(Clockwise from top) (Late) Dr Ahmed Kazim, William Novick, Ian Frazer and Nawal Al Kaabi were among the winners. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences has announced the names of the 14 winners in its 12th Award term (2021-2022), which focused on Infectious Diseases.

The awards, with a total prize value of Dh2.8 million, are given in three categories: International Awards, Arab World Awards, and the UAE Awards.

Late pioneers Dr. Ahmed Kazim and Dr Muawiya Al-Shannar have been honoured posthumously among the UAE winners of the award established by late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Award said: “Over the last 22 years, in its pursuit of medical excellence, the Award has been able to highlight the world`s leading scientists. This is evident through previous Award winners going on to receive other prestigious international awards.”

He pointed out that Dr. Harvey Alter, winner of the Grand Hamdan International Award in 2016, received the Nobel Prize in 2020, and similarly, Prof. Robert Edwards, winner of the grand Hamdan Award in 2002, went on to receive the Nobel prize in 2010.

“Instances such as these reaffirm faith in the Award`s journey, full of fruitful scientific achievements, especially in terms of supporting scientific research and honouring scientists globally.”

Sheikh Hamdan’s vision

The minister said that in this term, infectious diseases were selected as the main topic for the Grand Hamdan Award, and prevention, immunity and therapy were the topics for the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence Awards.

“These topics were selected following careful deliberations, and are an extension of the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision, in supporting the health sector and upgrading scientific research locally, regionally, and globally.”

The minister added that it is common knowledge that the world has suffered immensely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on the health sector worldwide, whether on infrastructure and human resources or in health systems, as well as investment priorities and emerging challenges in the sector, has been huge. Despite the devastating effects caused by this pandemic in areas with limited health infrastructure and resources, it has demonstrated the power of adopting scientific research and innovation and raising the ceiling of our ambitions.

Al Owais explained that the control and elimination of these infectious diseases face great difficulties, the most important of which are the increasing resistance to antibacterial drugs, the emergence of some new pathogenic strains such as HIV, and the renewed spread of some infections, such as cholera and malaria, even after containing and controlling them previously. Added to these are challenges such as the inability to follow periodic immunisation systems, such as polio, in areas with limited resources, and the impact of changing ecosystems on the greater spread of infectious diseases.

Challenges of communicable diseases

“We must also not forget the challenge that communicable diseases in some countries pose to health plans to confront chronic and non-communicable diseases, which is an indirect impact on these diseases,” the minister added.

Prof. Dr. Yousef Abdul Razzaq, chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Award, expressed his pride in the Award’s continued march following the approach of the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

He added, “The award received many nomination applications across its three categories. The Award’s scientific committees, international arbitrators, experts in the medical field, and specialists in infectious diseases followed the rules governing access to the eligible candidate and in line with the Award system.”

Fourteen winners were selected from all categories of awards from pioneers of medicine, academic and humanitarian institutions, distinguished clinical departments and research publications, and individuals who contributed to medical developments that have had a global and regional impact in alleviating human suffering.

The winners will be honoured on November 23 at the Museum of the Future in Dubai, in the presence of a distinguished group of doctors, scientists, specialists, and senior statesmen.

The full list of winners is given below.

International Awards:

Grand Hamdan International Award – Infectious Diseases


Prof. Ian Hector Frazer

He is Professor at the Faculty of Medicine- University of Queensland, and the founding CEO and Director of Research of the Translational Research Institute, and Chair of Translational Research Institute (TRI) Foundation Board, and Advisor on Medical Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


Late Dr. Jian Zhou

He was the Lion Principal Research Fellow, Chair HPV Structure Protein Laboratory at the Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research of the University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine, Brisbane, Australia.

Both researchers are considered the co-developers of the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine. Their work has led to the development of a vaccine, which prevents infection with HPV strains responsible for majority of cases of cervical cancer. In August 2006, the first dose of the vaccine was administered by Professor Ian Frazer.

Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence


Prof. F Marc LaForce

He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone School of Medicine. He joined the Serum Institute of India as Director, Technical Services in 2012. From 2001 to 2012 he served as Director, and the Meningitis Vaccine Project that he introduced in 2010 was a new and affordable Group A meningococcal conjugate vaccine in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Prof. David D Ho

He is the Founding Scientific Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Centre and the Clyde ‘56 and Helen Wu Professor of Medicine at Columbia University. Dr. Ho has been at the forefront of AIDS research for 40 years, and has made a number of scientific contributions to the understanding and treatment of HIV infection. His studies unravelled the dynamic nature of HIV replication in vivo and revolutionised the basic understanding of this horrific disease.

Hamdan Award for Volunteers in Humanitarian Medical Services

Prof. William Novick, MD. He founded the International Children’s Heart Foundation, based in Memphis. The Foundation works to make heart surgeries available to those who are unable to access or afford it in 30 countries in areas with limited resources.

Al Basar International Foundation-KSA

It is a non-government organisation (NGO) established in 1989 to fill the gap in charity eye-health care in the thirds world. It provides its services through “eye camps”, the first of which were conducted in Pakistan in 1991 and currently takes place in around 45 countries in Asia and Africa.

Arab World Awards

Hamdan Award for Medical College/Institute or Centre in the Arab World

Faculty of Medicine, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The Faculty of Medicine, established in 1975, is ranked 126-150 for clinical, pre-clinical and health in World University Rankings in Times Higher Education. The College has graduated more than 3,337 male and female doctors. King Abdulaziz university hospital has also become a medical edifice with 4000 health care providers, a total of 1067 beds, 100 critical care beds, 170 outpatient clinics, and 23 operation rooms.

Hamdan Award for Distinguished Personalities from the Arab World

Professor Fowzan Alkuraya

He is Professor of Human Genetics at Alfaisal University and Senior Consultant and Principal Clinical Scientist at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Professor Alkuraya is an authority in the area of Mendelian genetics with more than 430 published manuscripts that describe his lab’s discovery of hundreds of novel disease genes in humans.

UAE Awards

Hamdan Award for outstanding Clinical Department in the Public Sector in the UAE

Genetics Department – Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital

It is the first centre of its kind to conduct a wide range of internationally accredited genetics counselling services in all subspecialties of children. So far, the Centre has helped test, diagnose, counsel and/or manage over 600 paediatric patients with rare disorders who would not have been diagnosed on clinical basis alone. In collaboration with Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), the Centre launched the first Centre for Genomic Discovery in the UAE to facilitate novel genetic discoveries specific to the UAE population and the Middle East.

Hamdan Award for Honouring Individuals Working in the Field of Medicine and Health

Dr Wael Al Mahmeed

He is a Staff Physician in the Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute at Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Al Mahmeed served as Head of Cardiology at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), Abu Dhabi. In collaboration with the MBRU, he established a research grant by the name the “MBRU – AlMahmeed Collaborative Research Award”.

Dr. Nawal Al Kaabi

She is a pediatrician and infectious diseases consultant and the Chair of the SEHA infectious diseases and infection Control council. Dr. Nawal was the Chief Medical Officer in Sheikh Khalifa Medical City and the Chair of the Clinical National Covid-19 Committee. She became the first Emirati to receive the Chinese Government Friendship Award in 2021.

Late Dr. Ahmed Kazim

Dr. Ahmed Kazim, known as the first Emirati doctor, dedicated 50 years of his life to the service and medical care of many people. He commenced his practice in Dubai in 1977 as an orthopedic surgeon in Rashid Hospital, and he headed the orthopedic department at Dubai Hospital. He was honoured among UAE pioneers in 2014 as the first Emirati doctor. As a tribute to his legacy, a whole building in Dubai healthcare city was named after him.

Late Dr Muawiya Al-Shannar

Dr. Muawiya Al-Shannar was among the first in the UAE to practice medicine in the private sector in the early 1960s. He contributed to the establishment of family medicine in Dubai, and dedicated his life to serving UAE residents and citizens alike in government hospitals and in private practice.

Hamdan Award for Original Research Paper Published in Hamdan Medical Journal from inside and outside UAE

Original Research Paper: Hamdan Medical Journal Published in Vol.13 issue 4

Identification of a Novel OXCT1 Frameshift Mutation by Whole Exome Sequencing and Evidence for Nonsense Mediated mRNA Decay.

Authors: Abdullah Al Mutery, Zamzam Yousef, Mona Mahfood, Abdelaziz Tlili, Jihen Chouchen, University of Sharjah.