Archive - 2011
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Last modified: November 27, 2012 13:53:27.
College of Pharmacy Students Visit Qatar Pharma  

Qatar University College of Pharmacy (CPH) 2nd year BSc (Pharm) and Master students visited Qatar Pharma, the sole pharmaceutical product manufacturer in Qatar on December 21, 2011. As part of their pharmaceutics curriculum, a tour to this company provided the students with an inside look at the production of intravenous (IV) products under world class conditions. 

The program started with a presentation by Dr. Haliem Ja’ffer, the Technical Manager at Qatar Pharma, who discussed the history of Qatar Pharma, their mission and current manufacturing capabilities as well as future plans for the company. Dr. Haliem also explained the range of IV solutions being produced and the customers for these products who are located throughout the Middle East. Students then visited the production facilities to see how the IV solutions, are prepared using the Germany-based equipment. Quality control policies and procedures were discussed and students were shown instrument, atmosphere, raw material, bulk materials and the final product testing in compliance with ISO 9000 as well as other British and American standards.

Dr. Husam Younes, Associate Professor of Biopharmaceutics comments, “Qatar Pharma and our college have established a cooperative relationship since 2009. We have provided some pharmaceutical analysis services while the has graciously provided training tours for the students. Dr. Halim Ja’ffer has also participated as a guest lecturer at the college. This is a good opportunity for the students to talk with and learn from experts in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

Qatar University College of Pharmacy and Qatar Pharma plan for this site tour to become an annual event,” said Dr. Husam. Students completed a survey after the tour and over 95% agreed that the trip will further develop their understanding of pharmaceutical manufacturing.
The College of Pharmacy recently launched a 2-year Masters in Science program. This is the first Masters in a health care discipline in the country. The program offers specialization in: pharmacognosy, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics or pharmaceutics. Qatar Pharma is a key partner in the training of these students and will recruit graduates from the program who wish to pursue a role in the local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

Qatar Pharma has been in operation since June 2009 and now exports unique formulations internationally within the Middle East. The factory produces sterile intravenous solutions and other parenteral preparations for a variety of medical needs.. The company plans to expand the number of products they offer and the number of countries that they supply to.

Dr. Wa'el Kafienah, University of Bristol, UK, Presents at Faculty Research Seminar  

Dr. Wa'el Kafienah, Lecturer in Stem Cell Biology, School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol, UK visited the College of Pharmacy at Qatar University as part of the pre-planned biannual research meetings with Dr. Husam Younes and the Pharmaceutics and Polymeric Drug Delivery Research Laboratory (PPDDRL) team members. In addition to planning and discussing mutual research matters with Dr. Younes, Dean Peter Jewesson and the Pharmaceutical Sciences Section Faculty members at CPH, Dr. Kafienah also presented a research seminar on December 20, 2011 to the College of Pharmacy entitled: “Stem Cells and Cartilage Repair: Turning Science into Medicine”.

Dr. Kafienah’s is a collaborator in one of Dr. Younes’ NPRP grants entitled “Biodegradable Elastomers for Cytokine Delivery in Cancer Therapy”. Dr. Kafienah’s main area of expertise is molecular biology. His research team and other collaborators from University of Bristol will be involved in conducting in vitro and in vivo compatibility studies which will ensure the safety and biodegradability of the new elastomers developed in Dr. Younes’ research lab. In addition, they will be responsible for conducting the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies on animal tumor model to test the efficacy of localized and targeted Interleukin-2 delivery system developed in the PPDDRL. Dr. Kafienah is also collaborating with the new PPDDRL in utilizing the newly developed elastomers for tissue engineering applications using stems cells.

To view Dr. Wa'el Kafienah's presentation slides and video capture, go to the following link.

Doctor of Pharmacy Students Present at Women Promoting Qatar’s Future Conference  

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD students) Hager Ahmed and Maryam Khaja delivered short presentations about their experience as female health care professionals in training at a recent Qatar conference entitled "Women Promoting Qatar’s Future: Women and Qatar’s National Development Strategy (2011-2016)". This conference was held in Doha on December 13-14, 2011 and was organized to gather women to discuss the impact and challenges of The Qatar National Development Strategy as they relate to women’s lives in the workplace, the home and in broader society. Several experts addressed the national plan provisions and provided examples of women who are already working to make the vision reality. Ms. Ahmed and Khaja are members of the first BSc (Pharm) class in this country and are now part of the first class of ten full-time Doctor of Pharmacy students. They expect to graduate in July 2012 and represent one component of the college's contribution towards the achievement of Qatar's National Vision and the advancement of pharmacy education and practice in this country.

Dr. Brian Clark Presents on Biobanking and Biobank Qatar for Medical Research  

Qatar University College of Pharmacy was delighted to host Dr. Clark at their biweekly Faculty Development Seminar on December 6, 2011. The College of Pharmacy holds development seminars on a wide range of health care topics of interest in Qatar. Dr. Brian Clark, Managing Director of Biobank Qatar for Medical Research reviewed the field of biobanking. This included a review of the range of samples and data that can be “banked” for use in research and the uses to which they can be put. Various designs of sample and data collections were discussed, as was the concept that a biobank is a data bank – an information resource. The specific mission, vision and objectives of Biobank Qatar were presented. The steps being taken to implement this resource were also discussed along with a vision of “where we are now”. Biobank Qatar will be a community research resource capable of supporting epidemiological research and translational research towards improved healthcare. There are many challenges in building this resource, but also many future benefits for society, healthcare, education and the economic development of Qatar.

College Signs Competency Standards/Professional Development Agreement with Supreme Council for Health  

At a December 5, 2011 signing ceremony, the Supreme Council for Health (SCH) and Qatar University College of Pharmacy (QU CPH) penned an agreement to endorse new Qatar pharmacist competency standards and to work cooperatively towards advancing the pharmacy profession and medication therapy outcomes for residents of Qatar. The agreement was signed by Dr. Jamal Al Khanji, Director of Healthcare Quality Management at SCH and Dr Peter Jewesson, Dean QU College of Pharmacy. The signing was witnessed by members of the two organizations, representatives from several public and private pharmacy partners, and visitors from the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP).

SCH and QU CPH have embarked on a collaborative relationship that will contribute to the achievement of optimal drug therapy outcomes for residents in the State of Qatar through the delivery of patient-centred care. Both organizations recognize that this goal must be achieved through the promotion of minimum professional competency standards and the continuing professional development of pharmacists licensed in any practice settings within the State of Qatar. New minimum professional competencies for Qatar pharmacists at entry to practice have been adopted and adapted from Canada with permission from the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities.SCH and QU CPH have agreed to collaborate towards the assurance and maintenance of these competencies through the establishment of a national continuing professional development structure that will support the educational needs of pharmacists in Qatar. They will cooperate on delivering the national CPD curriculum and accrediting third party providers to deliver the curriculum. Commenting on the agreement, Dr Jewesson said: “The college is pleased that Qatar now recognizes internationally-accepted minimum competencies expected of pharmacists at entry to practice. We have been training students to meet these competencies since 2007 and are proud to send our suitably-qualified first BSc (Pharm) graduates into the workforce this year. The college has also launched a Doctor of Pharmacy program to train pharmacy specialists who will contribute towards further advancing practice standards in this country”. Dr. Jewesson also expressed his delight that SCH had formally recognized the college’s Continuing Pharmacy Professional Development Program (CPPD) which supports professional development for pharmacists in Qatar. The program was initiated in 2007 by the College’s Director of the Doctor of Pharmacy Program Dr. Kerry Wilbur and is now coordinated by Assistant Professor Dr. Nadir Kheir with support from other college members and clinical affiliates. “With the help of our partners, the BSc and PharmD degree programs, combined with the provision of continuing education for existing practitioners and other activities, are helping this country meet the goals of the Qatar National Vision and the National Health Strategy 2011-2016”, he stated. (press releases)

Qatar University College of Pharmacy Graduates First Batch of 18 BSc students  

Eighteen pharmacy students proudly took to the podium to receive their Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) degrees from QU President Prof. Sheikha Al Misnad and College of Pharmacy (CPH) Dean Dr. Peter Jewesson on November 30, 2011. The guest of honour for the evening and keynote speaker was Qatar’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva H.E. Ambassador Sheikha Alia’a Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani.

After 5 years of determination and hard work, these young female pharmacy students attended their first graduation ceremony for the College of Pharmacy. Dean Peter Jewesson expressed the sense of pride he has in watching them enter the profession of pharmacy in Qatar. “Our first class of students have been diligent and committed since day one and I am proud to bear witness to see them graduate and now move towards raising the level of pharmacy practice in Qatar. They are strong capable female role models and I am sure they will make us proud.”

Dr. Sherief Khalifa, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs stated, “our students are well prepared to meet the healthcare needs of the state of Qatar. Their professional oath mandates that they continue their education throughout their professional lives to stay abreast of scientific developments in the field of pharmacy. We have a firm belief and a sense of pride that our graduates are well-equipped to meet the national health strategy and the Qatar 2030 national vision.”

CPH has received provisional accreditation from the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) and is now seeking full accreditation status available to the college upon graduating the first batch of graduates. Qatar University College of Pharmacy was the first college outside of Canada to receive accreditation from this governing body.

Ten of the BSc graduates have accepted into the newly launched Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at the college led by Dr. Kerry Wilbur. This post-baccalaureate degree program is designed to prepare licensed BSc (Pharm) pharmacists to practice at an advanced level and typically in the acute care environment. Maryam Khaja a CPH graduate and current PharmD student said “I am very proud of what our class has accomplished in the BSc (Pharm) program. Now that I am continuing as a PharmD student I can further strengthen my clinical skills. I am really looking forward to making a difference in the lives of the people in this great country. The PharmD program has high standards and the curriculum is demanding to meet Canadian accreditation standards. Having an accredited college in our country is a real fortune which will help the students who are interested in pharmacy profession to reach their goals, and help to improve health care in Qatar.”

College Students Participate and Win Second Prize at WCMC-Q Chemistry Symposium  

Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar joined the international scientific community in celebrating International Year of Chemistry 2011 by hosting a chemistry symposium with a "Chemistry in Medicine" competition on November 26, 2011. One hundred abstracts were submitted by high school and undergraduate students for presentation. Two pharmacy students submitted applications and their abstracts were amongst the 28 abstracts selected for presentation. Eman Remodan (4th year) and Ibtihal Abdallah (2nd year) each delivered podium presentations to an audience of over 100 students and faculty. Ms. Eman's presentation was entitled "The Impact of Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry in the Advancement of Nuclear Medicine". Ms. Ibtihal was awarded Second Prize (certificate, iPod Touch) for her presentation entitled "Virtual Screening: Providing Solutions in a Green Manner". The event was a success and we thank the coordinator, Dr. Sheila Qureshi for the opportunity to participate this year. Dr. Ashraf Al Khalil, our new Chair of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Section and a medicinal chemist coordinated the contribution process for the College of Pharmacy.

Well done, Ms. Eman, Ms. Ibtihal and Dr. Khalil!

Dr. Hisham Aljadhey from College of Pharmacy, King Saud University Visits College   

Dr. Hisham Aljadhey, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Medication Safety Research Chair from the College of Pharmacy, King Saud University visited the Qatar University College of Pharmacy on November 24, 2011 to meet with Dean Peter Jewesson and his associates Associate Deans Dr. Sherief Khalifa, Dr. Izham Ibrahim and Clinical Pharmacy and Practice Section Chair Dr. Maguy El Hajj. The meeting involved discussions pertaining to program development, faculty and student exchange and opportunities for future collaborative practice-based research. King Saud University College of Phamacy is the oldest college in the region while Qatar University College of Pharmacy is the newest. Both parties agreed that cooperation would be beneficial to their respective institutions and to the advancement of pharmacy education, practice and research in this part of the world.

Dr. Ahmed Awaisu Receives Best New Investigator Research Poster Presentation Award at International Conference  

The college is pleased to announce that Dr. Ahmed Awaisu, Assistant Professor, Clinical Pharmacy and Practice Section was recognized as a recipient of the Best New Investigator Research Poster Presentation Award by the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) during the ISPOR European Congress meeting that was held November 5 – 8, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. This Congress meeting was comprised of over 3500 participants from 147 countries.

The research award was conferred for scientific merit of Dr. Awaisu's research project entitled “Does connecting tobacco cessation intervention in tuberculosis care improve quality of life outcomes?” Dr. Awaisu and colleagues conducted the study with the aim to document the impact of connecting TB directly observed therapy short-course (DOTS) with smoking cessation (SCI) on quality of life (QoL) and other outcomes. There is apparent lack of evidence of benefits of connecting the treatment of TB and tobacco dependence. Their study findings suggest that combination of DOTS with smoking cessation has a great potential to yield better TB treatment outcome and Health-Related QoL.

For more information about this project and other research activities undertaken by Dr. Awaisu and other college investigators, please visit our research website.

Dr. Sherief Khalifa and His Investigative Team Receive QU Research Poster Competition Award  

Congratulations to Dr. Sherief Khalifa, Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Pharmacy and his 2 students Fanda Salem, Hind Mansour and Hala Bargal, T.A. for Health Science Dept. for winning the award for the poster competition at the Qatar University 4th Annual Research Forum (QURF) held on October 31, 2011. Their poster was entitled, “Isolation of secondary metabolites from Eucalyptus camaldulensis”.

The QURF theme for 2011 was “Towards Knowledge-Based Economy: Partnerships to meet national challenges”. This event was an opportunity for researchers at the university to showcase their scholarly activity and over 100 research posters were presented in 4 primary categories: health sciences, information and communication technologies, social sciences, and environment and energy. One award was given in each category. There were 31 poster entries in the health sciences (17 from the College of Pharmacy) and Dr. Sherief and his investigative team received the award for this category.

Well done Dr. Sherief and your research team!

QU College of Pharmacy Holds 5th Annual White Coat Ceremony  

Qatar University’s College of Pharmacy (CPH) held its 5th annual White Coat inauguration ceremony on Monday evening. The symbolic event included the taking of the Oath of a Pharmacist by 25 new pharmacy students and donning the pharmacist’s White Coat in an inspirational ceremony attended by over 260 people. Of key significance was the unveiling of pharmacy scholarships by Sheikh Faisal bin Qasim Al-Thani to Baccalaureate, Masters and Doctor of Pharmacy students on behalf of Ebn Sina Medical.

CPH Dean Dr. Peter Jewesson welcomed the attendees who included QU Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Prof Sheikha Bint Jabor Al Thani and other senior QU members; Director of Al Faisal Holdings and owner of Ebn Sina Medical Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani; Qatar’s first Qatari Doctor of Pharmacy Graduate Dr. Rasha Al Anany, Primary Health Care Pharmacy Director Dr. Mahmoud Al Mahmoud; CPH students and their families, CPH faculty, staff, and well-wishers.

Dean Jewesson remarked “This is an important day for health care in Qatar. In a few short years these students will join other Qatar University pharmacy graduates and assume responsibility for the medication therapy management of citizens of this country. The generous Ebn Sina Medical scholarship awards from Sheikh Faisal bin Qasim Al-Thani will enable more students to study pharmacy and for that we are very grateful. We are confident that these bright students have the capacity and commitment to meet the expectations of the Emir and this country. I congratulate them on this honour.”

“When I started Ebn Sina Medical over 40 years ago, I had a dream that someday I would be able to support, nurture and develop pharmacists trained in Qatar. This dream has been realized this year with the Ebn Sina Medical Scholarships we are providing to Baccalaureate, Masters and Doctor of Pharmacy students at Qatar University. We are proud to work together with Qatar University College of Pharmacy towards fulfilling Qatar’s recent National Health Strategy,” said Sheikh Faisal bin Qasim Al- Thani. 

“We are seeing an increasing demand from students interested in studying pharmacy in Qatar. This is another exciting year for the College as we are not only cloaking our 5th incoming class and announcing the Ebn Sina Medical scholarships but we also have our first MSc (Pharm) and Doctor of Pharmacy students at the college. The College is making very exciting headway in line with our vision”, said CPH Assistant Dean Ms. Banan Mukhalalati.

First-year pharmacy student Tesnime Jebara said, “Coming from a family of pharmacists, I have always known that this is what I was destined to do. In addition, the continuous support I get from my parents and faculty pushes me to do my best. I am so excited about today and I hope that one day I will make my family, college and society proud." (photo gallery) (press releases)

CPH Holds "Dialogue with the Deans" Sessions with Pre-Pharmacy Students  

College of Pharmacy Dean Peter Jewesson and Assistant Dean Mrs. Banan Mukhalalati met with pre-pharmacy students in 2 sessions this past month to provide information about “Keys to a Successful Application” and answer any questions they have regarding the program.

The Deans discussed the evolving role of pharmacists in this country and how students in the college will need to be prepared to be "change agents". They discussed the structured selection process and why both academic and non-academic criteria are considered. They also described how the process ensures fair and equitable decisions on the basis of student performance. Attributes of a student who will thrive in the program include good time management, study skills and computer skills. As well as being health care providers, clinical pharmacists must be good information managers. Accessing and critically evaluating the right information at the right time can make a difference in the life of patients, and it is important that students have the skills and attitude necessary to ensure they become committed and efficient lifelong learners.

“Admission to the college is competitive and there are more applicants than positions available. Meeting with the pre-pharmacy students helps to ensure they understand the challenges ahead, the commitment they will be required to make and this also encourages them to challenge themselves and become the best students they can be” said Dean Jewesson. Mrs. Banan Makhalalati, Assistant Dean for Faculty and Student Affairs comments, “Our meetings are also an opportunity to establish good communication between the college and these students. We wish them much success in their pre-pharmacy years and in their application to the college. For many, they will represent the bright future for health care in Qatar”.

Pre-pharmacy students are encourage to visit the college website for details regarding the admission process, to talk with current pharmacy students and to participate in QPhUS activities when possible. This will help to ensure they make an well informed decision about a career in pharmacy.

First Post Doc Fellow Arrives from Canada  

The College of Pharmacy is pleased to announce the arrival of Dr. Mohamed Shaker Mohamed who is our postdoctorate researcher in Pharmaceutics and Polymeric Drug Delivery Research Lab. Dr. Mohamed is a recent PhD graduate from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada where he has successfully defended his thesis entitled "New Biodegradable Elastomers for Therapeutic Protein Delivery". Dr. Mohamed was under the distance-based supervision of our faculty member Dr. Husam Younes during his Canadian PhD studies, and he has relocated to join Dr. Younes in Qatar's first and only Polymeric Research Laboratory and under recently awarded Qatar National Research Priorities research grant, to focus on the development of novel dosage forms for the delivery of cancer medications.

Dr. Mohamed's research interest is at the interface of biotechnology and materials science. This includes the development of effective long-term delivery systems for the controlled release of cytokines, synthesizing novel bioerodible-polymeric matrix systems that can be osmotically triggered to increase drug release rate, and addressing various approaches to optimize cancer care drug delivery.

The College of Pharmacy has an extensive research program that is strategically aligned with the new Qatar National Health Strategy 2011-2016. This new collaboration is one component of the overall research activities our faculty have undertaken to advance health care outcomes in this country. Check our research section for additional information.

Welcome on board, Dr. Mohamed Shaker!

Dr. Nadir Kheir Presents on the History of Medicine at Weil Cornell Medical College  

Dr. Nadir Kheir was recently invited by Weill Cornell Medical College - Qatar to present to the first year medical students. The title of his presentation was “The History of Medicine” and entailed a review of the major discoveries from as early as 8000BC to the present day. Dr. Kheir also discussed the foundations of medicine which included many prominent Arab scholars who have contributed to many discoveries in science, medicine and other professional advancements in the health sciences. The future physicians were pleased to learn of the many developments in medicine, pharmacy, healthcare and professional practice that emerged from the Arab world such as the famous Muslim pharmacy pioneers Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakarīya al-Rāzi, and Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi.

To view Dr. Nadir Kheir's presentation slides, go to the following link.

College Welcomes BSc (Pharm) Class of 2015  

The college welcomed its fifth class of baccalaureate students this week. Twenty-five applicants were promoted from the pre-pharmacy program after a rigorous selection process to identify those with the best academic and non-academic qualifications. This is the second year in which a maximum capacity class has been admitted. These students will complete 173 credit-hours of courses including 24 weeks of structured internships before graduating from the Canadian-accredited undergraduate program.

Our congratulations (mabrook!) to the BSc (Pharm) class of 2015 and we wish them all the best as they embark on their new career.

Qatar Hosts Second Annual IPSF Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office Symposium  

Qatar University College of Pharmacy recently hosted the second annual Eastern Mediterranean Regional Symposium (EMPS) in Qatar on July 15-21, 2011. Over 150 pharmacy students from 14 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East attended the 7-day educational conference. Educational activities included academic lectures, scientific posters, clinical and patient skills student competitions, regional assemblies and student-led workshops. Cultural activities included museum visits, desert trips and Qatari sword dances.

Guest speakers for the event were from the World Health Organization and universities in the Middle East. Qatar University College of Pharmacy faculty also participated in the event. Students from the represented countries with leadership potential were selected to attend a 3-day "Leaders-in-Training" workshops aimed at time management and team building.

Dean Peter Jewesson also provided a welcoming speech from Canada in which he welcomed registrants to Qatar and commended the students on their organization and participation at this important event during their summer break. Dean Jewesson stated, "This comes at a critical time when cooperation between countries towards the advancement of health care education and delivery is very important. I'm particularly proud of the efforts of our Qatar pharmacy students towards ensuring the success of this international educational conference." Qatar University College of Pharmacy students won several awards during the competitions and Qatar ranked highest in terms of total awards received.

Raja Barazi, EMPS 2011 Committee Chairperson commented, "The event was a great success on many levels. We had strong participation from several countries, students exchanged many ideas and learned from each other, and our guest speakers provided very informative presentations about pharmacy education and practice. As a student body in a college, we also learned how to organize and deliver an international educational event and we aim to host further conferences in the future."

The Eastern Mediterranean Regional group is a part of the International Pharmacy Student Federation (IPSF) which has 350,000 students from over 70 countries. Qatar has been an active member since 2008 at both the regional and international level and aim to send student delegates to the 57th annual IPSF in Thailand from August 3-13, 2011. (photo gallery)

Ebn Sina Award First Pharmacy Student Scholarships to Qatar University  

Qatar University College of Pharmacy has secured the first academic student scholarships for students accepted in the College of Pharmacy programs. These awards will be delivered to deserving students commencing in the 2011 academic year.

Our partner, Ebn Sina Medical, has agreed to sponsor four scholarship awards (minimum of QR11K/award). Two of these scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate (BSc (Pharm) students) and two will be awarded to postgraduate students (1 PharmD FT, 1 MSc (Pharm) on an annual basis. An internal selection committee will be formed to make award decisions and the awards will be presented annually at the White Coat Ceremony.

Congratulations to Ebn Sina Medical for being the first partner to step forward and recognize our students through the provision of scholarships that recognize their academic achievements and future contributions to the profession in Qatar. (press releases)

Ms. Alla El-Awaisi to Join College  

We are pleased to announce that Ms. Alla El-Awaisi, has accepted a formal offer to join the College of Pharmacy in the capacity of Teaching Assistant.

Ms. Alla graduated from Strathclyde University in Glasgow (UK) in 2001 with a Master of Pharmacy. In 2006, Alla successfully completed all elements of the Hospital Pharmacist stage II Training Programme which is a National Vocational Training Scheme for Scottish Pharmacists and then completed her MSc in Prescribing Science from the Robert Gordon University (UK) in 2009.

Following graduation she did her pre-registration year at Stobhill hospital in Glasgow and then she worked at Ninewells hospital as a Rotational Pharmacist. In 2006, Alla worked as a Clinical Pharmacist in Care of the Elderly wards at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Dundee and then moved back to Ninewells hospital to work as a Clinical Pharmacist in Medicine information. Since 2009, Alla has been working as a Specialist Clinical Pharmacist in the General Practice in NHS Tayside. Alla has worked with different prescribers at different settings to implement prescribing strategies and was involved in a number of research projects and audits to promote quality and cost-effective prescribing.

We have no doubt that Ms. Alla, with her credentials, experience and skills, will be a major contributor to the sustainable success of the College of Pharmacy.

Welcome on board, Ms. Alla!

College of Pharmacy Graduates First BSc (Pharm) Class  

The College of Pharmacy graduated the first BSc (Pharm) class this month. These are the first ever domestic graduates in the profession of pharmacy in the State of Qatar, and the first international pharmacy students graduating from Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) accredited program.

To meet the requirements of graduation, 18 students (90% of the original class) completed at least 173 credit-hours of course work, including 24 weeks of structured experiential training under the mentorship of select practicing pharmacists at various institutional and community pharmacy practice sites in Qatar. Approximately one-half of the students are expected to pursue post-baccalaureate education (I.e., Doctor of Pharmacy or MSc (Pharm) degree) subsequent to graduation, whlle the balance will enter professional practice in Qatar or elsewhere.

Commenting on this momentous occasion, Manal Zaidan, Director of Pharmacy, Al Amal and Heart Hospitals (Hamad Medical Corporation) remarked that "…we were very pleased to be able to participate in the training of these young and capable pharmacy students. They are well prepared to deliver pharmaceutical care to the patients in the hospital setting, and we plan to hire some of the new graduates to join our team. All the best to the new graduates!" Eman Bader, Manager, Ebn Sina Medical stated that "…this is a tremendous accomplishment for the country, the college and these students, and we were privileged to be a part of the success. The practice of pharmacy in this country is advancing rapidly and some of these students will be important "change agents" who will help us realize the goals of the new Qatar National Health Strategy. We hope to attract some of the new graduates to our community pharmacies, to contribute to the high quality of services we provide to the Qatar public." Linda Jean, Senior Pharmacist, Qatar Petroleum commented "…our congratulations to the first graduating pharmacy students in this country. Great students, and it was a good experience for our medical clinics to be involved in their practical training. We look forward to continuing our close relationship with the college towards training future health care providers for this country."

Dean Peter Jewesson remarked "…this is a very proud day for the college, the university and the country. We have became the 12th Arabic-speaking Middle Eastern country to graduate pharmacy students, and the first to do so as a Canadian accredited program. These are the first domestic pharmacy graduates in Qatar. These young health care professionals have successfully completed the requirements of a demanding 5-year program and they are well prepared to deliver quality health care in this country. Of course, this would not have been possible without the dedication work of our talented faculty and staff and health care partners. We also need to recognize the families for their significant contributions in making this day possible. I would also like to thank President Sheikha Abdulla Al MIsnad and Vice-President and Chief Academic Office Bint Jabor Al Thani for their vision and sustained support over the past 5 years. They shared in this dream. Finally, I need to congratulate the students who had the courage, motivation and the commitment to be the first domestic pharmacy graduates in this country. They are the "new pioneers" for the profession in Qatar, and the country will benefit from their contributions. As the official motto from my alma mater reads, "tuum est"…which loosely translated means "it's now up to you". I wish you all the best." (photo gallery)

Qatar University College of Pharmacy Holds First Annual Student Research Forum  

The College of Pharmacy held the first annual Student Research Forum on May 25, 2011 to showcase research activities undertaken by BSc (Pharm) students during their third and fourth professional. Students Reem Al-Nakeeb, Muna Al-Ismail, Mariam Khaja, Hebatella Al Saeed, Eman Remoden, Fenda Selem and Hend Mansour delivered oral presentations and answered questions from the audience regarding their research methodology, findings and interpretation. These research projects were completed during directed studies courses that undergraduate students are required to complete before graduation.

Upon completion of the oral presentations, students presented 33 research posters to showcase other projects that have been completed during the direct studies courses. The event was attended by over 50 pharmacists, health care scientists and associates from partnering organizations in Qatar. The event was sponsored by the college's Continuing Professional Pharmacy Development program that provides free continuing education opportunities to the pharmacy profession in Qatar. Dean Peter Jewesson remarked, “..this was a highly successful event that focuses on our mandate to promote research and scholarly activity at the college. Involvement of students in research early in their professional careers emphasizes the need for them to not only be consumers of knowledge, but to be contributors as well." (photo gallery)

College Receives Major 3 NPRP Research Grants  

Qatar University received 64 research grant awards in the 4th Qatar Foundation NPRP Cycle. The College of Pharmacy received three of these research grants representing a 30% success rate. This was the highest achieved by our college to date.

Two members of the Clinical Pharmacy and Practice section received the first awards obtained by this academic unit, and one member of the Pharmaceutical Sciences section received his third award. Dr. Maguy El Hajj received her first NRRP grant for her proposal entitled "Assessing the Effectiveness of a Pharmacist-delivered Smoking Cessation Program in the State of Qatar". Dr. Bridget Javed received her first NPRP grant for her proposal entitled "Patient Counseling Practices Among Community Pharmacists in Qatar". Dr. Husam received his third NPRP grant for his proposal entitled "Controlled Release Letrozole Drug Delivery System for Breast Cancer Therapy".

The college commends all members who submitted an application this cycle, and congratulate the grant recipients on their success. We are proud of your efforts.

Well done, everyone.

Dr. Mohamed Izham to Join College  

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Mohamed Izham Mohamed Ibrahim has accepted a formal offer to join us as this college's first Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. He will join us in September 2011.

Dr. Izham received his B.Pharm degree from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1990, and a PhD in Pharmacy Administration from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Sciences, USA in 1995. His areas of scholarly interest include pharmaceutical economics and policy, pharmacoepidemiology, socio-behavioral aspects of pharmacy and quality of life. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, multiple proceedings, monographs, research reports, bulletins, newsletters. He has also authored 7 books and multiple book chapters, presented more than 40 invited presentations, and is the recipient of 9 international, 17 national and 8 university research grants.

Dr. Izham has supervised and/or participated in the training of over 50 MSc and PhD graduate students from several countries. He has also functioned in multiple consultant roles to government and non-governmental bodies at national and international levels.

Dr. Izham is currently a Professor of Social & Administrative Pharmacy and Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice at the College of Pharmacy, Qassim University in Saudi Arabia. Prior to this, he was Deputy Dean of Research and Postgraduate Study, Professor and Chairman of the Social & Administrative Pharmacy Program at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia in Malaysia. He has also served as the Coordinator for the Healthy Campus Program, and Director of the Corporate & Sustainable Development Division of this university.

Dr. Izham is an energetic, capable and committed individual who comes to us with a strong, complementary academic and professional background. We have no doubt that he will make a good addition to our team, and help us to advance the research and graduate studies mandate of our college.

Welcome on board, Dr. Izham!

College of Pharmacy Hosts Discussion Forum on Inter-Professional Health Education (IPE)  

Qatar University’s College of Pharmacy hosted a discussion forum on May 11 on the topic of inter-professional health education (IPE) and collaborative care in Qatar and the participation of local academic institutions in its implementation.

The event was the last in a series of four held in partnership with Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar (WCMC-Q), University of Calgary-Qatar (UC-Q), and College of the North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q) Faculty of Nursing Program. It drew over 60 Qatar University students and faculty.

The forum panel comprised CPH Dean Dr Peter Jewesson, Director of Family Medicine Clerkship Dr Mohamud Verjee (WCMC-Q), Dean Carolyn Byrne (UC-Q), Dr Brad Johnson (UC-Q) and Dean Christine Bolan (CNA-Q).

As part of its inter-professional collaboration activities, the forum group has established an Inter-professional Health Council with additional representatives from Hamad Medical Corporation and Sidra Medical and Research Center.

“The vision of the Council is to lead the education and development of health care professionals and health care systems which exemplify best practices in inter-professional care for the people and State of Qatar and region”, panel moderator Dr Brad Johnson said.

Dean Christine Bolan noted that the inter-professional activity currently taking place at CNA-Q resulted in an increase in teamwork efforts, due in part to the the college’s annual “Health Science Skills Competition” event. “For next year's competition, we have invited students of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, biomedical sciences and human nutrition to participate”, she said.

In his remarks that “cross-pollination is healthier than self-pollination”, Dr Mohamud Verjee encouraged “connecting, communicating and sharing” while Dean Carolyn Byrne highlighted the wide-ranging opportunities that inter-professional education can provide students.

Dean Jewesson said: “Inter-professional education can have a significant impact on the competencies and skills of our students and will ultimately translate into sound collaborative approaches to decision-making and improved health care in the community. The recently released Qatar National Health Strategy also recognizes the need to create a supportive environment where students from two or more professions can learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes when they enter the health care workforce”.

To view the slides and/or audio capture of the event, go to the following link.

QU College of Pharmacy Signs MOU with MUSC and University of South Corolina  

Qatar University’s College of Pharmacy (CPH) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to partner with the College of Pharmacy of the Medical University of South Carolina, US.

The MOU follows a visit to CPH in February this year by Executive Dean and Professor of the College of Pharmacy of both the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina, Dr Joseph T DiPiro. During the visit, Dr. DiPiro met with QU leaders, CPH faculty and students and over 100 academic, hospital and community pharmacists, and engaged in discussions on opportunities for collaboration and exchange.

“This agreement will set the framework for cooperation of mutual benefit including PharmD and MSc student and faculty exchange, internships, joint course and continuing education delivery and research collaboration”, CPH Dean Dr Peter Jewesson said.

He added further: “We are pleased to partner with such a well-recognized institution and for our College to be associated with one of the best recognized pharmacy academic leaders in the world. This will be of considerable benefit to our students and faculty and the profession of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. This partnership will also help us to position our College among the best of pharmacy colleges in the world”. (press releases)



Health Sciences Open Day a Success  

College of Pharmacy (CPH) and the Department of Health Sciences of College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) held the 2nd annual Open Day on April 30, 2011.

The event showcased the programs for pharmacy, human nutrition and biomedical sciences through tours guided by students from the prospective programs. Each program included lab demonstrations, professional skills role plays, lab result analyses, information on the role of health science in disease prevention. Prospective students also met with representatives from institutions in the field of health science.

CPH Dean Dr Peter Jewesson and Department Head Dr Tahra El Obeid welcomed over 200 guests including QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Prof Sheikha Bint Jabor Al Thani and many female high school students and their families.

“Our partners played a large role in this event. Future employers of our exceptional graduates were on hand to discuss employment opportunities and different areas of specialty. The Supreme Council for Health, Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Health Care, Qatar Petroleum, Ebn Sina Medical, Wellcare Group, Qatar Pharma, Qatar Diabetes Association, Central Food Laboratories and the new QU Sport Science Program interacted with students and parents to encourage a career path in the health care field”, commented Dean Jewesson. He added that the event will be repeated annually as it is a highly effective forum for students and families to meet with faculty to learn more about career options, program requirements and employment opportunities.

“Parents commented on the high caliber of our students and the quality of training they received to shorten recovery time from diseases through proper nutritional counseling. Students demonstrated their skill in preparing a meal plan for a person being treated with cancer and discussed the importance of a healthy diet in disease prevention”, Dr El Obeid said. “Our biomedical sciences students also demonstrated diagnosis of an illness by comparing a healthy person to a person with abnormal lab work results. More people are understanding the role that health science graduates currently play in their community and the positive contribution they make to healthcare delivery in Qatar”, she added.

Pre-pharmacy student Randa Hamam said, “It was exciting to talk to the organizations that may become my employers once I graduate. Now I feel more knowledgeable about a pharmacy career”.

The day’s program also included the screening of a film made by the biomedical sciences students to raise awareness about the profession. Senior biomedical sciences student Hanan Mouein who featured in the film, explained: “We developed this movie to describe to prospective students about the exciting opportunities our program offers and the places in Qatar where they can work in the future”.

2nd year human nutrition student Hend Al Tamimi commented: “The Open Day was important for me to tell others about my program and the importance of nutrition. Through my major, I am able to make better nutritional choices for my family and as well help other Qataris”. (photo gallery)

Dr. Husam Younes Attends Successful Oral Defence of His PhD Student in Canada  

Dr. Husam Younes travelled to Canada to participate in the oral PhD defence of his graduate student Mohamad Shaker, PhD candidate. Dr. Shaker successfully defended on April 21, 2011 at the School of Graduate Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), Canada. His thesis project was entitled "New Biodegradable Elastomers for Therapeutic Protein Delivery". In the accompanying photo, Dr. Younes is to the left, M. Shaker is in the center and Dr. Daneshtalab, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies (Pharmacy) on the right. In the standing row from left to right is the balance of the defence examination committee consisting of Dr. Hu Liu (Pharmacy), Dr. Karen Hattenhauer (Chemistry) and (Dr. Lewis Fischer (History and Committee Chair). The external examiner, Dr. Shirley Wu (University of Toronto) is not in the photo.

This was a particularly important occasion as it was the first PhD degree conferred by the College of Pharmacy at MUN. An important achievement for the college and for Drs. Shaker and Younes. On behalf of the College of Pharmacy at Qatar University, congratulations to you both!

College of Pharmacy Third Year Student Eman Mohammed Remodan Elected to QUSRB  

QU students elected its first-ever student representative board on April 26, 2011 following a month of voting. The results of the students elected to the QU Student Representative Board (QUSRB) were unveiled by VP for Student Affairs Dr. Omar Al-Ansari at a press briefing attended by a large number of students, members of QU leadership, faculty, and local media.

Commenting on the elections, VP for Student Affairs Dr. Omar Al Ansari said: “The aim of the Board is to elect a group of students belonging to various specializations who will represent QU students to meet periodically with my office, providing student opinions, issues, and proposals in areas related to student affairs and academics. The Board will determine its scope of work and each member has to reflect on how to achieve electoral promises”.

We are very proud to announce that one of the elected student representatives is College of Pharmacy third year student, Eman Mohammed Remodan.

Congratulations Eman!

Dr. Ashraf Khalil to Join College  

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Ashraf Khalil has accepted a formal offer to join the college as an Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Pharmaceutical Sciences section.

Dr. Ashraf received his PhD in Organic/Medicinal Chemistry from School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi (USA) in 1997 and his BSc (Pharmacy) from Al Azhar University (Egypt) in 1983. He was a Research Associate with Virginia Polytechnic Institution and State University (1998 – 1999), followed by an Assistant Professor position with the College of Pharmacy at King Saud University (KSA) (1999 – 2002). He returned to the USA to assume a position as a Senior Scientist with Analytical Biochemistry Laboratory in 2002 as he conducted several studies in the field of drug metabolism and returned to VPISU in 2003. He is currently with the College of Clinical Pharmacy, King Faisal University (KSA) as an Assistant Professor and the Coordinator of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Dr. Ashraf has published over 20 peer-reviewed papers and has 17 research presentations to his credit. His primary research focus is the isolation and characterization of a monoamine oxidase B selective inhibitors associated with tobacco smoke and the synthesis of biologically active compounds. He has also taught organic and medicinal chemistry for over 20 years.

In summary, Dr. Ashraf has extensive international teaching and research, as well as academic administrative experience in a new college that will eventually be seeking international accreditation. This background will be of great value to our academic unit.

We have no doubt that he will make an important contribution to the college and to this country, and expect his recruitment will further our mission of advancing pharmacy education and practice in this country.

Welcome on board, Dr. Ashraf!

NAPRA Approves Competency Standards Adoption for Qatar Pharmacists  

Dean Jewesson is pleased to announce that the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) has formally approved a request to adopt and adapt the Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacists at Entry to Practice (Second Revision, March 2007) for use in Qatar. In her correspondence to Dean Jewesson, Carole Bouchard, Executive Director thanked Qatar for the acknowledgement of the quality of their work in producing these important benchmarks and was pleased to grant permission to use these towards the advancement of pharmacy education and practice in this country.

With the NAPRA organization's permission and with acknowledge of the source, minor modifications to the professional competencies document have been made to reflect practice in Qatar. This document is available for download on our homepage. The original NAPRA competencies were incorporated into the 5-year BSc (Pharm) curriculum in 2007 and were approved in conjunction with the creation of the college by the Board of Regents under the leadership of the Heir Apparent H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in 2008. The competency elements also form the focus of the college's Continuing Professional Pharmacy Development Program, currently under the coordination of Dr. Nadir Kheir.

The professional competencies for pharmacists at entry to practice have been endorsed by the Medical Licensure Department and the Pharmacy and Drug Regulation Department of the Supreme Council for Health, as well as some major employers of pharmacists in Qatar including Hamad Medical Corporation Pharmacy Practice Committee and Qatar Petroleum Medical Services. A signing agreement between the college and the Supreme Council for Health is expected shortly.

Ms. Sandi Ali Adib Joins College  

We are pleased to announce that Sandi Ali Adib, MSc (Pharm) has accepted a formal offer to join us as a Research Assistant in the new Pharmaceutics and Polymeric Drug Delivery Research (PPDDR) Laboratory that has recently been established in the College of Pharmacy.  

Ms. Adib completed a BPharm at University of Jordan in 2007, followed by MSc Pharm with distinction at the King’s College University in London in 2010. Ms. Sandy’s main specialty is Pharmaceutical Analysis and Quality Control with emphasis on spectroscopic and advanced chromatographic analysis. She worked as a product developing assistant in BioCham for Natural extracts & Oils Company in Damascus, Syria (2007-2008) and later as a Teaching Assistant in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Arabic International University, Syria (2008-2009) before perusing her graduate studies in the United Kingdom. Ms. Adib has hands on experience in conducting experiments using analytical instruments, including HPLC, FTIR, Flame Photometer, UV Spectrophotometer, DSC and XRD.

Ms. Adib is the first Research Assistant to be appointed in the new state of the art PPDDR Laboratory lead by Dr. Husam Younes. The laboratory recently received US $1.5M funding (2 grants) from Qatar Foundation National Priority Research Program to support research pertaining to the development of novel polymers for controlled/targeted drug delivery and tissue engineering applications.

Ms. Adib will be an active member of a research team of graduate students, research assistants and postdoctoral fellows in the PPDDR Laboratory. We welcome Ms. Al Adib to our team and have no doubt that her contributions will further our goal of advancing pharmacy research and health outcomes in this country.

Welcome on board, Ms. Sandi!

Dr. Shankar Munusamy to Join College  

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Shankar Munusamy has accepted a formal offer to join the college as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology in the Pharmaceutical Sciences section effective September 2011.

Dr. Shankar received his BPharm from Tamilnadu Dr. MGR Medical University, Tamilnadu (India) in 2001, a MSc (Pharmacology and Toxicology) from the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (India) in 2001 and his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (USA) in 2008. He is currently an Instructor with the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Mississippi. Prior to this, Dr. Shankar was a post-doctoral fellow at the same institution. He has also served as a Lecturer at Pallavan Phamacy College (India).

Dr. Shankar has published 7 peer-reviewed papers, 10 research abstracts, 9 research posters and 12 oral research presentations to his credit. Over the past ten years, he has been active on various research projects involving whole organ, animal and cell culture models to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms in various disease states such as stroke, diabetes, and obesity. His primary research focus addresses the specific role of mitochondrial dysfunction and endoplasmic reticulum stress in the etiology of organ dysfunction during metabolic and cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension, and he seeks to evaluate the therapeutic potential of cell organelle-targeted treatment modalities using animal models of metabolic and cardiovascular disease-induced end-organ damage. He also intends to continue his investigations into the molecular & cellular mechanisms that underlie drug-induced toxicities to mitochondria.

While early in his academic career, Dr. Shankar has developed an early passion for teaching, inspired by his teachers who encouraged him to excel in his career. He has had experience training both undergraduate and graduate students which will be of great benefit as we launch our new MSc (Pharm) program.

Dr. Shankar will make an important contribution to the college and will further our mission of advancing the pharmaceutical sciences discipline in this country.

Welcome on board, Dr. Shankar!

Dr. Nadir Kheir and 4th Year Pharmacy Students Present Research Findings to the QU Medical Clinic  

CPH (QU) and the Medical Clinic (QU) celebrated the successful conclusion of the first research project ever conducted at the QUMC and its findings were presented at Qatar Health 2010 Conference.

The project , which was an undergraduate directed study course, was supervised by Dr. Nadir Kheir (Assistant Professor at the CPH). Final year college of pharmacy students Noor Alsalimy and Hala Sonallah collected data on the most prevalent health conditions seen and pharmaceuticals dispensed from QUMC. The study was a demonstration of the amount of information that could be retrieved from a tertiary institution’s health care provider service and used for planning purposes to improve services, staffing, and budgeting. The research students said that the clinic caters for the health care needs of a large number of students, faculty and staff, and that over 6800 visits took place in the period from November 2008 to October 2009. Most of the cases seen were for acute health conditions like upper respiratory tract infections, common cold, and allergies. Antibiotics, antihistamines, and pain medications were the top three drug classes prescribed.

The location of the medical clinic within the University and in close proximity to the College of Pharmacy represents an excellent opportunity for applied research aiming at developing service models where pharmacists work with clinicians and other allied health care practitioners to improve health outcomes, Dr. Kheir said. Contemporary pharmacy practice expect from pharmacists to play proactive role to ensure safe drug therapy and rational drug prescribing.

Another finding from the study was that chronic health conditions, like asthma and diabetes, were rarely seen in QUMC, which might suggest low priority for implementation of specialist pharmacy services for these conditions, but the researchers said that doesn’t preclude the initiation of such services in QUMC in the future to provide accessible in-house medication therapy management services that involves integrated health care approach.
Dean Peter Jewesson Interviewed by International Federation of Pharmacy  

Recently, the International Federation of Pharmacy (FIP) interviewed Dean Peter Jewesson regarding the school’s Canadian accreditation as well as the upcoming introduction of Masters and Doctors of Pharmacy degrees. In this interview, Dr. Jewesson talks about why it was important to create a program that would provide graduating students with a degree that would be recognized in other countries. He described that there are about eighty schools of pharmacy in the Middle East and a new college of pharmacy would need to offer something different than competing schools of the region and a stronger curriculum with North American accreditation would serve this purpose. A full version of the interview is available at the link.

College of Pharmacy Shines at DUPHAT Conference this Year  

The college had a successful showing at the annual DUPHAT conference ( this year.  The conference with attended by Drs. Nadir Kheir and Sara Al Dahir (Fulbright Lecturer (USA) currently with QU CPH) as well as Ms. Tammy King and several undergraduate students.   

Ms. King coordinated another excellent QU CPH exhibit and informational booth at the conference to promote the college, the university and the country of Qatar.  The college also supported an IPSF informational booth in advance of our hosting the IPSF EMPS student conference ( this year.
Faculty members and students represented six research posters and delivered five podium research presentations.  The college was the recipient of 4 awards including: 1) best student oral presentation (Sara Ahmed Hayder (P-3 Student); UREP-sponsored project; Drs. Nadir Kheir and Ola Ghoneim, co-Principal Investigators); 2)  5th Best Poster Award (of 83 entries; Arwa Hammoda and Amina Benilles (P-3 Student); UREP-sponsored project; Dr. Kerry Wilbur, Principal Investigator ; 3) IPSF Best New Undergraduate Student Society Award (received by Raja Barazi (P-3 Student and External Vice President of QPhUS)) and; 4) Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Contribution for the College of Pharmacy (received by Dr. Nadir Kheir). Go to the following links to view the posters and presentations. (photo gallery)
Well done, team.
Dean Peter Jewesson Presents at Oman Pharmaceutical Society Meeting  

Dean Jewesson delivered a presentation and a workshop on establishing a medication use evaluation program in a hospital setting at the annual Oman Pharmaceutical Society held at Sultan Qaboos University (Muscat, Oman) on March 10, 2011. This focus of this scientific meeting was pharmacoeconomic theory and practice towards cost-effective health care. Dean Jewesson was asked to speak in recognition of his 25-year history of accomplishments in Canada pertaining to optimizing medication use in the acute care institutional setting. The picture shows Dean Jewesson receiving a recognition award from Her Highness Sayyida Atika bint Majid bin Taimur Al Said who attended the session and supports the society. The one-day event was attended by over 200 pharmacists and associates.

The College of Pharmacy has recently hired Dr. Daoud Al Badriyeh, a PhD-trained pharmacoeconomist from Australia, who will be conducting research on the cost-effective use of health care resources in Qatar, with an emphasis on medications. "This is an important initiative for this college and for this country" Dean Jewesson stated, "health care costs in Qatar and the rest of the world are climbing at an unsustainable rate and it is the responsibility of health care providers and patients themselves to ensure resources are used effectively and efficiently."

To view Dean Jewesson's presentation slides, go to the following link.

Senior Year Student Marwa Al-Ameri Wins First Prize in Qatar GSDP Essay Competition   

We are pleased to announce that 4th professional year student Marwa Al-Ameri was the recipient of First Prize in the 3rd Essay Competition organized by the Qatar General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP) ( This prize was won for her essay entitled “Health and Well-being of Young Qataris”. The GSDP made a call to university students to be the Voices of Qatari Youth through an essay competition and workshop for Qatar’s Third Human Development Report (HDR) on Expanding Capacities of Youth in Qatar. The competition and workshop held in collaboration with Qatar University sought young people’s perspectives on youth in an era of rapid change, youth development through education, youth in the labor market health and wellbeing of young Qataris, and youth empowerment and civic participation.

Congratulations, Ms. Marwa! The college is proud of your accomplishment. 

Qatar Pharmacists Society: The Next Step Towards a National Professional Identity  

At the latest stakeholder meeting installment, Dean Peter Jewesson lead the registrants in a discussion on the formation of Qatar's first non-profit professional pharmacists society. The proposed vision of this society will be to improve health care outcomes in Qatar through the advocacy for and advancement of the pharmacy profession. The mission of the society will be to: 1) promote the improvement of public health and welfare; 2) unite more closely the pharmacists of the State of Qatar; To foster and encourage relations with all health professions; To improve the standards of practice for pharmacists; To assure continuing education by the dissemination of scientific and technical information pertinent to the practice of pharmacy; To work with the Supreme Council for Health towards accomplishing common goals.

Ms. Kholoud Nassrallah Joins College  

We are pleased to announce that Ms. Kholoud Nassrallah has accepted to join our college as a Professional Skills Laboratory Technician to support the professional skills labs. 

Kholoud received her BSc degree in Pharmacy in 2006 from Jordan University. She joined HMC in 2007 and worked as a Pharmacist in HGH till she joined us now. She worked in different areas in the HGH pharmacy; inpatient, outpatient , clinical pharmacy services, etc.

We believe that with her professional experience as a pharmacist in this country for four years, kholoud will be an asset and an addition to the success of our beloved college.

Welcome on board, Ms. Kholoud!

Dr. Ahmed Awaisu to Join College  

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Ahmed Awaisu has accepted a formal offer to join the college in March 2011 as an Assistant Professor with a clinical cross-appointment to one of our institutional health care providers. This is the second of six such cross-appointments that the college will be recruiting over the next 8 months.

Dr. Ahmed received both his M.Pharm (Clinical Pharmacy) in 2004 and his PhD (Clinical Pharmacy) in 2009 at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Dr. Ahmed is also a licensed pharmacist and has practiced in the hospital setting since 2002. He is currently the Head, Department of Pharmacy at the Rasheed Shekoni Specialist Hospital in Dutse, Jigawa State, Nigeria. He has held various academic and professional posts including Visiting Lecturer, USM (2006 – 2010), Lecturer, International Islamic Darul Makmur, Malaysia (2005 – 2006), Central Facilitator for the National Program on Immunization, Nigeria (2005). He is a member of ACCP, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.

Dr. Ahmed is a prolific researcher and author. He has 40 peer-reviewed publications, 10 research abstracts/posters and over 13 invited presentations to his credit. He was the recipient of the University Science Malaysia’s Award for Publication Excellence in 2008 and the Best Poster Award, TB and Lung Disease Symposium 2010 (jointly organized by Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Pulau Pinang, Respiratory Department Penang Hospital, and MAPTB in 2010). His research focus areas include clinical pharmacy, evidence-based therapeutics, pharmacoepidemiology, medication safety and pharmacy education.

These clinical cross-appointment professors play a vital role in the training of our BSc and PharmD students, as well as contributing to the advancement of pharmacy practice in this country. We are pleased that Dr. Awaisu has elected to join us in this exciting new portfolio and we have no doubt that he will make an important contribution to the college and to this country, and expect his recruitment will further our mission of advancing pharmacy education and practice in this country.

Welcome on board, Dr. Ahmed!

College of Pharmacy Honours Community Partners at First Annual SPEP Recognition Event  

The College of Pharmacy held its first SPEP Recognition Event to honour the directors, site coordinators and preceptors involved in the Structured Practical Experiences in Pharmacy (SPEP) program. Students graduating from the 5-year BSc (Pharm) degree program at the Canadian-accredited college are required to successfully complete 6 months of structured training under the supervision of select pharmacist in various hospital, clinic and community pharmacy settings. These pharmacists have met the professional requirements of the college to function as student preceptors and mentors, and have received additional training from Dr. Bridget Javed, coordinator of the program to prepare them to function as mentors for the pharmacy students.

At the event, over 80 preceptors, site coordinators and pharmacy directors were recognized with certificates and plaques, and a complementary pharmacy reference text. In her introductory speech, Dr. Bridget Javed identified that over 110 4-week internships had been completed at 21 sites involving almost 80 preceptors. "With the support of our professional partners, we have been able to successfully complete our first cycle of SPEP internships. The students and preceptors benefited tremendously from the experience gained and our students are better prepared for practice as a result. This is a first for our college and the first for the country."

Dr. Peter Jewesson, Dean of the College remarked "Similar to conditions in Canada, these SPEP internships are designed to prepared graduates for practice immediately after graduation from our 5-year program. As a result of a close partnership with our pharmacy colleagues from Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Health Care, Qatar Petroleum, International Medical Corporation, Boots and Ebn Sina Medical, our students have been able to receive the practical training needed to achieve the competencies of a responsible health care provider. The senior students will now complete a final semester of campus-based studies at the university, and Qatar will see its first batch of domestic pharmacy graduates in July 2011.

The SPEP program is designed to integrate, reinforce and advance the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values developed through the other components of the professional program. The practice experiences include direct interaction and students contribute to patient care provided by interprofessional teams that include pharmacists. The aggregate of practice experiences ensures that all educational outcomes and entry to practice competencies are met by students prior to the completion of the academic program.

Qatar University College of Pharmacy Begins Dialogue With World Renowned Leader in Pharmacy Education and Practice  

Qatar University College of Pharmacy was recently honoured to host Dr. Joseph T DiPiro, a world renowned leader in pharmacy education and practice and a highly accomplished editor and author for a series of meetings aimed at preparation for the launch of the college's Doctor of Pharmacy and Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree programs.

During his 2-day visit in Qatar in early February 2011, Dr. DiPiro met with President and Vice-President for Academic Affairs as well as college program planning committees, faculty/staff, students and our professional partners. These meetings were arranged to discuss opportunities for collaboration involving international faculty and student exchange, internships and joint research projects. Dr. DiPiro recognizes the progressive nature of the pharmacy college and the university, and believes that cooperation between Qatar and the USA would be mutually beneficial. At an evening event hosted by Dr. Sherief Khalifa and the college, Dr. DiPiro also delivered a presentation entitled "Pharmacy Education and Practice in 2011" to an audience of almost 100 community pharmacists, college faculty and pharmacy students. The presentation was well-received and was followed by some excellent discussion with audience members on topics that are common to both countries. The presentation can be viewed here.

Dr DiPiro is currently the Executive Dean and Professor of the College of Pharmacy for both the South Carolina University and the Medical University of South Carolina. He has authored over 200 journal papers, books, book chapters and editorials in academic professional journals mainly related to antibiotics, drug use in surgery, pharmacy education and related topics. Dr. DiPiro is an avid supporter of the advancement of the discipline of pharmacy in the Middle East. Dr. Peter Jewesson remarked that "Dr. DiPiro provided written support post-baccalaureate programs and we are exploring a continuing relationship between his pharmacy college and ours for the benefit of our students, our faculty and our respective countries. We look forward to continued dialogue."

Emily Black, PharmD Candidate (UBC) to Join the College  

We are pleased to announce that Emily Black, PharmD candidate (June 2011) has accepted a formal offer to join the college as our first Assistant Professor with a clinical cross-appointment to one of our institutional health care providers. This is the first of six such cross-appointments that we will be recruiting over the next 8 months.

Emily Black received her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2007. She then completed a hospital pharmacy residency at Capital Health in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2008. Emily is expected to receive her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of British Colombia in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2011. Emily worked as a clinical pharmacist in general and vascular surgery at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, British Columbia for two years and continues in a part-time capacity. As a Doctor of Pharmacy student, she has had the opportunity to complete clinical and research rotations in hospitals and universities across Canada and internationally.

Emily Black's interests include clinical pharmacy practice, emergency medicine, critical care, and infectious disease. Emily has participated in several research projects and has been an author on a number of peer-reviewed publications and research posters. She has delivered 13 research seminars and continuing education lectures, and is the recipient of 2 national research awards and 6 student and leadership awards. She has taught undergraduate pharmacy students, medical students and residents, pharmacists, and nurses throughout Canada and recently in Doha, Qatar. She has also participated in various capacities as a committee member of various pharmacy associations in Canada.

These clinical cross-appointment professors will play a vital role in the training of our BSc and PharmD students, as well as contributing to the advancement of pharmacy practice in this country. We are pleased that she has elected to join us in this exciting new portfolio.

Welcome on board, Ms. Black. We look forward to having you join the team!

Pharmacy College Partners With Honors Program Towards Promotion of Academic Excellence  

The College of Pharmacy is pleased to announce that a proposal for an honors curriculum for BSc (Pharm) students has been approved by the Office of the Vice President and Chief Academic Officer. Students who meet the baccalaureate degree requirements as well as the honors program stipulations as set out under the terms of the proposal will be able to graduate with honors.

The approved curriculum involves a combination of the Honors Freshman Seminar, Core Curriculum Honors courses and Honors Contract Pharmacy courses. The Honors Contract Pharmacy courses will be delivered across the four professional years of the undergraduate curriculum. These courses were chosen on the basis of quality, complementary content and alignment with the learning outcomes outlined by the Honors Program ( Undergraduate pharmacy students will be required to complete 27 credit-hours of honors/honors contract courses (the Honors Program requires a minimum of 24 credit-hours) and achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 at graduation to meet the program requirements.

Dean Peter Jewesson and Associate Dean Sherief Khalifa worked with Honors Program Director Dr. Ahmed H. Ibrahim towards the establishment of this collaborative curriculum proposal. Dean Jewesson states "This initiative represents an opportunity for the university and our college to recognize the academic achievements of our best and brightest students by conferring the distinction of graduation with honors on those who meet the rigorous requirements set out by the program. We thank the Honors Program for their support of our BSc (Pharm) students and we are confident they will rise to the challenge."