Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) developed a new training programme that invited 20 high school students to the institution to study biomedical research skills and explore professions in science and medicine. A session on lab safety training was held at the beginning of the week, before lectures in drug analysis and delivery, database search techniques, molecular biology, microbiology, and epidemiological modelling.
Classes on scientific paper format, acknowledging earlier research and contributing to scholarship, as well as hands-on lab experiences were also offered. As part of ‘Science for Curious Minds’, students presented the skills and knowledge they had acquired over their week at WCM-Q in a presentation.
They will learn how biomedical research is carried out at a world-class research institute, and they will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the lab. They’ll be able to learn how researchers work and how their discoveries are implemented in the real world by asking questions during the event.
“The programme has been really great, especially getting to meet the professors, who are so knowledgeable, and doing practical work in the lab, which is something I absolutely love. Chemistry and biology are my favourite subjects at school, and I hope to be able to study medicine and become a doctor, so this programme has been perfect for me. It has also been great to be around like-minded students who also have a love of science and medicine.” said Grade 11 student Almayasa Ashkanani, of Michael E DeBakey High School for Health Professions.
The instructors at WCM-Q were Reya Saliba, Reya Saliba, Dr James Roach, Henriette Oosthuysen, Dr Yasser Majeed, Dr Susanne Awad and Dr Ghizlane Bendriss among others.
“This new programme gives us a great vehicle for showing high school students how exciting and rewarding a career in biomedical research can be. We were extremely pleased with the levels of energy, enthusiasm and engagement the students showed and hope that many of them will choose to pursue careers in biomedical research in support of Qatar’s ongoing mission to develop a thriving R&D sector in the country,” said Dr Khaled Machaca, senior associate dean for research, innovations, and commercialisation.