|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 51-56
Abstracts of the first annual scientific research update: Medicine and biomedical research 2015" held in University of Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 5th to 7th April 2015
|Date of Web Publication||2-Dec-2015|
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
. Abstracts of the first annual scientific research update: Medicine and biomedical research 2015" held in University of Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 5th to 7th April 2015. Saudi J Med Med Sci 2016;4:51-6
|How to cite this URL:|
. Abstracts of the first annual scientific research update: Medicine and biomedical research 2015" held in University of Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 5th to 7th April 2015. Saudi J Med Med Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Aug 16];4:51-6. Available from: https://www.sjmms.net/text.asp?2016/4/1/51/170921
| Effective Strategies for Biomedical Education, Research Institutes and International Collaborations|| |
Prof. Karen H. Antman
Provost, Boston University Medical Campus Dean, Boston University School of Medicine Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA, USA
Science and medicine are now global. What is discovered anywhere can now be applied everywhere. Thus maximizing biomedical discovery is in every country's interest. Although smart and creative people exist in all countries, medical schools per 100,000 population and the development of robust biomedical research programs are as yet unevenly distributed among countries. Rather than a "brain drain", we need to encourage a "brain exchange" where faculty regularly visit universities and research centers outside of their own country.
Most innovation develops out of small self-organizing trans-disciplinary teams. Young faculty are often the most creative. Thus the challenge of leadership is not to micromanage but to hire smart and innovative faculty, provide resources and infrastructure and reward initiatives (even if not always successful).
Infrastructure matters at a national, university, school and laboratory level. Nationally, support for biomedical research and education under one agency facilitates MD and PhD education and research training together within universities. (Some countries separate research institutes and university education.) Within universities and medical schools, centers provide cross-talk between faculty and graduate students from different departments and schools. Examples at Boston University include the Framingham Heart Study, the National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratories and the Dahod Breast Cancer Research Center. Similar centers of excellence can be found at most great research universities internationally. Research core facilities shared by many faculty provide access to (and expertise to use) new or expensive technologies that would not be practically purchased for one or two researchers alone.
Collaborations between schools of engineering, medicine, dentistry and allied health sciences (and PhD faculty in clinical departments) facilitate translational research-clinical teams seeing patients working with research colleagues and problem solving. Collaborations with industry facilitate commercializing new discoveries and teaching medical and graduate students the complexities of new drug development.
Finally collaborations among universities, such as the BU, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, and University of Massachusetts jointly supported Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center (http://www.mghpcc.org) may be more effective than competition in providing expensive services, such as research computing, cost effectively.
Ideas develop "bottoms up with top cover".
| Training the Future Biomedical Workforce|| |
Prof. Linda E. Hyman
Professor of Microbiology, Boston University Associate Provost, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences 72 East Concord Street, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Traditional doctoral education has been based on an apprenticeship model whereby mentors train students in a discipline-specific manner. However, a shifting landscape towards interdisciplinary and translational science has helped to stimulate discussions on training future biomedical scientists as an integrated process of inquiry that is less concerned with discipline-specific perspectives. Many scientists do believe in the foundational concept that an integrated curriculum is an important goal in graduate education. However effecting curriculum change and obtaining consensus on the nature of such initiatives can be the most challenging part of the process. This talk will focus on the methods used to effect such changes and present workforce data from the US and other countries that show how training outcomes can influence how to best prepare the future biomedical research scientists.
| Application of Nanotechnology to Improve Patch Clamping Processes|| |
Prof. Dr. Kyle Jiang
Professor of Nanotechnology School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Birmingham Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom
We report an investigation on applying nanotechnology for improving the quality and efficiency of patch clamping. Patch clamping has become a gold standard for acquiring signals of cells from ion channels since the finding of ion channels by Neher and Sakmann, who won the Nobel Prize in 1976. The technique has been widely used in biology, medicine, and pharmaceutical industries today. However, the process requires an experienced operator and is time consuming. Achieving a low leakage or high resistance is paramount to the success of a patch clamping operation. We studied the possible causes of leakage between a micro pipette and the membrane of cells at micro and nanoscales and attempted various modifications on the conventional practice. We pulled micro glass pipettes under different speeds and temperatures and the tips and inner surface of the pipettes were imaged and reconstructed using scanning electron microscope. The sealing effect and surface roughness were analysed. Focused ion beam system was used to open the pipette tips and polish them. Pipettes were treated chemically and the surface contact angles were studied. Afterwards, extensive experiments were carried out to examine the effects of the modifications. It is found that pipettes with larger tip opening have higher average surface roughness and lower developed interfacial area ratio. The surface roughness models are not affected by pulling direction. Some surface treatments and the change of surface properties have stronger influence than others. Polishing the tip of pipettes reduces the leakage and increases the success rate of patch clamping. The results of the research have important reference value to guiding pipette preparations and can be used to explain biological phenomenon such as giga-seal formation. These furthermore can improve the quality and efficiency of patch clamping processes. preparation for desired surface properties and can be used to explain biological phenomenon such as giga-seal formation. These furthermore can improve the quality and efficiency of patch clamping processes.
| The Value of Not Over-engineering: Simple Biocompatible Nanoconstructs Overcome Resistance in Breast Cancer|| |
Prof. Dr. Andreas Nystrφm
Karolinska Institutet Institute of Environmental Medicine IMM Division of Molecular Toxicology Nobels vδg 13, S-17177 Stockholm, Sweden
A major complication in clinical oncology is resistance to single or multiple chemotherapeutic drugs. Such limitations can offer severe problems in treating patients with cancer that has reoccurred. Nanoparticle drug delivery systems can avoid the activation of efflux pumps, which is one of the major drives of drug resistance in cancer cells. In this work we show that polyester-based hyperbranched dendritic-linear nanoparticles incorporating doxorubicin can overcome microsomal glutathione transferase 1 drug resistance in breast cancer cells. Our results show that the nanoparticle system that we developed can alter the subcellular drug distribution of doxorubicin as well as the endocytic trafficking pathways. This result in chemotherapeutic delivery, changes both enzyme levels as well as signaling pathways. Together this increases the apoptosis level resulting from the chemotherapeutic insult and more cell death. By optimizing these polymeric nanoparticles for controlled drug release, we believe that we can overcome drug resistance as well as achieve higher efficacy with lower doses.
| Multifunctional Nanomaterials for Drug Delivery and Diagnostics|| |
Prof. Mamoun Muhammed
Professor Emeritus and Research Director of Functional Materials Division, ICT School, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden
Multifunctional nanoparticles hold great promise for many important biomedical uses, like, controlled drug delivery, tissue-engineering, diagnostics as well as visualization agents. These multifunctional nanomaterials are biocompatible, biodegradable and combine several important functionalities; such as sensors for external environment or visualization agents. Smart nanoparticles-systems can be assembled to be responsive to external stimuli. There is an increasing interest in developing advanced drug delivery systems for the treatment of cancers.
In this presentation, we shall review some recent results of the use of multifunctional nanoparticles for theranostics. Drug delivery system consisting of polymeric/inorganic multifunctional nanoparticles (PIMN) on the basis of biodegradable polyester nanoparticles (such as polylactic acid (PLA), polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and polycaprolactone (PCL) nanoparticles. These systems also integrate various visualization agents like superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) and fluorescent Quantum Dots (QDs) to be used as contrast agents for fluorescence microscopy and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The studies included both in vitro and in vivo studies using animal models. Specific results on the loading capacity, delivery rate as well as bio-distributions of the nanocarriers in the different organs shall be presented.
| Nature Inspired Photonic Nanosensor for Glucose Monitoring|| |
Dr. Haider Butt
Lecturer in Micro Engineering and Nanotechnology School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
The objective of the following study is to develop noninvasive and accurate diagnostics that are easily manufactured, robust, and reusable. The main aim was to develop diagnostics which do not require any source of electrical power so that they can provide monitoring of high-risk individuals in any clinical or point-of-care environment. Hence, we have developed a clinically relevant optical glucose nanosensor that can be reused at least 400 times without a compromise in accuracy. Methodologies: The nanosensor consisted of a phenylboronic acid-functionalized hydrogel, which responded to various glucose concentrations by expanding and contracting volumetrically. The hydrogel was transparent hence to link the volumetric changes to an optical effect a multi-layered grating of silver nanoparticles was embedded within the hydrogel. Do achieve this, a 6 ns pulsed laser (λ = 532 nm, 200 mJ) was used. A single laser pulse rapidly produced off-axis Bragg diffraction grating consisting of ordered silver nanoparticles embedded within a phenylboronic acid-functionalized hydrogel. Results: This sensor exhibited reversible large wavelength shifts and diffracted the spectrum of narrow-band light over the wavelength range λpeak ≈ 510-1100 nm. The experimental sensitivity of the sensor permits diagnosis of glucosuria in the urine samples of diabetic patients with an improved performance compared to commercial high-throughput urinalysis devices. The sensor response was achieved within 5 min, reset to baseline in ~10 s. It is anticipated that this sensing platform will have implications for the development of reusable, equipment-free colorimetric point-of-care diagnostic devices for diabetes screening.
At the end of my talk I will also explain the strategic collaboration of the current and future research and training opportunity between the University of Dammam and University of Birmingham, UK.
| Understanding Viral Pathogenesis in the Era of Emerging Infectious Diseases: Challenges and Opportunities|| |
Prof. Ronald B. Corley
Professor of Microbiology Director, National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL), Boston University School of Medicine 620 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA
Newly emerging infectious diseases break out and are identified approximately every 12-18 months. The pathogens that cause these diseases are difficult to control, and tend to cause higher morbidity and mortality in infected humans, possibly because of the absence of immunity to related pathogens. Interestingly, the majority - up to 70% - of these newly discovered pathogens are viruses. These viruses, while from diverse families, have a number of features in common. First, these viruses have RNA genomes. Because of the error prone nature of their RNA polymerases, they are potentially capable of rapid evolution. Second, most of these viruses are thought to come from animal reservoirs, and thus "spillover" events lead to human infection. Identifying these reservoirs presents their own set of challenges and in many cases go unknown for significant periods of time. Third, while these pathogens cause increased morbidity and mortality in infected humans, in some outbreaks patients that are asymptomatic or who have very mild disease can be identified. This suggests that host factors, particular genetic polymorphisms, may play an important role in disease outcome. However, understanding the nature of these genetic variables is complicated by the fact that developing authentic animal models of disease is often difficult in species with the capacity for genetic manipulation. Finally, many of these viruses, while having different modes of transmission, present real or potential global health threats. Using Filoviruses and Coronaviruses as models, I will discuss some of the challenges and the opportunities that emerging viruses present.
| Translating Research into Reality: Improving the Transition from the Hospital to Home to Lower Readmission Rates|| |
Prof. Brian Jack
Chairman, Dept. of Family Medicine, Boston University (BU) School of Medicine & Boston Medical Center, USA
The hospital discharge is a complex process requiring complex communications among the inpatient care team, primary care team, community services, the patient, and the patient's caregivers. In Saudi Arabia as well as in many countries, high rates of hospital readmission within 30 days have been reported. Factors that lead to unnecessary readmission include delayed transfer of the discharge summary, pending test results, lack of follow-up appointments; confusion about medications, among others. To address these issues, our research group developed the Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) program, a set of 12 mutually reinforcing actions that the hospital undertakes during and after the hospital stay to ensure a smooth and effective transition at discharge. This presentation will discuss the rates of readmission in Saudi Arabia and the diagnoses and risk factors that are associated with high rates of readmission. We will present how the RED program can be delivered to impact readmission rates and patient satisfaction. We will discuss the wide dissemination of this program and barriers to its implementation. Finally, we will demonstrate a highly innovated health information technology system designed to deliver RED to patients using an interactive, animated, computer character programmed to deliver tailored discharge information.
| Application of Second Generation Sequencing and Genomics to the Organ Transplantation Arena|| |
Dr. Brendan James Keating
Dept. of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Dept. of Genetics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
BGH-Shenzhen, Yantian District, Shenzhen 518083, China
More than 950,000 solid organ transplantations (kidney, liver, heart and lung) have been performed in North America and Europe since 1988. Although there have been significant improvements in immunosuppressant therapies, and in patient treatment pre- and post-transplant surgical techniques, graft rejection still affects ~60% of transplanted individuals. This still represents a major risk factor for graft loss, with rejection observed in up to 40% of transplanted individuals within the first year post-transplant.
Large scale whole genome sequencing studies typically show ~3.5 million to ~10 million variant differing between unrelated individuals depending on ancestry. We have developed transplant-specific GWAS arrays, 2nd generation sequencing tools to discovery genomic signals underpinning drug adverse events, as well as unveiling HLA and non-HLA based genomic incompatibility underpinning rejection, and are applying these in large well-characterized clinical transplant studies across Europe and North America. Furthermore we have discovered and validated biomarkers for rejection in kidney using urinary cell-pellet mRNA signatures, and rejection in liver using sera-based miRNA panels in National Institute of Health prospective clinical transplant studies, which we believe will advance the field significantly by allowing early non-invasive diagnosis an intervention for patients on trajectories for organ rejection.
| The Imaging assessment of Stroke, and current endovascular treatment opportunities for Stroke and cerebral ischemia|| |
Prof. Alexander Norbash
Professor & Chairman of Radiology, Boston University Office: 820 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118, USA
Both the diagnosis and treatment of stroke have been revolutionized by remarkable technological advances. The diagnostic advances have been most conspicuous where CT and MRI are concerned. Such imaging techniques as multidetector CT advances have permitted CT angiography and CT perfusion. Similarly, MRI advances have advanced the field of Diffusion-Based Imaging. These techniques allow an earlier and more confident understanding of Stroke and Central Nervous System ischemia. Simultaneous with an improved understanding of Stroke diagnosis secondary to these technical advances, has been a progressive and notable improvement in endovascular techniques permitting treatment of many Stroke patients. The advances in both angiographic visualization of blood vessels, in combination with the evolution of intravascular tools have led to remarkable improvements in recanalization rates.
| Resolution in Alzheimer's Disease: Studies on Lipid Mediators and Receptors|| |
Prof. Marianne Schultzberg
Professor of Clinical Neuroscience, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease with an ongoing inflammatory process in the brain, characterized by glial activation and increased levels of inflammatory mediators such as cytokines. Resolution of inflammation is an important process necessary for maintaining homeostasis, and includes removal of inflammatory stimuli and tissue repair and restoration. If the resolution process is disturbed, the inflammation becomes chronic. A recently described group of endogenously produced chemical mediators, the so called specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs), are involved in the resolution of inflammation. The SPMs are derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and include lipoxins, D and E series resolvins, (neuro)protectins and maresins. Omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) constitute a popular food supplement that has been ascribed several health benefits e.g. on rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and cardiovascular disease, and increasing evidence indicates positive effects on disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). Docosahexanoic acid (DHA), giving rise to the D series resolvins, neuroprotectins and maresins, is a major component of cellular membranes in the brain, and is known to exert beneficial effects on factors related to AD. We showed that DHA stimulates uptake of amyloid β peptide (Aβ) by human microglia. However, the role of SPMs in the CNS, and their effects on neurons and glia, are hitherto not well known. Our studies aim at investigating the resolution pathway in the brain, both normally and during AD, as a basis for developing novel treatment strategies. We have described that levels of SPMs in hippocampus and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are reduced in AD, and that proteins involved in their synthsis and signalling are altered. Studies on other brain regions indicate a general down-regulation of SPMs in the AD brain and an up-regulation of pro-inflammatory substances, including prostaglandins. In vitro studies on microglia showed that maresin 1 (MaR1) enhances the uptake of Aβ42 and reduces pro-inflammatory markers. We also found neuroprotective effects of SPMs, and receptors for SPMs were shown on neurons and microglia. Ex vivo studies on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained before and after a clinical trial with PUFA supplementation, showed a correlation between secretion of SPMs and changes in cognitive function, and prevention of reduced SPMs by the supplementation in AD-patients. Our findings are supportive of earlier findings of a disturbance of the resolution pathway in AD, and stimulation of pro-resolving activities may be of potential benefit in treatment for this disease.
| Traumatic Brain Injury Augments Pulmonary Host Responses to Bacteria: Molecules and Mechanisms|| |
Prof. Daniel G Remick
Chair and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Background: Traumatic brain injury results in damage both to the central nervous system as well as alterations in the peripheral immune response. Brain injury alone will induce morbidity and mortality, even in the setting of relatively mild injury. It is widely accepted that patients with severe traumatic brain injury have an increased incidence of bacterial pneumonia. There is less information concerning whether patients with mild traumatic brain injury are also at increased risk for pneumonia. We established a murine model of brain injury to examine whether brain injury would alter peripheral immune responses and decipher potential mechanisms. Design: A murine model of mild to traumatic brain injury was developed by using a fixed weight drop protocol. Two days after the brain injury pneumonia was induced by administration of the gram-negative bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. For the patient studies, clinical information was obtained using the national trauma database. Results: Our initial results indicated that mice subjected to mild traumatic brain injury had better survival when given pneumonia. To determine whether this was clinically relevant, the national trauma database was queried. The trauma database did confirm that patients with greater brain injury did have increased risk of pneumonia. Surprisingly, patients with mild traumatic brain injury had a lower incidence of pneumonia compared to blood trauma control patients. Using the murine model, we reproduce the clinical findings by showing a lower mortality rate in mice who had prior brain injury. The enhanced survival was confirmed using two different models of pneumonia lethality. We then examined the potential mechanisms of this improved survival. Mice with traumatic brain injury (TBI) had more neutrophils recruited to the pulmonary space and fewer bacterial colony forming units. The TBI protective effect could be abolished by treating the mice with an antagonist of the substance P receptor. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that both mice and human patients have a better response to bacterial pneumonia. Substance P represents the molecule mediating this enhanced pulmonary response to bacteria.
| Trends in Phytomedicine and Phototherapy Research: From Traditional Herbal Medicine to Novel Pharmaceuticals Based on the Synergy Concept|| |
Prof. Alexander Panossian
Head of Research and Development, Swedish Herbal Institute Gφteborg, Sweden
The reductionist method of dissecting biological systems into their constituent parts has been effective in XX century not only for explaining the chemical basis of numerous living processes, but in particular for drug discovery based on bioassay guided fractionation of herbal extracts with the purpose to isolate an active principle. However, now is obvious that this approach has reached its limit and does not solve many problems associated with efficacy and safety of purified drugs. It also underestimates the complexity of pathogenesis of diseases. The new strategy of drug development is based on holistic approach and multi-target therapy, which are associated with the synergy concept, an experience of Traditional Medicinal Systems, evidences from modern OMICS research and verified results of clinical efficacy and safety of standardized herbal medicinal products. Recent studies clearly demonstrate that traditional method of mixing several plant extracts in a new combination can indeed result an unexpected biological activity. Thus, blending of two or more substances (individual compounds or plant extracts) in a combination induces both synergistic and antagonistic interactions of molecular networks in targeted cells, resulting a deregulation of new genes, which are specific exclusively for the combination and loss of some effects, specific for their ingredients. Synergistic interactions induce changes in expression of some genes that none of the individual substances affected, while antagonistic interactions suppress expressions of some other genes that are expressed under an influence of individual substances. Thus, merging of two or more substances in a combination creates a qualitatively new substance, with new biological "signature" and pharmacological "profile", different from signatures and profiles of its constituents. Presumably, this phenomenon can be implemented for elimination of undesirable effects (e.g. toxic effects) and increasing the efficacy of pharmacological interventions.
| Synergistic Effect of Phytochemicals Prevents Inflammation-Induced Survival of Cancer Cells|| |
Dr. Adeeb Shehzad
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan
Prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2 ) is an inflammatory lipid mediator that mediates various inflammatory processes and promotes cells proliferation and leukemia growth, via increased expression of inflammatory proteins as well as activation of survival pathways. However, the underlying mechanism and intermediary signaling implicated in leukemia growth by PGE 2 have not been exclusively addressed. In the current study, we demonstrate that PGE 2 plays a survival role in the protection of HL-60 cells against menadione-induced oxidative stress apoptosis. Flow cytometry and staining data revealed that PGE 2 repressed menadione-induced apoptosis by blocking ROS generation and cell shrinkage and chromatin condensation. However, pretreatment with decursinol angelate (DA), a coumarin compound isolated from the roots of Angelica gigas, reversed the anti-apoptotic and cell survival effect of PGE 2 as well as restored menadione-mediated caspase-3, Lamin B and PARP cleavage. DA inhibited PGE 2 -induced activation of PKA and Ras/Raf/ Erk pathway, which is required for the transcriptional activation of CREB and actively participates in cell survival. Additionally, PGE 2 -induced phosphorylation of CREB and activation of NF-kB (p50 and p65) subunits, which is greatly reduced by prior treatment with DA followed by menadione treatment. These preliminary results explicate a novel mechanism for regulation of leukemia cell survival, and open a gateway for further development and combinatory treatments of leukemia by inhibiting PGE 2 .
| University Innovation & Technology Transfer: Basic Understandings|| |
Dr. Iyad Talal M. Alzaharnah
Director, KFUPM Innovation Center. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
There has been always a gap between what technology transfer managers in universities actually do and the outputs of those who study university technology transfer. However, it seems that the gap is closing. In this regard, this presentation highlights some of the recent universal understandings about university technology transfer and innovation. Increasingly, universities play major role in providing anchors for their local innovation systems, which are highly valued as cores for volatile economic growth. The ability of universities to act as focal points for leading edge research is seen as their major enabler for acting as neutral institutions (more than other organizations) to anchor local innovation systems. The granted patents to universities which emanate from basic research activities in areas of strategic importance started representing more and more the innovation push around which local innovation systems of universities grow. The presentation points to the importance of patenting activities of universities. Additionally, the presentation will briefly describe the innovation support environment that King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals has developed since 2006.
| Creating an Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem at the University of Dammam|| |
Dr. Bradley D. Lytle, PhD
Electrical Patent Prosecution Attorney, Patent Prosecution Group 1940 Duke Street Underpass # 6, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
There is a significant difference between research for the sake of research, and research with an eye toward the market. Thomas Edison, founder of General Electric (GE), recognized this difference. With over 1,000 US patents to his name Thomas Edison embodied what it meant to be a researcher and a daily-inventor. University researchers who appreciate this distinction have a huge advantage in the market. Researchers explore new ideas that have not yet been commercialized, and once they find a good one, they can obtain a patent on the idea, which can provide a competitive advantage to bolster a new company. Examples of such researchers, their ideas/patents, and the university driven entrepreneurial ecosystems that encourage their market-guided activities will be profiled in this discussion. The aim of this topic is to make professors, researchers, medical doctors, and students aware of the commercial importance their ideas have on spawning new businesses in the Kingdom, business that will not only reward the inventors well, but also provide innumerable benefits to the University and society generally. After all, Edison's lightbulb provides illumination for all of us.