The UAE government has named the 20 recipients of the first batch of long-term visas announced on Wednesday.
The 10-year visas have been granted to the winners and finalists of the first and second editions of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence, following the decision issued by the UAE Cabinet to grow the country's status as an incubator of talent and innovation.
So who are the recipients? According to state news agency WAM, they are:
1. Dr Lihadh Al Gazali, Senior Consultant at the Clinical Genetics and Pediatrics at the UAE University, winner of the second edition of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
Al Gazali is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom; a Member of the Executive Council of the Arab Centre for Genomic Studies and several other global organizations.
She is one of the first scientists in the world to successfully identify recessive genes that cause more than 40 common genetic disorders among Arab populations. She was also the first female physician to describe phenotypic patterns of genetic disorders in the United Arab Emirates.
2. Dr Hassan Arafat, Professor at Khalifa University, winner of the first edition of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
Arafat was awarded this medal in recognition of his contributions to scientific research and development of technology for water desalination and treatment based on renewable energy, in collaboration with researchers from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MI) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US. He has a Jordanian nationality and is an Associate Professor at Khalifa University.
3. Dr Omar Yaghi, the Founding Director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute, Co-Director of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, and the California Research Alliance by BASF.
Yaghi is the first to become the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley and is a Senior Faculty Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
In the past two decades, Yaghi has developed new innovative methods to produce new materials and leverage their applications in various fields, including the introduction of biocrystals and gas separation such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen. His persistence, innovation, technical ability and in-depth understanding of molecular composition and interactions have contributed to better development of these organic components.
4. Prof Andrea Macchio, Associate Professor at the Physics Department and Head of the Physics Programme, New York University-Abu Dhabi, NYUAD.
Macchio’s work focuses on delving into the nature and origins of the dark components of the universe, especially dark energy and dark matter. He is also engaged in astrophysics, with particular interest in numerical simulation.
5. Prof Fikri Abu Zidan, Professor and Head the Incidents Research Group at the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, since 2007.
Zidan has contributed to numerous research projects, and published in more than 330 international journals, books and scientific journals. He has been involved in scientific research for over 33 years in various countries including Kuwait, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia. He has given more than 550 lectures and chaired more than 60 local and international conferences. He currently serves as president of the Human Medical Research Ethics Committee at the UAE University.
Zidan has contributed to the development of an internationally recognized curriculum on Focused Assessment Sonography for Trauma, FAST, in the UAE in 2004, and has trained nearly 500 physicians in this field.
6. Dr Enas Al Nashef, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Khalifa University.
Al Nashef’s main research focuses on chemical engineering and chemical analysis. He received 8 patents from the US and EU Patent Offices. He was also awarded several prestigious awards, including King Abdullah Award for Best Invention in 2013.
7. Prof Linda Zou, Khalifa University, Professor at Khalifa University of Science and Technology.
Zou's research interests include applying nanotechnology and membrane science to the development of low energy and high efficiency novel desalination and water purification solutions. She currently heads a groundbreaking research project on nanotechnology for the development of rainfed materials, which was approved by the Emirates Rainfall Research Program between 2016 and 2018.
She has 6 patents and has published more than 150 journal articles and conference presentations.
8. Prof Afaf Kamal Eldin, Professor at the Department of Food Science, UAE University.
Eldin is specialized in the field of food composition and analysis, and "Nutrition for Health". She has published more than 150 review articles in international journals on topics related to food and health, focused on antioxidants and their mechanisms of action, as well as biologically active compounds in foods.
9. Dr Ala’a Al Dahhan, Professor at the Department of Geology at the UAE University.
Al Dahhan has made numerous scientific contributions in the fields of geochemistry, environmental oil sciences, radioisotopes, and has published more than 400 scientific researches in international journals and conferences. He co-designed and participated in many international scientific missions such as the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, Antarctica, Siberia and the Baltic Sea.
10. Prof Lourdes F Vega, Honorary Professor at the Gas Research Centre, Khalifa University and author of the book CO2 Capture and Utilization.
Vega has published more than 200 scientific papers and has 5 industrial patents. She managed to raise more than USD 50 million in research scholarships and serves as an editorial board member in 5 scientific journals and 5 international conference committees.
11. Prof Lakmal Seneviratne, Director of the Khalifa University Robotics Institute, KURI, and Associate Provost of Research & Graduate Studies.
Seneviratne research interests include robotics and automation, with special emphasis on the use of engineering mechanics-based algorithms to enhance the autonomy of complex systems. He has published more than 350 scientifically revised papers on these topics.
12. Prof Wesley Cantwell, Director of Aviation Innovation Research Centre, ARIC, and Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Khalifa University.
His research interests include aircraft structures, composites, light aircraft structures, environmentally friendly components, polymers and fracture mechanics that examine cracks in materials. Cantwell has three patents and has published more than 220 scientific articles.
13. Prof Ernesto Damiani, Founding Director of the Center on Cyber-Physical Systems at Khalifa University.
Damiani’s research spans Cyber-security, Big Data and cloud/edge processing, where he has published over 600 peer-reviewed articles and books. He received an honorary doctorate from the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Lyon, France (2017) for his contributions to research and teaching on Big Data analytics.
14. Prof Galeb Al Hussaini, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Head of Chemical Engineering at Dana Gas.
Husseini’s areas of interests include non-viral gene delivery, ultrasonic bone-healing and surface modification. He won the Technology Innovation Pioneer, TIP, Healthcare Award in 2018 and received second place in the ICHEME International Award for the Institute of Chemical Engineers' Best Project in 2016, for his project titled Nanoparticles and Ultrasound in Cancer Treatment.
He also won several awards from the American University of Sharjah, Petrofac, Al Jalila Foundation, Takamol, and Emirates Foundation.
15. Prof Abdul Rahim Nimar, Professor of Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University.
His main areas of expertise include the underlying physiological pathological mechanisms behind the effects of air pollution on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
He received research awards from CMHS, the UAE University and several international communities, including the American Thoracic Society, ATS, the European Respiratory Society, ERS, the Belgian Thoracic Society, the British Association for Lung Research and the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy, ESCP.
16. Prof Omar Amin, Professor of Biology at UAE University.
His main interests include the biological application of nanotechnology, cancer biology, cell biology and biological applications of MRI. He studies the roles of natural products in the treatment and prevention of cancer. He has also received several national and international awards.
17. Prof Ehab Al Saadani, Professor at the Khalifa University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
He has received numerous national and international awards for his contributions in the field of energy Systems, including the Ontario Innovation Research Award. He has more than 405 published scientific articles and five patents.
18. Prof Abdo Adam, Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University.
His research interests include research into the Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer, clinical pharmacy and diabetes. Prof. Abdo has more than 200 research articles and three patents.
19. Prof Ernest Adghati, Professor at the Department of Anatomy at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, CMHS, at UAE University and former Head of the Research Group on Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases.
Adghati’s work particularly focuses on diabetes research. He has published more than 150 articles in this field.
20. Dr Hatem Zeineldin, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Khalifa University.
Zeineldin has led the Energy Group at Masdar Institute and the Electrical and Computer Engineering, ECE, Department. His research interests include renewable energy, smart grids, energy systems and renewable energy integration and its impact on the operation of the energy systems.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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