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).
We have established priorities in four distinct areas: (1) undergraduate education that enables our graduates to continue training in top international centers,(2) continuing education and professional development for all health care professionals consistent with the need for lifelong learning to serve patients and society,
Doctors are seen as symbols of dignity, responsibility and service to the community. Members of the local community are aware of the hard work and sacrifices that a medical professional goes through to maintain standards. Therefore, doctors’ opinions regarding the welfare of the community are taken into consideration, as is their exemplary behavior and moral standing. This places additional responsibilities on doctors, but highlights the fact that medical professionals are leaders of the local community.
The end of your medical studies does not mean the end of your learning. The CMHS provides its students with the chance to participate in summer research work. This can be either in the college, with senior research professors, or overseas working in well-known international laboratories.
The CMHS at UAEU offers students 4-8 week electives that involve studying abroad away from their home medical school. Most students use this opportunity to travel, to experience another culture, to take part in relief work and to see how medicine is practiced in other countries.
The UAE has a highly developed health service, including a sophisticated physical infrastructure of well-equipped hospitals, specialized clinics and primary care centers. Health care in the UAE is provided by over 70 public and private hospitals. Also, as the population increases, UAE society needs more doctors who can serve the country. In most cases, medical students find jobs immediately after graduating
The College of Medicine and Health Sciences provides its students with world-class facilities that include an imaging unit, an analytical and molecular unit, a cellular biology facility and an animal vivarium unit. There is also an animal research facility, a dissection laboratory, a medical simulation center and an evaluation and assessment center.
Many students consider working with people as the primary reason to study medicine. Medicine is the right choice for you if you are a people person. Empathy is the key to good quality healthcare and patient satisfaction. In addition, there are courses throughout medical school, which help to refine your bedside manner while still being open and straightforward. This is not only necessary when dealing with patients but also with their families.
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 Anatomy
Professor Eric Mensah Brown is a professor of Anatomy in the College of Medicine. He was born in Kumasi, Ghana. After secondary school he attended the University of Ghana Medical School in 1980 and gained a MBChB degree. After three years medical practice with the Ministry of Health in Ghana he moved to England to undertake graduate studies at the University of Leicester. After completing a Ph.D in embryology, Eric returned to Ghana as a lecturer. He also worked as a senior lecturer at Walter Sisulu University in South Africa before joining the College of Medicine at the United Arab Emirates University in 1992 as an assistant professor of Anatomy.
In addition to his duties as a professor of Anatomy he has served as member of the Curriculum Committee (including chairing it) and as a course director of the Medical Sciences and Organ Systems courses. He is presently the Chair of the Faculty Governance Review Committee (designing and reviewing faculty governance documents) and the Faculty Assembly as well as being a representative on the College Council.
He has received best teacher award several times. His research interests include morphological studies of the camel and the houbara bustard. For the last few years Eric has worked on studying autoimmune diabetes and experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE). He has presented papers at several immunology conferences and been involved with other research activities. At the moment he is a reviewer for the Kidney International, Molecular Immunology, Human Immunology and Immunology journals. He has published 50 peer-refereed papers. The highlights of his studies on autoimmunity have included observations on the role of microglia as antigen presenting cells in EAE; the role of interleukin (IL)-23/IL-17 and Toll-like receptor 2 pathways in experimentally induced diabetes, where interferon gamma served as a facilitator rather than an opposing factor. He has also researched the role of galectin-3 in animal models of human type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. A micrograph on the role of IL-23 was used as a cover illustration for an issue of the European Journal of Immunology. In the last five years he has expanded his research interests into the epigenetic regulation of metabolic syndrome, and together with colleagues, has received several interdisciplinary and faculty grants from the university worth more than 2 million AED.
Professor Mensah Brown is married with four children, three daughters and a son. His wife is a retired teacher. Their eldest daughter lives in the UAE and is a businesswoman. The second daughter is a medical physicist working at the Kansas University Medical School Cancer Center, in the USA, while the final daughter is an eighth grade Algebra teacher in Minneapolis. Their only son is a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania.
His hobbies include apologetics, philosophy of religions and reading. He also loves traveling. In the past he was a keen tennis and soccer player but now limits physical activity to walking and riding his bicycle.
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.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Dedicated to Discovery and Development
Research and responsibility go hand-in-hand for Dr Ossama Osman, as he combines his work in research with service to the community and guiding students to become leaders.
As Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences within the College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS) at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), he is a firm believer in translating research and theoretical education into practical use, for the good of society – a belief that has made him an instrumental figure within the UAE’s health sector.
A graduate of the University of Cairo Medical School, he completed four years of accredited residency training in psychiatry at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine in the US, where he made his first impact on the world of research. Conducting studies designed to develop understanding of the biochemical aspect of the effect of medication used to treat his patients, he won a University Excellence Award in the field of research into schizophrenia, and was selected by the US’ prestigious National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) to undergo three years of research fellowship training in Clinical Psychopharmacology.
Having focused his work on the neurochemical and neuroendocrine mechanisms in mood disorders during his time at NIMH – with his published work contributing to the development of new knowledge on the mechanics of the brain – he served as a full-time faculty member at several US universities for almost a decade. During this time, Dr Osman developed the first schizophrenia research program at Bay Pines VA Medical Center in Florida; returned to SIU to establish an innovative academic and training program in developmental disabilities; and led the creation of clinical and academic programs in community mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities at Mercer University College of Medicine in Georgia. He also became its first Medical Director, opening up educational and training opportunities for both medical students and residents.
Since 2004, however, Dr Osman has called the UAE – and UAEU – home. In his 13 years in Al Ain, he has secured numerous UAEU research grants and collaborated with other researchers at both local and international level, with his partners including institutions such as the Harvard Program for Trauma and Recovery. His research work has involved multidisciplinary studies of disorders in mental health, encompassing obesity, bariatrics, psycho-dermatology, hormonal and trauma-related conditions, and stress, and he is an active member of the Neuroscience Research Priority Group at CMHS.
Just as important as his research work is his commitment to support the career development and wellbeing of students. As a strong advocate for providing innovative avenues along which UAEU graduates can further their careers, and as someone with a long-held interest in academic program development, he established the UAE’s first structured joint psychiatry resident training program in 2004, helping to address an urgent need for specialist psychiatrists within the nation.
Having served as its first faculty director for six years, he saw this program grow to the point where, in 2010, it branched out into three initiatives in different emirates, and was pivotal to its accreditation by the US-based Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. During this time, Dr Osman was chosen to chair the Arab Board of Psychiatry Committee on curriculum development, credentialing and accreditation, and continues to perform a vital liaison function.
In addition, he co-founded the Higher Professional Diploma Program in Psychological Skills and Competencies in Mental Health, a collaboration between CMHS and the National Rehabilitation Center in Abu Dhabi. Since its establishment, it has graduated more than 60 mental health professionals – most of them UAEU alumni – who are now based at major hospitals around the UAE.
And Dr Osman’s wealth of experience has led to him playing a key role in development mental health treatment guidelines for primary care physicians in Abu Dhabi, and in providing training activities that enable this roadmap to be implemented. He has also been a significant contributor to Continuing Medical Education programs in the UAE and abroad, and regularly organizes and presents at regional and international psychiatric and neuroscience conferences.
Dr Osman is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, is a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and is licensed as a consultant psychiatrist at Al Ain and Tawam Hospitals.
In his spare time, he likes to play squash, table tennis, swim and to travel across the globe.
"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 day’s 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.”
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