MUSCAT: Sultan Qaboos University has announced the University Council’s approval of the establishment of the Medical Research Centre (MRC), which will strengthen the Sultanate’s mission in health science research.
The new Medical Research Centre, which will be the 13th Research Centre at SQU, will conduct collaborative, interdisciplinary medical research that brings together scientists and clinicians from various backgrounds with a common interest in specific areas of basic, translational and clinical research.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, Dr Rahma al Mahrooqi, stated that interdisciplinary research of the kind promoted by the research centre has become indispensable for national development, with this being especially true in the case of the development and sustainability of advanced biomedical and clinical research.
According to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, it is important to centralise ongoing research being carried out in various disciplines of medicine at SQU to provide vital connectivity among the clinical and scientific communities.
As a result, the Medical Research Centre, with its centralised facilities and administration, will bring together researchers from the university’s College of Medical and Health Sciences, College of Nursing and Sultan Qaboos University Hospital to provide an optimal environment for collaboration interdisciplinary research.
According to the Dean of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at SQU, Prof Omar al Rawas, the Medical Research Centre will focus on high quality research that is concerned with themes that are highly relevant to Oman and the health of the Omani people.
Prof Al Rawas continued that the centre will achieve this by engaging in translational research that links basic biomedical research to clinical practice.
These themes are also part of The Research Council’s and Ministry of Health’s strategic areas for research in the health sector, including blood disorders, genetic/inherited diseases, cancer, mental and neurological disorders, public health, health information systems, and health economics and metabolic syndrome (diabetes, hypertension, obesity, dyslipidaemia).
The Medical Research Centre aims to conduct research on these themes as well as additional research themes in liaison with institutional and individual stakeholders in both the public and private sectors that share a common concern with boosting medical research that is Oman-specific.
The Assistant Dean for Postgraduate Studies and Research from the university’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dr Khalid al Balushi, emphasised the importance of promoting the health research culture of the Sultanate by hosting researchers under one roof through the establishment of the Medical Research Centre.
Dr Al Balushi highlighted the centre as a great step forward for medical research in the country, and as a foundation of the next phase in Oman’s continued progress in this vital area.