The Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences has been recognising and honouring innovation and creative initiatives in the health sector within UAE and also abroad. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: In a glittering ceremony held At The Top in Burj Khalifa on Wednesday, ten pioneering researchers were honoured for their ground-breaking work in the field of health care. The virtual event that was attended by several academic stalwarts from around the world was the 11th edition of the Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, which has been recognising and honouring innovation and creative initiatives in the health sector within the country and even abroad for the last two decades. The awards were presented by Abdul Rahman Al Owais, UAE’s Minister for Health and Prevention and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hamdan Awards.

International awardees

Dr Bradley Nelson

The Grand Hamdan International Award was bestowed upon professor Dr Bradley Nelson, head of the department of Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH Zurich. He was honoured for his research on micro-robotics and nano-robotics, highlighting its applications in biology and medicine. The Hamdan Award for Volunteers in Humanitarian Medical Services went to the Supreme National Committee for Volunteerism During Crises. This was in recognition of the committee’s achievements in developing an integrated and sustainable system for volunteer work in the UAE during crises, and in cooperation with all stakeholders.

In the Arab World Awards category, Dasman Diabetes Institute in Kuwait was honoured for being the best Medical Centre in the region for its efforts to address diabetes in Kuwait through research, integrated prevention, training and education.

Professor Khalid Matar Al-Otaibi received the award in the Distinguished Personalities from the Arab World category. Professor Al-Otaibi is a urologic surgeon, endoscopy consultant and a professor at Imam Abdul Rahman bin Faisal University, Dammam. He was the first surgeon in the Middle East to perform laparoscopic surgery to remove kidney tumours.

The Hamdan Award for Outstanding Clinical Department in the public sector in UAE went to the Radiology Department at Rashid Hospital, which provides radiology services to the biggest hospital in Dubai to meet emergency situations around the clock.

Professor Khalid Matar Al-Otaibi

Artificial intelligence

Addressing the audience, Al Owais congratulated all the winners on behalf of Shaikh Hamdan. He emphasised the significance of choosing artificial intelligence (AI) in health care as the topic for this term’s award and said it reflected the vision of the UAE Rulers. He particularly praised Omar Sultan Al Olama, the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy, as well as the office of the National Programme for Artificial Intelligence and members of the joint scientific committees for their cooperation and efforts.

Winners of Hamdan Award for Distinguished Medical Personalities in the UAE:

Late Dr Mahmoud Mohammed Fikri, former regional director of the World Health Organisation for the Eastern Mediterranean Region. He was the first Emirati to hold such a position in a global organisation affiliated with the United Nations.

Dr Abdul Rahim Mustafawi, a prominent personality in the UAE medical community, who currently works with Al Jalila Children’s Hospital as a Consultant Paediatric Surgeon.

Dr Khalil Qayed

Dr Khalil Qayed, adviser to the Training and Development Centre at UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention.

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Research Awards:

Two research papers won the Hamdan Award for the Best Research published in the Hamdan Medical Journal. The first of these is authored by Dr Abdulaziz Tlili and his team, titled ‘Two new mutations’. The second research paper, by Dr Haider Raza and team, is titled ‘Streptozotocin-induced molecular and metabolic targets in pancreatic beta-cell toxicity’.