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"Drug discovery" is the main topic of the 8th term of Hamdan Medical Award 12 December 2012
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences HMA announced that drug discovery is the main topic of its 8th term 2013-2014. It was declared during the closing session of the 7th Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences, held on Neonatal and Fetal Medicine, Nutrition in Infants and Inborn Errors of Metabolism, 10-12 December at Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Center, with the participation of 1800 doctors, Health Care professionals and students of the Medical Colleges and a galaxy of keynote speakers from KSA, UK, France, the Netherlands, Norway, USA and Australia.
Also, the closing session of the conference witnessed the opening of the 9th Middle East Metabolic Group (MEMG) Meeting, which will be run till 14th of December at JW Marriot Hotel.
Prof. Najib Al Khaja, Secretary General, HMA, said that the Award has selected Drug Discovery to be the main topic of its new term because of the importance of this medical specialty which has witnessed a great boom during the past few years with a great influence on the course of the human life. 
“I expect a strong competition among a big number of nominations from the four corners of the world. There are many pioneers in that important field of medicine who deserve appreciating their important achievements. For many years ago, Arabs were the pioneers in that field of medicine and I wish restoring this leadership again”, Al Khaja said. 
On the sidelines of the 7th Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences, Prof. Najib Al Khaja held an important meeting with the winner of Grand Hamdan International Award Prof. Jeffrey Whitsett, United States, and the winners of Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence including Prof. Nicholas Wald, UK, Prof. Rebecca Simmons, USA, and Prof. Ronald Wanders, the Netherlands. 
During the meeting, Al Khaja delivered the winners their certificates of appreciation along with the cheques of the amount of money they won. He indicated that honoring the pioneers in the field of medicine comes within the context of an important message sent by the award to young doctors and professionals in health care sectors locally and globally that they have a duty of following up the latest findings in the medical field worldwide. 
Also, Al Khaja spoke about Hamdan Medical Journal published by the Award in line with the latest technologies used in the medical publishing, and he welcomed the winners to be members of its Editorial Board.
Also, the winners said that they are so proud of being honored by one of the most prestigious foundations in the medical field showing their willingness to share their experiences with the UAE medical institutions.
On the other hand, the 7th Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences continued its activities through a session on Nutrition in Infancy. Prof. Rebecca Simmons the winner of Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence, USA, presented the keynote lecture about the role of epigenetics in the developmental programming of adult disease. Epigenetics is a highly important aspect of human biology because it represents the link between the environment and the genome, thus Prof. Simmons established the relationship between the environment inside the womb and many future health issues of the fetus. 
Then, Prof. Mark Hanson, UK, tackled the subject of epigenetic processes and their role from fetal to adult life. The significance of such processes appears clearly in non-communicable diseases as was explained during this highly informative presentation.
Also, Prof. Sudha Kashyap presented a lecture about long term programming effects of early nutrition. This programming is the result of various interactions between genetics and the environment.  
Prof. Olivier Goulet, France, focused on the leading cause of intestinal failure in children which is short bowel syndrome. His talk discussed multiple issues related to the successful management of this case and its complications.
Reaching to the closing session of the conference on Inborn Errors of Metabolism, Prof. Ronald J A Wanders, the winner of Hamdan Awad for Medical Research Excellence, the Netherlands, talked about using neonatal screening with exome sequencing for the purposes of diagnosis and treatment of neonatal illnesses.
Also, Prof. James Leonard, UK, contributed to the conference with a talk about emergency management of inborn errors of metabolism in the newborn period. The talk delineated clearly various diagnosis criteria and best course of action for each of these categories.
Prof. Bridget Wilcken, Australia, delivered a lecture about the disorders of cobalamin and folate metabolism and the scientific basis for various neonatal screening programs.
Prof. Marshall Summar, USA, spoke about the biochemistry of the newborn and the premature infant in terms of treatment, management and applications of its newly established knowledge base in clinical medicine.
And finally, the best 4 poster presentations were announced as following: Prof. Adekunle Dawodu, USA, for the poster entitled “Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of Pre-natal Vitamin D Supplementation in the United Arab Emirates”. Prof. Mounira Habli, USA, for the Poster entitled “Intra-Placental Gene Transfer of Human Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Prevents Obesity in an Intra- Uterine Growth Restricted Model Exposed to High Fat Diet Postnatally”. Dr. Khalid El Atawi, UAE, For the Poster entitled “Reducing Incidence and Severity of Intra-Ventricular Hemorrhage in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Using Quality Improvement Tool”. And, Dr. Mahmoud El Halik, UAE, for the Poster entitled “Quality improvement project: Reduction of Incidence of Retinopathy of Prematurity (RPO)”.