Neurological Disorders Center

The Neurological Disorders Research Center (NDRC) is a new center within the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), and was launched in the summer of 2015. The NDRC focuses on investigating neurological disorders of increasing prevalence in Qatar and the region. These disorders are diverse and range from neurodevelopmental diseases such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD); Intellectual Disability (ID); and epilepsy, to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The strategy of the center is to study these disorders based on the following themes:

  • Epidemiology to define the incidence and prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders and dementia in Qatar
  • Deciphering the causes of neurodevelopmental disorders using a multi-omic approach.
  • Identification of novel biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Innovation of transgenic animals and human stem cells models in translational research

Vision and Objectives

The NDRC is a pioneer neuroscience center in Qatar and the region that aims to study neurological disorders of significance importance. Furthermore, the NDRC has the potential to greatly impact the visibility of neurological disorders in Qatar and the surrounding region, not only by bringing new treatments and hope to patients, but by also significantly accelerating the pace of therapeutic development using technologies, such as experimental disease modeling, biomarker analyses, gene therapy, and stem cell biology.

The key vision of the NDRC is to develop an international center of excellence from basic to applied research in CNS diseases and establish strong partnerships with existing academic research groups, government research-funding agencies, and the healthcare sector. The NDRC will achieve the following objectives:

  • Study the incidence and prevalence of neurological disorders in Qatar focusing on neurodevelopmental disorders and dementia
  • Identify the genetic components of neurological diseases in Qatar and the surrounding region and investigate the functional implications of genetic variations
  • Become the standard bearer of research into the pathogenesis of neurological diseases in Qatar and the surrounding region
  • Develop new approaches to diagnose, prevent, and treat neurological disorders
  • Become a national and regional center for training young biomedical scientists to adequately support the development of healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology sectors in Qatar

These objectives are based on the tremendous need for improving healthcare within Qatar. This will be accomplished by sharing expertise as well as the know-how of diverse techniques such as genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, stem cell biology, and electrophysiology towards answering unresolved scientific questions and developing clinical outcomes related to these disorders. Altogether, this enables fundamental research with results fast-forwarded into translational and/or therapeutic applications, which will have a better outcome for the Qatari population.

Research Groups

Prof. Omar El-Agnaf
Scientific Director of QBRI-NDRC
Full professor at HBKU
Identification of novel biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases

Prof. Omar Albagha
Principal Investigator
Identify the genetic components of neurological disorders in Qatar

Dr. Fouad Al Shaban
Senior Scientist
Study the incidence and prevalence of neurological disorders in Qatar

Dr. Tariq Ahmed
Scientist
Investigating Synaptic physiology of neurological disorders

Dr. Mohamed Emara
Scientist
Modeling neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) technology

Dr. Sara Abdulla
Research Fellow

Dr. Abeer Al-Shammari
Research Fellow

Research within the Neurological Disorders Center is supported by:

Micheal J Fox Foundation
QNRF Logo
Lundbeck logo