Habiba Al Safar
Dr. habiba al safar Professor Dean of College of Medicine and Health Sciences Director of Biotechnology Center Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology

Contact Information
habiba.alsafar@ku.ac.ae +971 2 312 3030

Biography

Dr. Habiba Al Safar

Director of Khalifa University Center for Biotechnology and an Professor at the Biomedical Engineering Department in Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE. 

Habiba Al Safar is an Emirati research scholar who has a wealth of professional and educational experience. She obtained her Bachelor of Science (BSc) in biochemistry at San Diego State University, United States of America and later her Master of Science (MSc) in Medical Engineering at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.  She subsequently obtained her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Medical and Forensic Science at the University of Western Australia in Australia.  She has since completed a one-year Global Clinical Scholars Research Training program at Harvard Medical School. Her research interest is constructing the genomic structures of individuals of Arab descent to identify genomic segments that carry gene(s) that predispose to disease. Specifically, addressing diseases that are increasing in prevalence amongst the local communities of the UAE. Dr. Al Safar has identified a gene strongly associated with the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes among the Emirati population. This is the first Genome Wide Association Study of the UAE Bedouin population and first of its kind in the Middle East. 

Her passion for genome has led to the description of the first whole genome sequence of Emirati subjects, insights into the genetic diversity of the population of the UAE and most recently, the description of a reference genome for the UAE population.  


Education
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Medical and Forensic Science at the University of Western Australia in Australia
  • Master of Science (MSc) in Medical Engineering at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) in biochemistry at San Diego State University, United States of America

Teaching
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry and Forensic Science

Affiliated Research Institutes/Centers
  • Center for Biotechnology

Research
Research Interests
  • Genetics and Genomics

Research Projects

The Biomedical Science Discovery (BISDI)

The characterization of the UAE genome to personalize medicine

Abu Dhabi Precision Medicine Virtual Research Institute (ADPMVRI)

Wheat Landraces as Future Potential Genetic Resource for Sustainability in Production, Food and Nutritional Security in UAE

Detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 levels in municipal wastewater as a method of tracking the epidemic

Molecular Dissection of Inherited Genetic Basis of Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) in Arab Patients by Using Next Generation Sequencing Methods

Role of Gene Polymorphisms in Endometriosis in Women of Arab Ancestry

Individualizing treatment modalities and the genomics of cardiovascular disease in the UAE


Research Staff and Graduate Students:

Staff
Dr. Vijay Wadi Research Scientist
Dr. Nour al-dain Marzouka Research Scientist
Dr. Mariane Daou Post-Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Roland Michael Olbrich Post-Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Sarah K. Azzam Post-Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Halima AlNaqbi Post-Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Mira Mousa Post-Doctoral Fellow
Ms. Vijayalakshmi Nagarajan Research Associate
Mr. Sanjay Erathodi Ramachandran Research Associate
Ms. Amira Al-Aamri Research Associate
Ms. Anju Annie Thomas Research Associate
Ms. Gabriela Restrepo Research Associate
Mr. Mohamed Al Fahim Research Associate
Mr. Andre Barreiros Research Associate
Ms. Salsabeel Juneidi Research Associate
Ms. Mariam Saeed Albairaq Research Associate
Mr. Mohamed Nabil Research Assistant
Ms. Maryam Aljabri Research Assistant
Students
Ms. Aisha Alsuwaidi PhD Student
Ms. Fatima Alshamsi PhD Student
Ms. Balqees Almazrouei PhD Student
Ms. Maryam Almarzooqi MSc Student
Ms. Noora Zayed MSc Student