Dasman Diabetes Institute hosted the Faculty of Health Sciences of the American University of Beirut on 16th of October 2011. The visiting professors presented a lecture entitled “From Basic Science to Policy and Practice: Research on Diabetes at FHS”. The lecture highlighted the sharp increase in the prevalence of diabetes in the region, especially in the gulf countries, is a result of a complex web of causations that extend from genes and behaviors to social and physical environments to health systems and policy. Research on diabetes is presented as an example of a multidisciplinary approach to research at the Faculty of Health Sciences at AUB where basic science research informs population health and consequently health service research and policy. During the lecture, Dr. Yazbek, PhD, Geneticist; Assistant Professor, Medical Laboratory Sciences Program reported on her use of an innovative mouse model to examine diabetes in the context of obesity and her discovery of a new gene. She presented her plans on understanding the mechanism of the new gene in animal models and surveying the population for polymorphisms. Dr. Sibai, PhD, Epidemiologist; Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health spoke and elaborated on the significance of such a discovery and the role of the gene-environment interaction in the epidemiology of diabetes and obesity. Both diabetes and obesity are presented within the global context and the fast change in lifestyle and nutritional habits in Lebanon and the region which explain the rise in non-communicable diseases and the need for policy and community interventions. Dr. Saleh, PhD, Health Care Finance; Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy and Management discussed the impact of these ‘epidemics’ on the health care system both, financially and from a quality of care perspective. He also outlined health care systems strategies that aid in monitoring and improving diabetes care resulting in a lower burden of disease and cost savings. The presentation illustrated the utility of the research model that employs a multidisciplinary and intervention approach to understand and face the rising epidemic of non-communicable diseases.
Many healthcare professionals from various academic institutions, hospitals and clinics in Kuwait attended this lecture, which was followed by presentation of certificates of attendance with CME credits.