Press Release

Al Jalila Foundation awards AED 5 million to boost medical research in the UAE

Al Jalila Foundation, a global healthcare philanthropic organisation founded to position the UAE at the forefront of medical innovation, has awarded AED 5 million in seed grants to 20 UAE-based medical researchers bringing the total investment to date to AED 9 million for 35 research projects. The seed grants focus on research in the field of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health and obesity, Al Jalila Foundation Research Centre’s five research priorities. Two Emirati graduates were also selected to pursue medical research fellowships at internationally renowned institutions.

Out of 55 applications submitted for the seed grants, 20 candidates, including 10 women, succeeded following a competitive two-stage international review process with experts from the world’s most renowned medical institutions including Harvard Medical School, University of Oxford, Imperial College, University of Queensland, INSERM, University of Auckland, University of Toronto, University of Glasgow, National University of Singapore and University of Stony Brook. The reviewers were handpicked as leaders in each specific field of research, in line with Al Jalila Foundation’s commitment to cultivating a medical research ecosystem built on international best practice.

Her Excellency Dr Raja Al Gurg, Member of the Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Al Jalila Foundation, commented: “Scientists around the world continue to search for answers into the causes, prevention and treatment of diseases affecting mankind. Our investment in medical research reaffirms our commitment to embed research and innovation in the fabric of the nation’s long-term healthcare strategy. Medical research has the potential to save lives and our efforts today will pave the way for a healthier world for future generations. ”

Professor Sehamuddin Galadari, Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Cell Biology and Academic & Research Advisor of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “We are pleased to see an increased interest from our research and scientific community, particularly women. The successful recipients have been chosen following an independent competitive selection featuring international reviewers. It is our mission, as we progress with the development of the Al Jalila Foundation Research Centre, to bring local and international scientists together to conduct research in the UAE. Our ultimate goal is to elevate the quality of people’s lives through developing better treatments specific to our nation and the region. ”

Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, added: “Today’s grants further boost our ambitions to cultivate a productive medical research sector in the UAE. Advances in medical research are critical to the nation’s prosperity and this continues to drive our efforts to attract financial support from professionals, philanthropists and corporates in the UAE. Our mission is to inspire medical advancements that will benefit future generations and support our vision to be at the forefront of global medical innovation.”

The grants were awarded to scientists from medical institutions across the UAE including: Dubai Health Authority; Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dubai; Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi; University of Sharjah and New York University of Abu Dhabi.

The development of the Al Jalila Foundation Research Centre, the UAE’s first independent multi-disciplinary research centre, is on track for a 2017 opening. It will be a beacon for regionally-relevant medical innovation produced by home-grown biomedical researchers.

The 2016 research grant application cycle is open and interested applicants are requested to visit

For a summary of research projects and fellowships funded by Al Jalila Foundation please click here.