For Saudi students, KAUST program is just what the doctor ordered

Prof. Khaled Salama
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Updated 23 January 2020

For Saudi students, KAUST program is just what the doctor ordered

  • More than 200 KAUST students will take part in the program along with 1,500 participants from across Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi students will step into the future of health care at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s annual Winter Enrichment Program (WEP), which launched its 10th installation with a focus on personalized medicine.

The two-week program from Jan. 12-23 will feature distinguished speakers, and “will enrich our students’ exposure, thinking and mindset,”

KAUST President Tony Chan said.

Prof. Khaled Salama, co-chairman of the program, said: “We chose ‘Personalized Medicine’ as a theme because it’s where science, technology and medicine intersect. We’ve reached an evolutionary stage in this field where traditional medicine is no longer working.”

Around the world, there is a huge research on how to use technology and machine learning to help doctors improve quality of service, Salama said.

“That can be achieved by improving the treatment to give the required dosage at the right time to the right patient — people are different from each other, and one medicine might work for one individual but not another.”

Researchers are studying errors in cancer treatments and other diseases, and how to use technology to treat these ailments in a personalized way, allowing for genetic, geographical and environmental differences.

“If we can use this technology to solve one of the biggest challenges that humanity faces in health care, it will be helpful not only scientifically but also will serve humanity as a whole.”

More than 200 KAUST students will take part in the program along with 1,500 participants from across Saudi Arabia, including high school and university students, university professors, government officials and health researchers.

“This helps enrich the Kingdom, creating connections where people can write proposals, network and open discussion for further research,” Salama said.

“Through events such as this, a university like KAUST can access expertise offered by visiting researchers, who can teach us things, which in turn helps our leaders and professors figure out what KAUST needs to expand on,” said Salama.

The program will include workshops, sessions and interactive scientific experiments. Saudi biochemist Hussam Zawawi will have his film screened during WEP, based on a microbiology study carried out in Latin America.

The program is a requirement for graduation at KAUST, and is an “important ritual of enrichment,” Chan said.

Sessions and podcast discussions will be broadcast to audiences across the Kingdom and the world on the university website.

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Preserving heritage means securing the future, says Princess Haifa

Updated 05 July 2020

Preserving heritage means securing the future, says Princess Haifa

  • Saudi Arabia is at the 209th session to discuss international issues related to the fields of education, science and culture

PARIS: Princess Haifa bint Abdul Aziz Al-Muqrin, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to UNESCO, said that changes can only be faced with global efforts to achieve the common goals of promoting peace, building cultural bridges between nations, and empowering societies to guarantee a better future.

Saudi Arabia recently participated in the 209th session of the UNESCO Executive Council at the agency’s Paris headquarters. The Kingdom was represented at the session by Princess Haifa and a team of 26 Saudi experts from different sectors that have activities related to the scope of UNESCO’s work, such as education, culture, energy, environment, and training.

Princess Haifa said: “Despite our different cultures and languages, we share our belief that education is a right for everyone, that preserving heritage means securing the future, and that innovation and science are the bridge that will pull us out of this pandemic the world today is living.”

She said that the Kingdom supported African countries and was ready to share its experiences in various UNESCO fields, in addition to supporting action plans related to developing islands as one of its priorities in exchanging experiences, especially since the Kingdom is one of the most advanced countries in the world in the field of water desalination.

Reference was made to the Kingdom’s support for international growth and stability through the G20 presidency, specifically with regard to ensuring the continuity of education in crises, the continuation of efforts to achieve climate adaptation worldwide, and solidarity with the members of the G20 in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a member state of the UNESCO Executive Council, Saudi Arabia is at the 209th session to discuss international issues related to the fields of education, science and culture. These will be evaluated and decided upon, and the executive decisions assigned to them will be voted on, in cooperation with the council’s member states.

The Kingdom’s participation in the meetings of the UNESCO Executive Council also comes as part of its permanent presence in the international cultural and educational organization since its foundation in 1946.

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