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Khalifa University Students Represent UAE At Sheikh Zayed Institute’s Student Innovators Programme In Washington DC
(20 July 2016)


Four students from Khalifa University, KU, have participated in the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Paediatric Surgical Innovation's annual Student Innovators Programme, SIP, a summer programme taking place at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The students were selected alongside 20 others from universities around the world, and will have access to world-class paediatric healthcare facilities and educational opportunities at the Sheikh Zayed Institute.

This is the fifth consecutive year that students from the UAE have been selected to participate in the international programme. This year's edition will host three undergraduate students, Mohammed Alteneiji, Salim Almulla and Mohammed Alharmoodi, and one graduate level student, Sarah Bawazir, from Khalifa University. The programme will see them spend two months at Washington, D.C.'s leading paediatric hospital, Children's National, which is also home to the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Paediatric Surgical Innovation.

This year, the students will work on a number of projects with institute physician-scientists and bioengineers, mainly focusing on robotics in medicine and innovation in patient care and disease treatment. Other projects will also include basic science research and mobile app development. The programme will allow them to develop their skills across a number of areas including creativity, brainstorming, team-building and fair interpretation of statistics.

Dr. Peter Kim, Vice President of the Sheikh Zayed Institute said: "We are happy to welcome this new batch of students from Khalifa University to Washington. During their stay here, we want them to gain a better understanding of the innovation behind pediatric healthcare, and acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. The Student Innovators Programme is an extension of our shared vision with the UAE, to significantly and measurably advance medical innovation, creating healthier and safer surgical outcomes for children worldwide. Through the Student Innovators Program, we aspire to build on the knowledge sharing and transfer that has been a key element in Children's National and the UAE's long-term partnership."

Another major feature of this summer's program is a medical '˜Hack-a-thonâ' where the students will be asked to develop ideas aimed at making rehabilitation more effective and quantitative. By incorporating technology and robotics, rehab can eventually become less subjective or dependent on the expertise and training of the assigned therapist. It is hoped that one or more of the ideas from the 20 students will be suitable for further exploration and development.

"Khalifa University students are at the forefront of advancement and innovation in the UAE," said Dr. Tod Laursen, President of Khalifa University. "Their involvement in pioneering programmes with organizations like the Sheikh Zayed Institute is one of the reasons they are able to excel in their studies, and as researchers and inventors. We encourage their participation in programs like this one, where they will have the chance to network and collaborate with their peers from around the world, and engage in active research with leading minds. I look forward to seeing the novel technologies that stem from this cooperation and the fresh insight that our students will gain from this experience," he added.

The SIP curriculum is designed to provide students with insight into the innovation process associated with pediatrics, familiarise them with the culture of innovation at the Sheikh Zayed Institute, and is in alignment with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 to develop a knowledge economy in the healthcare sector. Since the programme was established in 2011, 30 UAE students and 123 international students have already participated. 

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