Dubai Gives Scientists AED2.5m Grants for Covid-19 Research

Dubai Gives Scientists AED2.5m Grants for Covid-19 Research

Dubai has given the grant of AED2.5 to scientists for Covid-19 research.

This seed grant offered by Al Jalila Foundation was awarded to scientists working on understanding more about Covid-19 and improve how it is diagnosed.

The grant will go to five UAE medical researchers in the UAE that study genetics, therapies and coronavirus diagnosis.

Supported by Mohammed Bin Rashid Medical Research Institute, the work will help the UAE’s fight against the pandemic and other viral diseases that could pose a similar threat in future.

“At a time when the world is racing against time to find solutions for eradicating the virus, well-funded research efforts are critical to mitigate current and future health and economic challenges,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, chairman of the board of trustees of Al Jalila Foundation.

“The foundation’s initiatives reflect its strong commitment to enhancing the capabilities of the country’s healthcare system by supporting research organisations and talented scientists.”

Out of the 91 submitted applications from 26 institutions, grants were awarded to scientists from some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the UAE.

Those included UAE University, University of Sharjah, Al Ain University and Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital.

Since 2013, Al Jalila Foundation has donated Dh28 million to fund 101 research projects in the UAE.

The applications were assessed through a competitive two-stage review process.

Papers were internationally peer reviewed from experts at medical institutions in the US, Belgium, Norway, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, Italy, India, UK, and Australia.

One of those to receive a Dh500,000 grant is Dr Farah Mustafa, from UAE University. She aims to research biomarkers of Covid-19 for better diagnosis and disease prognosis.

Others are looking into the genetics of the virus in children and young adults, while Dr Mohammad Ghattas, from Al Ain University, is exploring new drug candidates as potential treatments.

“The Covid-19 global outbreak has amplified the need to invest in pioneering medical research,” said Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, chief executive of Al Jalila Foundation.

“Now, more than ever, we are counting on scientists and doctors coming together to develop better diagnostic testing, treatments, and gain a better understanding of the coronavirus and other viral diseases.”