Public Release: 

Harvard Medical School Cancer Biology and Therapeutics Training Program launches in Doha

HMS and QBRI collaborate on a groundbreaking blended-learning program in cancer biology, diagnosis and therapeutics

Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) have signed an agreement to establish the HMS Cancer Biology and Therapeutics training program (HMS-CBT), to be launched in Doha. The agreement supports specialized training that promotes a deeper understanding of cancer biology, cancer screening, diagnosis and personalized treatments. The program does not involve clinical care.

HMS-CBT will launch in fall 2015. HMS and QBRI will together offer the program within Qatar's Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions in an effort to provide an opportunity to build professional skills in applied cancer research. QBRI will support 35 qualified students from the GCC and MENA regions who will participate in this HMS program.

HMS-CBT is a one-year, nonclinical blended-learning certificate program that incorporates a unique pedagogical approach to complement the busy clinician-scientist's lifestyle while retaining the highly interactive, hands-on approach of effective biomedical training. HMS-CBT is anchored by three residential workshops that will occur at the program's beginning, midpoint and conclusion. These will take place in Doha, London and Boston, respectively. The program also includes an online curriculum of 15 interactive live webinars featuring faculty experts in cancer and 45 prerecorded lectures.

HMS-CBT will provide students access to HMS' leading faculty and to a global network of student participants. The program is designed to provide participants with key research skills and an in-depth understanding of cancer biology to enhance their leadership in cancer therapeutics. The program curriculum will cover the molecular and cellular events that result in tumor formation, progression and metastasis as well as screening, detection and diagnosis. Students will choose electives in clinical cancer genetics, pathology and drug development. The program will also enhance understanding of the emerging scope of personalized approaches to cancer and its treatment.

Leading faculty from HMS and its affiliated teaching hospitals and research institutions, and from premier international institutions and organizations, will participate both as faculty and as mentors. The program will advance skills among clinicians and scientists who specialize in cancer and will serve as a catalyst for future collaborations and exchanges.

'This collaborative initiative will benefit both QBRI and Harvard Medical School through the exchange of ideas and will develop a regional and global network of future leaders in cancer research and treatment,' said Ajay Singh, associate dean for global education and continuing education at HMS.

'The HMS-CBT program will provide specialized education and training in cancer research and treatment and will also help build capacity in the region's research and health care community,' said Hilal Lashuel, QBRI executive director. Lashuel added, 'It provides a unique opportunity for both clinicians and scientists to gain advanced training and up-to-date understanding of the latest advances in cancer biology and therapies, thus contributing to Qatar's efforts to implement and pioneer personalized health care in the region.'

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