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H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid honors the winners of the 9th term of Hamdan Medical award 14 December 2016
United Arab Emirates, Dubai - December 14, 2016: Today evening, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance, and Chairman of Dubai Health Authority, honored 15 winners of the 9th term of the Hamdan Medical Award, 2015 – 2016, which mainly focuses on the topic of Gastroenterology.
 
The ceremony was held at the Rashid Hall, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, in the presence of sheikhs, ministries, and officials from the UAE health and medical sectors.
 
During the ceremony, the award announced its new topics for the 10th term, 2017-2018, in which Rheumatological disorders will be the topic of the Grand Hamdan Award, while Musculoskeletal Disorders, Orthopedics, and Orthopedic Mechanics will be the topics of the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence.
 
H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Owais, the UAE Minister of Health and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Hamdan Medical Award, delivered a speech in which he welcomed all the attendees to the ceremony. “The award was established essentially to reward scientists and researchers for their efforts.  In doing so, the Award aids in achieving great future advancements in the healthcare sector globally”, he said.
 
“It is a well-established strategy of the United Arab Emirates to always stimulate innovation and acknowledge great achievements. Thus, our country succeeded in creating fertile grounds for success across all fields and at all levels. Our beloved country has indeed turned into a focal point that attracts individuals with great minds and creative ideas. This, naturally, supported our efforts to reach our current high ranking worldwide, within an exceptionally short period of time”.
 
“Throughout this challenging, yet successful, journey, healthcare services were a high priority for our visionary leaders, headed by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, H.H. Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, Ruler of Dubai and H.H. Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, as well as Members of the UAE Federal Supreme Council, Rulers of the emirates”.
 
“During the past eighteen years; Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, continued to help improving the healthcare system in UAE and the region in order to achieve medical excellence. This was accomplished through rewarding distinguished personalities and organizations in medical and humanitarian fields. It also established the local culture of supporting scientific research for it is a major route towards advancing the medical field. This is especially evident in human genetics, which now offers the most precise tools for treatment and diagnosis for an increasing number of ailments”.    
 
“Additionally, the Award supported continuous communication between local and foreign institutions, to facilitate exchange of expertise, which leads to advancement and modernization of local and regional healthcare facilities”.
 
On behalf of the members of the Board of Trustees and the attendees in the ceremony, H.E. Al Owais expressed his heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the patron of the Award, for all that he has done towards establishing the Award in addition to sustaining it and supporting all its activities. “All this was the driving force behind increasing scientific exchange internationally for the benefit of science and scientists”.
 
Also, H.E. AL Owais congratulated all winners for their dedication and great efforts to serve science and humanity, and thanked all those that contributed to organizing this great event. 
 
During the ceremony, a movie about Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences and its achievements over 18 years was screened. Supported by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the award has contributed to innovative and creative initiatives in the advancement of medical and health sectors within the country and abroad.
 
Then. Prof. Najib al Khaja delivered a speech in which he spoke about the 9th term of the award which is a continuation of a long productive journey that started with the establishment of the Award, with the aim to advance medical sciences and consequently improve healthcare services. “This came as part of the wholesome development that is sweeping through this country, thanks to our visionary leadership, which is working tirelessly in order to better the lives of all people living here”. 
 
“From its beginning and up till now, the Award spared no effort to support all medical activities such as scientific research. Thus the Award has become the most significant supporter of medical research. This also includes medical conferences and symposia in addition to various activities of Continuing Medical Education for the benefit of physicians in different specialties. For that, the Award cooperates with local authorities as is the case with projects for technical cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and Dubai Health Authority”.
 
“We must not forget the role played by the Award in the field of human genetics through establishing the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies. The latter has the largest genetic, ethnic-based database in the world with data about over 2200 genetic diseases and their genes”.
 
“At this point, we are pleased to announce to you that mapping genetic disorders for the GCC is nearing completion through the work of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies. This massive achievement has been in the making for more than 10 years now and it required huge efforts in research and critical reviewing. Recently, with the establishment of the UAE Genome Project, that was launched by UAE Ministry of Health, the Centre assumed a central position of the core committee through which it will have a highly significant role in this endeavor”.
 
“Choosing gastroenterology as the main topic of the Award, in its 9th term, is an excellent opportunity to highlight the massive advancements in this important specialization. The esteemed scientists, who won the Grand Hamdan International Award and Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence achieved highly in their specializations. Either through the management of hepatitis "C" virus or by uncovering suppressor genes for colon tumors. And not to forget the important introduction of preventive programs for pancreatic cancer, as well as culturing liver tissues from patients”.
 
“All these great findings will be the focus of the 9th Dubai International Conference of Medical Sciences, and who is better to talk about these great results than scientist who produced them. The Conference started earlier today in Dubai and will continue for 2 days, ISA. The Conference contains many lectures that will be delivered by the greatest specialists in gastroenterology”. 
 
At the end of his speech, Prof. Najib Al Khaja extended sincere thanks and appreciation to the patron of the Award, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the Minister of Finance, may Allah protect him. “Your Highness have always been keen to advance the medical sector in all aspects”.
 
“I congratulate Your Highness for being recently named as the 
Civilized personality of the year 2016, by The Arab Society for Islamic civilization and Arts, and the Local Sports Personality in appreciation of your Highness’ efforts in these fields".
 
Concluding his speech, Prof. Al Khaja thanked the members of the Board of Trustees, the General Secretariat, and all committees of the Award for their contributions throughout all activities of the Award.
 
During the award ceremony, a movie about the winners of the 9th term of the award was screened. The movie reviewed their works which were reflected on achieving important qualitative leap in the introduction of healthcare services around the world.
 
Then, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Patron of the Award, has honored the winners by delivering them the trophies. Starting with the international awards, Prof. Harvey J Alter, from the NIH Distinguished Investigator, USA, has received the Grand Hamdan Award, which is centered on Gastroenterology. He was the principal investigator of studies that identified hepatitis C.
And, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid honored 3 winners of the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence. On, the topic of Colon Disorders, the winner is Prof. Sanford Markowitz, from Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland Ohio, USA. He is internationally recognized for his discovery of two key colon cancer tumor suppressor genes, TGF-beta RII and 15-PGDH.  
 
On the topic of Pancreatic Diseases, the winner is Professor David Tuveson, Deputy Director of the Cold Spring Harbor, Laboratory Cancer Centre, USA. His laboratory in Cambridge established a preclinical therapeutic initiative to evaluate potential chemoprevention and intervention strategies for pancreatic cancer.
 
Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence, on the topic of Liver Disorders, was given to Dr. Meritxell Huch, Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge – UK. She has established a new culture system that maintains the self-renewal status of liver stem cells in vitro, while differentiation towards functional liver cells can be induced by modulating key signaling pathways. 
 
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Makotum honored the 3 winners of the Hamdan Award for Volunteers in Humanitarian Medical Services. So, Mr. Thierryguycami Alla Fort Duverger, the Director General of the Médicins Sans Frontières, France, received the trophy of the organization. And, Mr. Mohamed al Khaja, the Vice Chairman of the Emirates Airlines Foundation received the trophy of the foundation. Additionally, Dr. Graham Forward, Australia, received his trophy from H.H. Shiekh Hamdan, in recognition of his efforts in establishing the Australian Doctors for Africa (ADFA) in 2005.
 
Regarding the Arab World Awards, Dr. Rachid Bekkali, Director General of Lalla Salma Foundation for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancers, Morocco, has received the trophy of the foundation. Also, Prof. Mohamed al Faquih, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, received the Hamdan Award for Honoring Distinguished Personalities from the Arab World.
 
In the UAE awards, Dr. Aref al Mulla and Dr. Aref al Shehhi received the trophy of the Cardiac Sciences Institute, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, which is the winner of the Hamdan Award for Outstanding Clinical Department in the Public Sector in UAE.
 
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Makoum honored 3 personalities as the winners of the Hamdan Award for Honoring Individuals Working in the Field of Medicine & Health. Dr. Bayan Hussein Abbas Mahboobi received the trophy of his father who is the first practicing dentist, not only in UAE, but also across the whole GCC Region. And, Prof. Maha Tayseer Barakat, the Director General of the Health Authority Abou Dhabi, received her father’s trophy. Also, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Makoum honored Dr. Shawqi Mir Hashem Khouri, the first UAE specialist in internal medicine, with sub-specialization in endoscopy. 
 
 
Regarding the Hamdan Award for Original Research Paper Published in the Hamdan Medical Journal, it was given to 2 papers. The 1st of which entitled
 “Purification and biochemical characterization of a second type of neutral ceramidase from camel (Camelus dromedarius) brain”, and has been published in Volume: 8 Issue: 1 (2015), Hamdan Medical Journal. On behalf of the research team, Prof. Sehamuddin Galadari, from Cell signaling laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine & Health Sciences, UAE University, Al Ain, UAE, received the trophy.
 
Also, the paper entitled “Sensitization of murine macrophages and human hepatoma cells to lipopolysaccharide-induced oxidative and nitrosative stress by aspirin” was honoured. It has been published in Volume: 7 Issue: 2 (2014), Hamdan Medical Journal. On behalf of the research team, Dr. Haider Raza, from Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, UAE, received the trophy.
 
At the end of the ceremony, souvenir photos have been taken for the patron of the award, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, with the members of the award’s scientific committees and Board of Trustees. Also, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid received a souvenir gift from the award, for a metal statue named with “The Arab knight”.