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.

Related


King Salman orders free coronavirus treatment in Saudi Arabia, including residency violators

Updated 30 March 2020

King Salman orders free coronavirus treatment in Saudi Arabia, including residency violators

  • Royal order applicable to government and private health facilities

RIYADH: King Salman has ordered free treatment be provided to all coronavirus patients in all government and private health facilities in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom's health minister, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, announced the king’s order at a press conference in Riyadh on Monday and said it included citizens and residents - even those in violation of residency laws.

Al-Rabiah said the royal order was borne out of the king’s keenness to put the health of citizens and residents first and to ensure the safety of all.

The number of virus victims in Saudi Arabia reached 1,453 on Monday, with 8 confirmed deaths and 115 recoveries.

The president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, thanked King Salman for the directive.

“This reflects the human and moral approach the Kingdom is adopting in dealing with this pandemic,” he said, adding that Saudi Arabia “is keen to ensure that patients receive the necessary treatment according to the highest medical standards without discrimination.”

He added: “This gives the most striking example in preserving human rights and dignity as everyone, whether citizen or resident, should enjoy health and safety, including violators of the residency system.”

This move, he said, clearly reflects the Kingdom's approach based on respecting and promoting human rights on the ground. 

“This shows that the most valuable asset for Saudi Arabia is the human being, thereby guaranteeing a decent and healthy living, the foremost right of everyone.”