Research Matters

WHO Designates QNRF-Funded Research Group at WCM-Q as a Collaborating Center

WHO Designates QNRF-Funded Research Group at WCM-Q as a Collaborating Center

Center will position Qatar as a hub for advanced research in infectious diseases and support WHO to ramp up its efforts in the MENA region

The Infectious Disease Epidemiology Group (IDEG) at Weill Cornell Medicine–Qatar (WCM–Q) has been designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for combatting COVID-19 and other selected infectious diseases in the region. Under the designation, the research team, which is headed by Dr. Laith Jamal Abu Raddad, will support WHO’s global and regional efforts focusing on public health programs in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR).
To mark this important achievement, a ceremony was held at WCM–Q to inaugurate the center, which was attended by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), and Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health and Managing Director of Hamad Medical Corporation.
The research team led by Dr. Abu Raddad, with the generous support of QNRF funding, has been conducting high-profile studies on the epidemiology of infectious diseases for more than a decade. The research has helped inform public health policy and programs at the national, regional, and international levels, eventually leading to the designation by the WHO. As part of their efforts, the IDEG team has assessed several intervention programs to counter the spread of infectious diseases and has provided policy recommendations to establish effective public health programs.
Commenting on the designation, Dr. Abu Raddad said: “It is very gratifying for our research team to receive this honorable designation from the WHO and to achieve this accomplishment. It is, however, just one manifestation of the impact of the investment that QNRF has put into building the research community in Qatar and empowering researchers to produce, thrive, and prosper. QNRF funding has positioned us to be a science leader in infectious disease epidemiology.”
Following the designation, the collaborating center will work with the WHO to conduct assessments of the transmission patterns of infectious diseases, forecast future infection and disease burdens, and provide technical support to help countries quantify the burden of infectious diseases, analyze the effectiveness of government-led interventions, and make evidence-based policy decisions. This will make Qatar a hub for advanced research in infectious diseases while contributing to building local human capacity and enabling impact in improving public health at the national, regional, and global levels.

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