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Dr. Sirag. Bennaser

UAE Awards

Hamdan Award for Original Research Paper Published in Hamdan Medical Journal

Personal Details/ Academic Background:

Dr. Sirag F.B. Bennaser is a Libyan physician and medical researcher. Dr. Bennaser received his medical degree from Benghazi University Faculty of Medicine, Benghazi, Libya in the year 2002 and registered as a medical practitioner in Libya. He then joined El-Wahda General Hospital in Libya and served as Senior House Officer from 2002 to 2005, before serving as the Registrar for the General Surgery and Accident & Emergency Medicine Department. During his tenure, his focus was on gallbladder disease, peptic ulcer and emergency medicine. Dr. Bennaser then moved to the University of Sheffield in 2007 to join the UK Surgical Oncology - Liver Research Group and earned his MPhil in 2010. He then worked closely with Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, and Royal Hallamshire Hospital, South Yorkshire, before moving back to Libya in 2012. Currently, Dr. Bennaser works at the El Wahda General Hospital in Libya as Surgical Registrar at the General Surgery Department and continues his research there. Dr. Bennaser is also involved in teaching and training of final year medical students at the Benghazi University Medical School.

Research & Publications:

Hamdan Award for Original Research Paper Published in Hamdan Medical Journal:

Along with his fellow researchers in the UK, Dr. Bennaser authored a research paper that has been adjudged the best published manuscript in the Hamdan Medical Journal for the period 2012-2014. 

The selected article:

Bennaser S., Bird N.C. and Canovas D. In vitro interactions between rodent hepatic stellate cells and metastatic and non-metastatic human colorectal cancer cell lines. Hamdan Medical Journal (2013); 6:363–376.


Liver Research Group, Department of Oncology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, University of Sheffield, UK

The Research  Work:

Cancer is the most common cause of death worldwide. Most patients with cancer receive radiotherapy as a treatment. Despite recent progresses in treatment of human tumors, new therapeutic modalities are still needed to improve cancer patient survival. Hepatic stellate cells are involved in the invasiveness of cancer cells through transdifferention into myofibroblast-like cells, which are characterized by the expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin. Dr. Bennaser and co-workers showed that the metastatic colon cancer cell line accelerates transdifferentiation whereas the non-metastatic colon cancer cell line retards it. In addition, Low alpha-smooth muscle actin expression in the non-metastatic colon cancer cell line induced higher levels of apoptosis in myofibroblast-like cells, providing further evidence for a positive role of stellate cells in the metastatic process rather than simply acting to provide a pseudocapsule between the tumour and liver parenchyma, as previously thought. These data provide a critical link between metastatic and non-metastatic colon cancer cell lines and Hepatic stellate cells activation.

The research study is being recognized through the Hamdan Award for Original Research Paper published in the Hamdan Medical Journal.