UAE: 29th October, 2018: VPS Healthcare’s Burjeel Royal Hospital and Medeor 24x7 International Hospital in Al Ain today announced the establishment of annual research fellowships for Abu Dhabi’s Fatima College of Health Sciences students. Every year, five nursing students will spend two weeks at some of the world’s top research institutions, observing the latest translational and clinical research methods.
The fellowships were announced after the launch of the Moonshot Initiative, a first of its kind program in the region, to support broad-based, sustainable medical research in the UAE. The Initiative was introduced by VPS Healthcare and Abu Dhabi's Al Bayt Mitwahid Association. The Initiative will act as a catalyst to build a world-class clinical research agenda powered by state-of-the-art technology in the UAE.
Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman and Managing Director of VPS Healthcare, said the Moonshot Initiative was an important platform that will accelerate UAE’s advancement towards a knowledge-based economy.
Dr. Shamsheer said VPS Healthcare was introducing the fellowships to help kick-start the journey to achieve the Moonshot. “As technology and science become increasingly complex, clinical research will play an even more important role in health care. Nurses, especially Emiratis, will have a critical role in facilitating that research and development in the UAE. This agenda will help attract more candidates to the industry and also help change the perception of the kinds of work nurses can do,” added Dr. Shamsheer. “Investing in the education and development of younger generation is vital to the future of the UAE. We will continue to find new programs to engage more of them to help shape the future of healthcare.”
Abdullah Al Neyadi, Chairman of Al Bayt Mitwahid Association Executive Committee said that the “fellowships were an important building block not only for expanding medical research in the UAE, but also for creating new career pathways” for nurses. “The role and participation of nurses is critical to making this initiative a success,” he added. “One of our main goal continues to be to encourage more Emiratis to join the healthcare sector, especially in the nursing field.” According to the latest statistics there are only 124 female Emirati nurses out of more than 7,000 nurses in SEHA hospitals and only one Emirati male nurse.
Welcoming the announcement, Dr. Ahmed Alawar, Managing Director of the Institute of Applied Technology said “with the VPS Healthcare research fellowships, the students will witness new horizons in research and development and will expand their perceptions when they participate with experts in the medical research and thus will be created to have the desire to continue and complete their research and higher education in the medical specializations.”
The Institute of Applied Technology has twenty campuses (fourteen schools, four colleges for Fatma College of Health Sciences and two colleges for Abu Dhabi Polytechnic), located in the United Arab Emirates.
The research fellowships will be developed under the guidance of Dr. Garth Powis, Professor and Director of Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute's Cancer Center, an internationally-renowned clinical research institute based in California.
Dr. Powis said he was delighted that the program will be introducing nursing students to clinical research. “It has been said that the mission and vision of the nurse is to help advance clinical research from bench-to-bedside,” said Dr. Powis. He added that clinical research holds great promise for nurses not only to improve the health and lives of patients, but also as a growing and rewarding career.
Dr. Powis is a distinguished researcher and scientist, whose work has resulted in three novel cancer drugs currently in clinical trials. He is the author of over 350 peer-reviewed publications and 15 patents. He has previously been a tenured professor for cancer research at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota and led leading drug discovery and development at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
“We have an advanced strategy to attract students in the above-mentioned disciplines by providing free monthly bonuses and training in health institutions to reach them to the highest levels and competencies required,” said Dr. Ahmed. “Thanks goes to VPS Healthcare, Burjeel Royal Hospital and Medeor 24x7 International Hospital Al Ain for this great opportunity, and jointly we will continue in the coming years to transfer the idea of research and development in the medical field to be established in the UAE.”
The recipients of the competitive fellowships will be announced in the second week of January and the program will commence in the summer of 2018.