Dubai – MENA Herald: The University of Salford, UK, is set to work more closely with Gulf Medical University (GMU) following the signing of a new partnership agreement between the two institutions.

The new relationship will see the two universities focus on knowledge transfer and staff and student exchanges in the area of Genomic Diagnostics. The University of Salford has vast expertise in the field with a long history of research and diagnostic development at the University’s Biomedical Research Centre based in the UK. This expertise stretches to human genetics, such as mutation screening in patient with cancer and genetic tracing of microorganisms.

GMU is recognised as a centre of excellence for medical education in the region, specialising in areas such as clinical pathology, toxicology and more general areas of public health. GMU’s primary focus is around enhancing its provision in medical education, healthcare and research. As well as its academic programs, like Salford, GMU is also at the forefront of Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

University of Salford Vice Chancellor, Professor Helen Marshall, said: “Like Salford, Gulf Medical University is a regional leader in medical and healthcare education. This latest partnership will help build on Salford’s reputation in the region and enhance its history of working with educational and medical partners in the UAE and wider Middle-East.  

“Medical education and research at an undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as professional development in the area, are seen as one of the key drivers in Abu Dhabi’s quest to become a knowledge-based economy and the University of Salford is privileged to be a part of that.”

Salford has invested £3.5million in new laboratories in its School of Environment and Life Sciences, which offers state-of-the-art facilities including the latest audio-visual teaching aids. As well as supporting teaching and research in biology and health, these laboratories also support wildlife conservation, geography and the environment.

Dr Athar Aziz from Salford’s Biomedical Research Centre, said: “With our joint expertise and collaboration we will study the next generation of diagnostics and prognostics in the patients of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Such collaborative efforts will enhance the understanding of disease patterns across the region and will also provide training in the latest genetic diagnostic tools for the staff and students of GMU.”

One of the key aspects of the partnership will see graduate students and academic staff from GMU visit Salford for up to six months to be trained at the Biomedical Research Centre. This will allow students and practitioners from GMU to learn UK best practice and take this knowledge and skills back to the specialist Genomic Diagnostics Centre at GMU.

The University of Salford will also help GMU write and develop its curriculum for Masters’ Programmes such as Clinical Pathology, whilst PhD students and faculty will have the opportunity to study and work at both the Salford and GMU campuses. There will also be a faculty exchange programmes that will focus on providing interdisciplinary support for undergraduate and postgraduate education as well as cutting-edge research.

The healthcare and medical sectors, including the teaching and professional development aspects, are major areas of growth in the region. The University of Salford already has several working relationships in the region including its work with Mafraq Hospital in Abu Dhabi. Here the University works across a range of disciplines at the hospital including diabetic treatment, which is a huge problem in the Middle East.