WCM-Q Students Publish Research On Microbiome-Based Diabetes Therapies

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Students at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) have published a series of papers recently investigating the efficacy of microbiome-modulating therapeutics such as probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics for managing type 2 diabetes

Over a period of two years from 2021 to 2023, medical and pre-medical students at WCM-Q screened more than 10,000 scientific publications to collect, summarize and present results from randomized control trials.

The resulting papers were published in world-renowned, peer-reviewed scientific journals in the fields of metabolism, nutrition and pharmacology, and have already amassed a total of 37 citations in a very short space of time.

The studies were prompted by research in recent years which has shown that some microbiome-modulating therapies, such as supplements of probiotics (helpful gut bacteria) and prebiotics (non-digestible fibers that help probiotics to grow), can help with management of type 2 diabetes
by improving glycemic control and lipid profile, and reducing inflammation. Synbiotics are combinations of probiotics and prebiotics.

Mentored by Dr. Ali Chaari, Assistant Professor of Biology, the students led the projects themselves and formed to draw upon the expertise of faculty and staff in various WCM-Q departments, including the Health Sciences Library and the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Group (IDEG). In addition, the students forged an international collaboration with researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

Students involved in the research include Pradipta Paul, Ridhima Kaul, Basma Abdellatif, Maryam Al-Arabi, Yousef Al-Najjar, Aparajita Sarkar, Anfal Khan, Surin Lee, and Ibtihal Kamal. Other authors of these projects include Dr. Rohit Upadhyay of Tulane University, Dr. Majda Sebah, assistant professor of chemistry at WCM-Q, Ms. Manale Harfouche of the IDEG at WCM-Q, and Ms. Reya Saliba, formerly of the Health Sciences Library at WCM-Q. The students began working on their first paper in November 2021 and continued the research part-time during their studies and in their summer and winter breaks, finally completing the last paper in December 2023.

Fourth-year medical student Ridhima Kaul, who is due to graduate in May, said:“Learning how to conduct a systematic review is quite taxing as there is a huge amount of data to sift through, but it has been extremely rewarding, and working with Dr. Chaari has been an absolutely extraordinary experience-I've learned so much.” Ridhima, who has secured a much-coveted place on the Internal Medicine residency program at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic to continue her training after graduation.

Type 2 diabetes
is one of the most pressing health
concerns both regionally and globally, with incidence rising rapidly in both developed and developing countries. Modulating the gut microbiome has emerged as a promising area of research for managing the condition.

Rising fourth-year medical student Pradipta Paul said:“When I started working with Dr. Chaari in the summer of 2021, I had no idea it would lead to such a longstanding working relationship with multiple successful projects.


The Peninsula

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