board of Trustees. Professor Greer is the Chair of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform Board and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board at the UK Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Centre, who has led five medical schools in UK and created the Manchester academic health sciences system. MBRU aims to build on the successful 4-year partnership with QUB placing extra efforts on new joint programs such as postgraduate nursing degrees as well as innovative research.
“Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) was honored to be selected in 2014 as academic partner in the development and establishment of the Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), and we were delighted to be given the opportunity, in 2018, to play a further part in MBRU’s success by supporting the development of Nursing Master’s programs at the University. We would like to congratulate Dr Amer and his team on the significant progress made to date in achieving MBRU’s vision of becoming a global hub for innovative and integrated healthcare education and research at the service of humanity, and we very much look forward to continuing to build on our flourishing partnership,” commented Professor Greer.
Future plans and new educational programs
Building on the successful foundations achieved since MBRU’s inception, and in support of the National Advanced Sciences Agenda 2031’s priorities to build national capacity and address health challenges in the UAE, the university is launching new programs. The newly established College of Nursing & Midwifery will offer Cardiovascular and Pediatric Nursing specialties; these Master of Science (MSc) programs are designed to fulfill an identified need within Dubai and the wider UAE for specialist clinical nursing programs to support the healthcare needs of the region.
The Master of Science Programs in Nursing are offered for the first time in the region in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and the National Health Service (NHS) in UK. Through its unique partnership with QUB, MBRU secured clinical rotations for the nurses for 3 months in Belfast, UK, as an integral part of the program. Additionally, the Master of Science (MSc) in Biomedical Sciences program under the College of Medicine, is designed to allow students to acquire a variety of research skills that cater to their aspirations and the expressed needs of relevant institutions in the UAE. All programs are accredited by the UAE’s Ministry of Education.