The College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS) of the United Arab Emirates University is the first and highest ranked medical school in the United Arab Emirates. It was first opened in 1984 by His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research, and Supreme Chancellor of the University.
Welcome to the College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS)
CMHS already has a pre-eminent reputation in the Middle East and wider Arab world. Over the last few years, it is also ranked in the top 1% of Medical and Health Sciences Colleges in the world. It is therefore my profound honour to be elected as the new Dean and Head of College.
Professor Chair of the department of Paediatrics
Dr. Narchi has extensive clinical and research experience in many countries and institutions, and his research interests include all fields of pediatrics extending from the perinatal period to the neonatal period and continuing throughout childhood until adolescence, reflecting his extensive training in all aspects of child health.
Dr. Narchi research projects aim to answer clinical questions about the diagnosis and treatment of his patients, which have not been answered in the medical literature at the time. Many of his publications are now cited in medical journals and pediatric curricula, and have been adopted as guidelines for clinical management in pediatric practice.
Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Professor Basel Al-Ramadi first encountered immunology during his undergraduate studies at Edinburgh University some 30 years ago. At that time, immunology as a medical discipline was still going through a formative process. Despite the relative immaturity of immunology, Professor Al-Ramadi was fascinated by the intricacies and potential impact of immunology on disease. He decided to pursue a postgraduate degree in the subject. It was a fortunate decision as he was then closely involved with the revolution in immunology that took place. Following his Ph.D at Temple University School of Medicine, he joined the laboratory of Professor Charles Janeway Jr. at Yale University, as a postdoctoral fellow. This shaped Professor Al-Ramadi’s career as the Department of Immuno-biology at Yale was arguably one of the most influential immunology departments in the world. For the next seven years he was fortunate to work alongside 200 immunologists and witness many exciting discoveries in the field.
After Yale, Professor Al-Ramadi’s arrival at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the United Arab Emirates University twenty years ago represented a huge challenge and an even bigger opportunity. The challenge was to continue working in a highly competitive field at a relatively young institution. The opportunity was to utilize his experience to develop immunological research in the UAE. The record shows that this has been a success. The CMHS cooperates with Tawam Hospital and other international immunologists in order to further studies in immunology. Their first breakthrough was double-blind, controlled clinical trials. They also established a strong translational cancer immunology research program in the CMHS. Along the way, partnerships have been forged with colleagues from Yale University, Harvard University, Institut Pasteur, the University of São Paulo, New York University and the University of Vermont.
Professor Al-Ramadi has received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Research; the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award and the College of Medicine’s Distinguished Performance Award. He has been a section editor for ‘Immunobiology’ and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Immunology, Clinical Immunology and Immunology Innovation.
The research focus in Professor Al-Ramadi’s laboratory is on how the immune system can be modulated to the benefit of the host in diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity and microbial infections. These investigations have received more than AED 4 million in grants, which has helped to train more than 30 MSc./Ph.D students, immunology fellows and undergraduate medical students. They have also published nearly 80 articles in top scientific journals. These include the Journal of Immunology; the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; Frontiers in Immunology; Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy; the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight; The Lancet, Frontiers in Oncology; Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology; Biology and Medicine; Nanotoxicology and Nature Genetics.
Basel is married to Maria Fernandez-Cabezudo, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the CMHS. They have one son, Khalil, who is completing his Ph.D studies in the USA. Basel enjoys reading, swimming, dining with friends and traveling.
Professor, Department of Physiology
Diving has always been a defining element of Professor Chris Howarth’s life – in fact, it was what first brought him to the UAE three decades ago.
These days, however, he dives into the depths of research, rather than oceans – research which aims to unlock new discoveries surrounding critical health issues.
Now based in the Department of Physiology of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at United Arab Emirates University, Chris amassed an entirely different set of life experiences before entering academia and science. His previous career was in the commercial diving industry, where he spent much of the 1980s after completing his training in the UK coastal town of Plymouth, and which gave him his initial taste of life in the Middle East.
Having taken up a role as a manager for a commercial diving company in Abu Dhabi, Chris became well acquainted with life beneath the waves in the offshore oilfields of the Arabian Gulf. However, toward the end of the 1980s, he decided the time was right for a career change, returning to his home country of the UK and obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree, with first-class honors, in physiology and biochemistry, a PhD in Cardiac Physiology (supported by a Prize Studentship from the British Heart Foundation), and two postdocs from the University of Bristol and the University of Leeds.
And his relationship with the UAE was rekindled in 1998 when he took up the position of Assistant Professor in UAEU’s Department of Physiology, being promoted to Associate Professor in 2003 and Professor in 2008, while also serving as the Chair of the Department from 2012-2016.
For more than 15 years, a key focus of Chris’ laboratory has been understanding the cellular basis of electrical and mechanical defects in the diabetic heart. This focus has two strands: the effect of diabetes on the generation and conduction of electrical signals; and the effect of the disease on cardiac muscle function.
The heart’s electrical and mechanical function is often compromised by diabetes - one of the most serious national, regional, and global health issues, estimated to affect 415 million adults in 2015, and predicted to affect 642 million by 2040. Over a million diabetes cases were reported in the UAE in 2015, and cardiovascular disease represents the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with the condition.
The research that Chris and his lab have conducted in the field of diabetes has led to collaborations with a string of international universities, including the University of Bristol, the University of Central Lancashire, the University of Dublin, the University of Leeds, and the University of Manchester. Chris’ work has been supported by more than 40 national and international grants and generated more than 100 original articles and book chapters, while he has supervised many undergraduate and postgraduate MSc and PhD student projects.
Chris has also received numerous awards for his research, including the Sheikh Hamdan Award for Medical Sciences (2002), the Merit Award for Contribution to Student Development (2006), the Dean’s Recognition Award for Distinguished Services to Student Research (2006), UAEU’s Best Interdisciplinary Project Award and Best Individual Project Award (2008), the FMHS Distinguished Research Award (2009 and 2010), and the Best Course and Excellence in Department Teaching Award (2014 and 2015).
Away from the laboratory, Chris, a father-of-three who is married to wife Brigitte, an Associate Professor in the Department of Life Sciences at Zayed University, Dubai Campus, still dives occasionally for fun. He also enjoys training in the gym and swimming.
Neurosurgery intern- Tawam Hospital
A proud United Arab Emirates University Alumna, Dr Noora Mahfoodh Al Shehhi has graduated recently from the college of medicine and health sciences (CMHS) in 2019. Dr. Noora has completed her internship at Tawam Hospital at SEHA, and is currently training at Tawam hospital’s neurosurgery department as an intern.
“As someone who never thought of becoming a doctor before, I’m certainly privileged and lucky to be in this field” she explains.” Coming from a family of UAEU graduates -especially my father who was in one of the first graduating batches- has influenced my choice greatly. Being a student at CMHS, UAEU has given me the strength and support I needed to find my true calling, I am always grateful for my mentors who keep inspiring me, notably Dr. Taleb Al Mansoori and Dr. Saeeda Al Marzooqi, both whom I consider outstanding educators and roles models”
Dr. Noora is currently pursuing a career in neurosurgery and applying for residency abroad. “Falling in love with neurosurgery was one of the greatest moments during medical school, neurosurgery brought the best in me and made me realized what it feels like to have a dream and work hard to make this dream a reality!” She adds: “during my time at many different neurosurgical departments, I was privileged to learn from many talented neurosurgeons and senior colleagues. I can proudly say that one of the things that makes me love neurosurgery more is the families I make at every department I work in”. She adds “hopefully with my hard work and the support I get from my mentors and family I can become the neurosurgeon I am dreaming to be in the future”.
During medical school, Dr. Noora showed great interest in being part of many different activities and with the support she found from the CMHS leaders and faculty, she was able to co-found the surgery interest group and the neuroscience interest group aiming to attract and support students interested in those fields. She is also serving as the Asia and Australia regional representative at the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) National Medical Student committee where she leads different student chapters around the region and contributes to several committee projects which is helping to nurture her interest in medical education and mentorship.
ACE2 Nascence, trafficking, and SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis: the saga continues
With the emergence of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 since December 2019, more than 65 million cases have been reported worldwide. This virus has shown high infectivity and severe symptoms in some cases, leading to over 1.5 million deaths globally. Despite the collaborative and concerted research efforts that have been made, no effective medication for COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019) is currently available. SARS-CoV-2 uses the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as an initial mediator for viral attachment and host cell invasion. ACE2 is widely distributed in the human tissues including the cell surface of lung cells which represent the primary site of the infection. Inhibiting or reducing cell surface availability of ACE2 represents a promising therapy for tackling COVID-19. In this context, most ACE2-based therapeutic strategies have aimed to tackle the virus through the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or neutralizing the virus by exogenous administration of ACE2, which does not directly aim to reduce its membrane availability. However, through this review, we present a different perspective focusing on the subcellular localization and trafficking of ACE2. Membrane targeting of ACE2, and shedding and cellular trafficking pathways including the internalization are not well elucidated in literature. Therefore, we hereby present an overview of the fate of newly synthesized ACE2, its post translational modifications, and what is known of its trafficking pathways. In addition, we highlight the possibility that some of the identified ACE2 missense variants might affect its trafficking efficiency and localization and hence may explain some of the observed variable severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Moreover, an extensive understanding of these processes is necessarily required to evaluate the potential use of ACE2 as a credible therapeutic target.
Available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33514423
The College of Medicine and Health Sciences provides a nurturing loving atmosphere. Faculty treat students like family. They are helpful and provide guidance whenever it is needed. The social club gives you the opportunity to meet new friends and to relax after a hard days work. Other facilities, such as the dissection lab and histology lab, are of a high standard with equipment of the highest quality to aid student learning. I have no doubt that this is the best medical college in the country.
The journey of medicine here is significantly enriched with support from faculty, administrators and students that are completely invested in each other's success. The college acknowledges and appreciates excellent academic performances, hence, rewarding students with countless opportunities to pursue various training electives, both locally and abroad.
I am confident and proud to say that having chosen CMHS as a platform to pursue my medical education was one of the best decisions I have made.
Our College of Medicine and Health Sciences fosters a student-centered culture that is guided by innovative education and advancing knowledge. Besides the great support we get from the faculty, our curriculum is greatly reinforced by opportunities to apply our knowledge into simulated patient-interactions and clinical case studies. This certainly allows us to hone our skills, solidify our understanding of medicine, and makes us feel like the experience and learning is tailored to make us the best versions of ourselves.
The College of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAEU. I have spent the last six years at CMHS, and I have grown to understand that it is more than just a place of learning, it is a community. Where the faculty’s support for their students supersedes your expectations. They have a passion for what they do, and they pay that forward in their devotion to teaching, mentoring, and guiding the students towards their career choices. The college gives students the opportunity, firsthand, to participate in a tremendous array of research projects, that will help them excel in their future careers.
The simulation center provides the students with high end technical equipment to benefit their learning and help prepare them for their clinical training. The student associations and interest groups give students the chance to enjoy their free time by participating in extracurricular activities outside of medicine. I am glad and grateful for having gone through my medical school years at CMHS.
The College of Medicine and Health Sciences fosters what is perhaps the best sense of community in the nation. Students have open communication with lecturers and course directors and there are a variety of ways that students can influence and improve their education. Faculty and administration are constantly working directly with us in order to make medical school the best experience it can be.
One of the things I love most about CMHS is the emphasis on different learning styles beyond the classroom: from team-based learning activities with our classmates to applying what we are learning at the Clinical Skills Simulation Center and at patient’s bedside. By applying our knowledge, we can really solidify our understanding of medicine.
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