- About Head
The Developmental Medicine section endeavors to understand the complex biology of the genetic diseases that have devastating effects on many Saudi families, with an ultimate goal of finding solutions and developing interventions and therapies. It contains three major labs including the Brain Genome Lab, the Birth Defects Lab, and the Therapy Developmental Lab.
The developmental genetic disorders that affect the Saudi child represent a huge economic and emotional burden, yet remain remarkably poorly understood. Developmental disorders and many other malformations reflect a great diversity of causes, largely genetic. Existing gene discovery programs for genetic disorders centered in other corners of the world have not particularly supported the interests of the Saudi people, since other populations are quite different genetically from the Saudis.
The unique structure of the Saudi Arabian population, with its historical and geographical isolation, and with a relatively large percentage of parents sharing traceable common ancestry, presents exceptional opportunities to identify genes responsible for human development. Moreover, the genes that are mutated in the Saudi people are invariably also causative of disease in other populations, so that a large-scale effort to understand the genetic disorders affecting Saudis presents a unique opportunity for our group at KAIMRC to be a leading contributor to understanding these conditions worldwide.
Dr. Manal Alaamery is currently the Head of Developmental Medicine Department (DMD) and an active research scientist at King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC). She is an instructor at Harvard Medical School/ Children’s Hospital Boston.
During Dr. Manal Alaamery’s work and career, she received numerous awards and published in prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals. She also taught several courses, led many initiatives and held several committee positions. Her long-term goal as a scientist is to use her extensive background and expertise in science to contribute to the medical field; develop programs, plans and strategies that could improve research and medicine in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and bridge the gap between research and clinical medicine by translating novel discoveries into clinical tests through cutting-edge techniques. She received her clinical and postgraduate training at the Laboratory of Molecular Medicine (LMM) at Harvard Medical School focusing on Hypertrophic and Dilated Cardiomyopathies, Neurological disorders, Muscular disorders, Hearing loss, Noonan spectrum, Connective tissue disorders, Pharmacogenetics and Cancer Genetics. She also holds a Doctoral (Ph.D.) degree in Molecular Genetics/Biology from Boston College and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University. Two years ago at KAIMRC, she established the Developmental Medicine Department (DMD), which focuses on genetic disorders, therapy development and many other malformations such as neurological disorders and birth defects, and also hosts a satellite laboratory of KACST National project and is part of “The Saudi Genome Project”.
- Head of the Developmental Medicine Department at KAIMRC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- Chairman of steering Committee KACST-KAIMRC Saudi Human Genome Project Satellite Lab.
- Former Instructor at Harvard Medical School/Children’s Hospital Boston Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
- Postdoctoral Fellow at the Walsh Laboratory, Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
- Taught courses in Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics.
- Member of several scientific and professional associations.
- Best Oral Presentation Award, KAIMRC, Third Annual Scientific Forum, 2012.
- Harvard Partners in Excellence Award for team work, 2009.
- Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research Award, 2008.
- Recognized as Honored PhD degree recipient, 2008.
- Chosen as the representative for doctoral students of the Graduate School of Art and Sciences at the Boston College commencement, 2008.
- Best Presentation Award, Second Biology retreat, Boston College, 2007.
- Donald J. White Teaching Award, Boston College, 2005.
- Ambassador Award (Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Award) for Academic Excellence, 2003.
- Patent on compounds/inhibitors of phosphodiesterase7A. Filed through Boston College, 2008.
- US Patent office, Patent Docket Number: 463192US8X (2015).
- US Patent office, Patent Docket Number: 472284US8X (2016).