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QPrem Research Team

Lead Principle Investigator

Professor Muthanna Samara

Research Interests: Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology. Specialties in Post-Traumatic Strss Disorder, bullying and cyber-bullying, neurological and behavioural outcomes in premature infants and psychological well-being of children from war torn countries.
Background: Muthanna Samara a Professor of Psychology at Kingston University London and Lead PI of the current research project. He is also intensively involved in the EPICure study and worked in the Bavarian Longitudinal Study (BLS) investigating the consequences of extremely prematurity (EPICure) and moderate prematurity (BLS) over a long period of time in relation to behavior, cognitive, eating problems, disability and quality of life. Muthanna is in the editorial board of several journals and his research appeared in several media platforms. He is now the Head of the Centre of Children and Adolescents Psychopathology.

Related Publications:

Samara M, Marlow N, Wolke D, for the ESG. Pervasive Behavior Problems at 6 Years of Age in a Total-Population Sample of Children Born at <=25 Weeks of Gestation. Pediatrics. 2008;122(3):562-573.
Samara M, Johnson S, Lamberts K, Marlow N, Wolke D. Eating problems at age 6 years in a whole population sample of extremely preterm children. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 2010;52(2):e16-e22.

Co-Lead Principle Investigator

Dr. Ghassan Abdoh

Research Interests: Neurological outcomes in premature infants

Background: Ghassan Mustafa Abdoh is a Senior Consultant Pediatrician - Neonatologist and Head of The Newborn Screening Unit at Woman’s Hospital, Doha. He works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the Pediatrics Department at Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar. He is the leader of the Qatar Newborn Early Warning System (QNEWS).

Related Publications:

Rahman, S., Salameh, K., Al-Rifai, H., Masoud, A., Lutfi, S., Salama, H., Abdoh, G., Omar, F., Bener, A. Gestational age specific neonatal survival in the State of Qatar (2003-2008) - A comparative study with international benchmarks. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak, 2011; 21, 5420

Principle Investigator

Dr. Hilal Al Rifai

Research Interests: Neonatology

Background: Hilal Al Rifai is the Medical Director of Women's Hospital,. He is also a Senior Consultant and the Director of Neonatal/Perinatal Services at HMC. He is also the Director of Qatar Newborn Screening Programs. He also was involved in a work of the trends in perinatal and neonatal mortality rates in the State of Qatar over a 30-year period (1977 to 2007) comparing results with regional and developed countries.

UK-based Principle Investigator

Professor Neil Marlow

Research Interests: Perinatal events and in particular neuropsychological outcomes
Background: Professor Neil Marlow, has led a range of population-based studies in the UK and is co-investigator on cohort and trials in the UK and across Europe. He is also an expert in neonatal intensive care, focusing on neonatal neurology, neonatal outcomes and aftercare. He has been the Director of the UCL Institute for Women’s Health, President of British Association for Perinatal Medicine in the UK and, internationally, President of the European Society for Paediatric Research.

Related Publications:

Wolke D, Samara M, Bracewell M, Marlow N. Specific Language Difficulties and School Achievement in Children Born at 25 Weeks of Gestation or Less. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2008;152(2):256-262.e251.

Lead Research Associate

Dr Nura Alkathiri

Research Interests: Neuropsychology, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Research Background: Dr Alkathiri completed her BSc and Master degrees in cognitive neuropsychology and graduated with a PhD in Psychological Medicine from King’s College London. She worked as a research psychologist at St. Thomas’ Hospital and the South London and Maudsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, before commencing her research fellow role at Kingston University. Dr Alkathiri’s is currently working with Professor Samara on an internationally funded project investigating the survival and health outcomes in infants born premature. In 2014, Dr. Alkathiri was awarded a chartered membership by the British Psychological Society.

Recent Publications:
Alkathiri, N. H., Robin, M. G., Kopelman, M. D. 2015. Is there a positive bias in false recognition? Evidence from confabulating amnesia patients. Neuropsychologia 77, 201-210.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Dr Rima El Kishawi

Research Interests: Her main research interests include maternal, neonatal, and child health. She is interested in child neurodevelopment, especially in premature birth; she has been trained to assess the developmental functioning for infants and young children aged from 1 month to 42 months using Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development - Third Edition. Other research interests: Nutritional Epidemiology, Malnutrition (overweight & obesity) among mothers, Undernutrition among preschool children.

Research Background: Rima El Kishawi had Master degree in public health and PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology. Her previous research interests focused on public health and maternal and child health outcomes. She is qualified in research methodology (quantitative qualitative) and statistics. She has a passion for maternal and child health with a particular interest in premature children. In August 2016, she joined QPrem project to assess the status of premature babies in Qatar and determine the risk factors of prematurity. Dr. Rima aspires to improve long-term outcomes of high-risk premature infants. Additionally, supported families of premature babies and assistance in solving their problems.

Recent Publications:
El Kishawi R, Soo KL, Abed Y, Muda WAMW. Epidemic of obesity among mothers in the Gaza Strip-Palestine, Journal of Emergency Medicine, Trauma & Acute Care, International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health – Qatar 2016:19

Research Fellow

Dr Silvia Fisas

Research Interests: Positive Psychology, Resilience and life satisfaction and child neurodevelopment

Research Background: She worked as a volunteer psychologist at CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) for two years in Doha, Qatar. She worked in building and adapts group therapy for ADHD (involving patients, parents, schools, etc.). After that, she was researching in resilience and life satisfaction in expats living in Qatar. Her current research activities are regarding risk factors and consequences of prematurity. She completed her first Masters in Third Generation Psychotherapies in 2014, and her second Masters in Neuropsychology in 2017. She is nearly to complete her PhD in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology. She is a member of the Humanistic Psychology and Transactional Analysis Association, the Spanish Medical Sciences and Health Academy, and the European Society of Positive Psychology. She has specialized training in Clinical Psychology of children and young people and also in Positive Psychology. She is also trained in Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development - Third Edition.

Research Assistant

Fatma El Bosrati

Research Interests: Child Development
Research Background: Fatma El Bosrati is a research assistant for the Q-Prem project and experienced in the administration of neuropsychological assessments in preterm and full-term children. She is also working on a longitudinal PTSD project in Qatar and has successfully completed training in the Good Clinical Practice.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Eman Safi

Research Interests: Prematurity and its neurological & behavioural outcomes in children.
Research Background: Eman Safi is a qualified pediatrician and a research scientist for the Q-Prem project. Her research interests are in the areas neurological & behavioural outcomes following premature birth. Eman is experienced in the administration of neuropsychological and neurological assessments in preterm and full-term infants. She has previous experience working for the Ministry of Health and Primary Health Care Corporations and has successfully completed training in the Good Clinical Practice.

Collaborating Clinical Team
Dr. Sufwan Alomar
Consultant Neonatologist, Hamad Medical Corporation

Dr. Hanaa A. M. Masoud
Pediatrics Development Clinical Fellow, Hamad Medical Corporation

Dr. Nuha Nimeri
Associate Consultant Neonatologist, Hamad Medical Corporation

Dr. Nazla Mohamed
Neonatologist, Hamad Medical Corporation

Dr. Jihan Deghidy
Neonatologist , Hamad Medical Corporation

Dr. Mohamed Oklah
Neonatologist, Hamad Medical Corporation

Dr. Sona Fayed Tahtamouni
Pediatric Consultant, Hamad Medical Corporation

Ilse Du Preez
Occupational Therapist, Hamad Medical Corporation