The Jameel Fund for Infectious Disease Research and Innovation in Saudi Arabia is set to provide support to eight research projects to combat Covid-19 and related diseases.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, August 9, 2021
Eight research projects will receive grants from the Jameel Fund for Infectious Disease Research and Innovation in Saudi Arabia to combat Covid-19 and related diseases, including the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the Community Jameel Saudi and King Abdulaziz University (KAU) recently announced. The Fund will support Saudi researchers through several stages, the first of which was already launched in 2021, by supporting researchers' projects at KAU.
Grant-winning research projects include proposals in areas of priority and importance in the scientific field, including medical technologies, biochemistry, medical products, and special infectious agents. Revolving around a set of clinical solutions to combat Covid-19 and related diseases, the selected projects included:
- Mohamed Ahmed Alfaleh (Faculty of Pharmacy): Retooling DPP4 immunoadhesins as decoy receptor to treat and prevent MERS-CoV infection
- Muhammad Yasir Wali (King Fahd Center for Medical Research): Alteration of nasopharyngeal microbiota with COVID-19 and identification of secondary respiratory infections.
- Hani Abdullah Alhadrami (College of Applied Medical Sciences): Nano Formulations of natural products-based SARS CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors as effective treatments for COVID-19.
- Ayat Tariq Zawawi (College of Applied Medical Sciences): The potential use of helminth immunomodulatory products for COVID-19.
- Thamir Alandijany (College of Applied Medical Sciences): Assessment of COVID-19 vaccine efficiency in inducing neutralizing immunity.
- Ahdab A. AlSaieedi (College of Applied Medical Sciences): Characterizing the TCR repertoire diversity in COVID19 and MERS patients.
- Leena Hussein Bajrai (College of Science): Insilico designing and evaluation of potential drugs against SARS-CoV-2.
- Rowa Y. Alhabbab (College of Applied Medical Sciences): Combining serological testing and RT-PCR test for efficient detection of COVID19.
The eight grant-winning projects were selected from among 35 research proposals that were evaluated by a joint committee comprising representatives from King Abdulaziz University (KAU) and Imperial College London based on a set of criteria, the most important of which is sufficient knowledge and experience in the research field of infectious diseases, in addition to the scientific qualifications of the applicants, and the extent of the project’s contribution to the treatment of infectious diseases. Alongside practical solutions, the research collaboration will produce articles that will be reviewed by specialist researchers before they are made freely available by KAU and Imperial College London.
On this occasion, Prof. Essam Ibrahim Azhar, Head of the Special Infectious Agent Unit, King Fahd Center for Medical Research, King Abdulaziz University, said: “Under this cooperation with Community Jameel Saudi through the Jameel Fund for Infectious Disease Research and Innovation, we seek to develop the scientific research system by supporting Saudi researchers and providing procedures and the funding needed to drive innovation that will help us combat many epidemic diseases that pose a real threat to human safety. And in this regard, I would like to send a message to researchers that 'not choosing their proposals among the winning projects does not mean that they are inappropriate, but rather that they are viewed as scalable opportunities'.”
Hassan Jameel, Vice Chairman of Community Jameel, commented: “As Community Jameel Saudi celebrates the 75th anniversary of the launch of its philanthropic activities, the selected research projects and proposals constitute new additions to our efforts. One of our aims is to create a healthier and safer community by developing more effective clinical solutions for a range of infectious diseases prevalent in the Gulf region and globally. I would like to thank King Abdulaziz University and Imperial College London for their continuous cooperation and support towards the efforts of Community Jameel Saudi in encouraging creativity and innovation and developing a stimulating environment.”
Recently, Community Jameel Saudi signed several cooperation agreements with King Abdulaziz University with the aim of supporting scientific research in the field of infectious diseases and cooperating in various academic and developmental fields. The agreements seek to strengthen efforts, exchange experiences and invest in common capabilities to serve the community. In the context of their cooperation, the parties will build a strategic partnership promoting research in the field of infectious diseases and innovation, supporting Saudi researchers at King Abdulaziz University, and encouraging cooperation with research entities from inside and outside the Kingdom to enhance the quality of scientific research.