Research News

Khalifa University Researcher Aims to Transform Diabetes Treatment 

January 23, 2024

Mohammed Nabil’s Research Will Uncover Genetic Mysteries of Diabetes Using Mouse Models 


A groundbreaking research aimed at discovering and validating genes associated with diabetes, to facilitate new insights in diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers, is the focus of a new project by a Khalifa University Research Assistant.


Mohammed Nabil, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology, has successfully completed a three-month training program at KU Leuven’s Flanders Institute for Biotechnology as part of the Biomedical Science Discovery (BISDI) program. This training follows an earlier agreement between Khalifa University and KU Leuven’s Flanders Institute for Biotechnology. H.E. Mohamed Al Sahlawi, UAE Ambassador to Belgium also visited Nabil at KU Leuven.


While at KU Leuven, Nabil actively participated in a project led by PhD students, focusing on identifying the gene responsible for stimulating cancer cells. By conducting research on genetic diseases, and validating on mice, he aims to make significant contributions to the biomedical research landscape in the UAE.


At Khalifa University, Nabil also aims to conduct experiments following ethical guidelines, ensuring proper procedures for clear and accurate results, while performing surgical operations and precise dissection of body organs, aiding researchers in utilizing these organs for their studies. Dr. Habiba Alsafar, Dean, College of Medicine and Health Sciences (KU CMHS), and Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology, oversees this project, while Dr. Mira Mousa, Post-Doctoral Fellow, served as Nabil’s primary mentor during his time at KU Leuven.


Nabil said: “My goals and aspirations are to acquire all the knowledge and skills from the leading experts in the field, and bring it back to the UAE. With this, I am to transfer the knowledge and expertise gained, to scientists in the UAE, and train Khalifa University students to help nurture and educate the future talent in the field. Collaborating with leaders and experts in the field brings me immense joy as I contribute to scientific advancements and engage in the rewarding task of teaching students. My training at KU Leuven in the field of veterinary science ignited my passion for this field. Within this field, we can conduct research on diabetes and perform tests on mice to develop early treatment therapeutic targets and biomarker discovery.”


Among other techniques and methodologies acquired in both laboratory and animal facility settings, he learned to perform mouse handling, genotyping for mouse samples, experimental surgery (mouse dissections), and administration of drugs and anesthetic medicines. Additionally, he has been trained on experiments aimed at determining the genetic background of mice and establishing a large colony of genetically modified mice.


Nabil added: “In the animal facility, I learned the intricacies of crossbreeding single, double, and triple strains and maintaining a high-quality environment in the animal lab to ensure optimal breeding and experimental outcomes. I am committed to furthering the position of the UAE as a central hub for life science research and empowering the next generation to engage with laboratory animals, thereby contributing significantly to the advancement of scientific knowledge.”


ِAlisha Roy
Science Writer
19 January 2024