Nasser Zawia

Dr. Nasser Zawia

University of Rhode Island

Biography

Nasser H. Zawia, Ph.D is the Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Rhode Island, where he oversees about 90 masters, doctoral, and professional degree programs with an enrollment of about 3000 students. He is the founder and director of the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program and played a founding role in the formation of the George and Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience. Additionally, he has served on the board of the Northeast Alliance of Graduate Schools, and on advisory boards of the Council of Graduate School (CGS), headquartered in Washington, DC. He is a Professor of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Neuroscience. He had served as the Assistant Director of the Rhode Island Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network, which established the first network of its kind in the state with eight participating Universities. Dr. Zawia obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of California, his MS in Pharmacology and Physiology from Loma Linda University, and his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts. He received postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sana’a and as a Fulbright Scholar to Yemen. His current research is focused on environmental risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). He is a leader in the epigenetics of AD and his work has been featured by national and international media such as ABC News, CBS, and CNN. He has repurposed a drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and tauopathies (FTD, PSP), which was granted orphan drug status by the FDA and the EMA and is under consideration for clinical trials in the USA and Europe. Dr. Zawia has published over 100 papers and book chapters and has edited a book on Molecular Toxicology and a Journal issue for Current Alzheimer’s Research. His research has been supported by millions of dollars from the NIH, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Environmental protection Agency (EPA). He has Chaired NIH grant study sections and also serves as a reviewer on many international journals and funding agencies as well as on the editorial board of the Journal of NeuroToxicology, Current Alzheimer’s Research, and the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD). He has received numerous honors such as US Environmental Protection Agency (Scientific and Technological Achievement Award, Level I), Fidia Foundation, NIH, the Government of Yemen, the Indian Society of Physiology, and others.

 

Synopsis

Epigenetics and the Brain: How early life experiences or environmental exposures predetermine how you brain responds to disease in old age

Epigenetics is commonly understood as a developmental and/or embryonic phenomenon in which the gene expression programs, the fate and tissue specificity of a cell is determined by another layer of control that transforms the fixed genetic code of every cell into different phenotypes. However, epigenetic phenomena in the brain are not restricted to the developmental period. As a matter of fact, the brain is designed to interact and adapt to its environment, and process physical, emotional and sensory inputs, thus requiring a capacity to reprogram and remodel itself across the lifetime. The connectivity of brain networks is constantly influenced by dynamic interactions with external stimuli that determine the architecture and plasticity of the brain. Therefore, epigenetics in the brain plays a significant role throughout the lifespan of postmitotic neurons and is an essential component of their physiology. This presentation, we discuss exceptional epigenetics in the brain. .

Ahmed-Chawki Chaouche

Dr. Ahmed-Chawki Chaouche

Constantine 2 University

Biography

Ahmed-Chawki Chaouche has received his PhD in computer science from both university of Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris 6 in France and university of Abdelhamid Mehri, Constantine 2 in Algeria (2015). Currently, he is a member of the Constantine 2 university as associate professor, he is also permanent researcher in computer science at MISC laboratory, in university of Constantine 2, Algeria. In 2011, he obtained his Master's degree in computer science from university of Mentouri, Constantine (Algeria). The fields of his research concern the modeling ambient intelligence, internet of things and multi-agent systems, in particular, formal modeling incorporating planning and learning.

 

Synopsis

Fab Lab.session

Shireen Yaish

Shireen Yaish

Kaynouna Art Therapy Center

Biography

Shireen Yaish is founder of Kaynouna Arab Art Therapy Center. Shireen’s passion stems from her need to reach out to communities living in challenging places, such as Gaza, Palestine- to empower them to connect with their Kaynouna (their core of being), in-order to realize their full potential and flourish as they should. She has been able to reach thousands of refugee and unprivileged communities in the Arab world, andhas stationed herself as a pioneer of trauma informed art therapy in her part of the world. Shireen is the spirit behind initiatives such as ‘Selfie Kuna- Empowering Women Through Art’, ‘Davinci’s Children- Art Therapy with Orphans of Jordan’, and ‘Frida- Art Therapy with Refugee Children’- which provide therapy and training to thousands of Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian, Jordanian, Sudanese, and Lebanese women and children. Self-empowerment, resilience and self-compassion are the motivation behind these initiatives. Shireen is also a well-known speaker, and has presented research papers in mental health conferences in London, Toronto, Amman and Hong Kong and has published research papers in journals and books concentrating on trauma informed art therapy. Her clinical skills are based on art psychotherapy and influenced by Psychodynamic approaches, Post Jungian explorations, Psychotherapy in Feminism schools, and Trauma Informed Art Therapy and Mindfulness techniques. Her work has been covered by CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC Arabic, TEDx and many other news outlets and talks. Shireen was trained and qualified at Goldsmiths College, University of London in Art Psychotherapy. She is a member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) and Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA).

 

Synopsis

Kaynouna's Journey- Art Psychotherapy in the Arab World

Kaynouna introduced Art Therapy to the Arab world, and while many people doubted the use and effect of art psychotherapy, Shireen persevered to reach thousands of underprivileged and refugee communities in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and UAE. What is art psychotherapy? does it really work? and what stories do beneficiaries have to tell through their art?

Mohammad Issa

Mohammad Issa

Aumet

Biography

Mohammad has over 7 years of experience in graphic design with a focus on UX and UI. Co-founder of the international startup, Aumet, which is considered among the top 100 startups in MENA Region according to World Economic Forum. Mohammad was responsible for customer and product success prior to product management, a mixture between user experiences and sales. He also led a robotics team for over 5 years where he was responsible for programming, logical thinking, and designing the robots, with 5 local and international trophies.

 

Synopsis

Turning Ideas Into Products That Makes Money! - Step by Step

Product design and management is one of the most underrated topics in building your own company or invention. Most people spend most of their time creating a product, a website, or perfecting a service, that people don't need to buy, losing so much money and time on the way that can kill your idea. Product design concentrates on "SELLING" your product! Not only building it. you need to fit your product according to your customers' needs in order to make money, which is the ultimate goal at the end of the day. We are going to follow actionable steps that can turn your idea, service, or even invention into a product that can make money!

Alia Abukiwan

Dr. Alia Abukiwan

University Hospital of Heidelberg

Biography

Alia Abukiwan is a research scientist and project leader in the Epigenetics Research Branch of the Division Endocrinology at the University Hospital of Heidelberg. She has more than 10 years of experience in conducting research, focusing on the epigenetics mechanisms in cancer, where she aims to understand the disease’s mechanisms. Her research integrates the areas of health outcomes and survivorship. Dr. Abukiwan holds Bachelor of Science in Biology from Al-albeit University of the Kingdom of Jordan, and a Master of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy Degrees in Molecular Biology from the University of Heidelberg. She completed her postdoctoral fellowships in epigenetics at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg and has published seven articles in peer-reviewed journals and one book chapter in the broad areas epigenetics in cancer.

 

Synopsis

Epigenetics in human health and disease

Epigenetics is a major mechanism in human health and disease. Data from a range of diseases (cancer, neurological, immunological disorders and metabolic diseases ) have uncovered altered epigenomes arising from mutations, altered expression and/or copy number alterations of numerous epigenetic factors (histones, DNA and chromatin modifying enzymes, reader proteins, chromatin modulators and noncoding RNAs). Genome-wide analyses have illustrated the relationship between altered epigenetic states (e.g., modified DNA, histones and chromatin packaging) and disease onset and progression. My talk, will cover the most current knowledge of epigenetic events in disease models. In addition, it will highlight the impact that preclinical and clinical epigenetic therapeutics have on multiple diseases including cancer. I will also survey some research results and conceptual understanding of fundamental mechanisms of epigenetic signaling, especially as they relate to regulation of gene expression programs.

Hanan I. Malkawi

Prof. Hanan Malkawi

Yarmouk University

Biography

Prof. Hanan I. Malkawi has earned her bachelor degree in Biological Sciences at Yarmouk University (YU)-Jordan, and then due to her achievement in getting the highest GPA in Biology Dept. & the Highest GPA in the whole Yarmouk University, she was offered a scholarship from YU to get her M.Sc in Bacteriology & Public and then PhD degree in Microbiology & Molecular Biology both at Washington State University-USA, after which she returned to Jordan and appointed as professor at Yarmouk University. She has been heavily involved in research lines in biotechnology and nanotechnology and their applications in environment, health, agriculture, microbiology, food & industry. She has been also involved in several projects in higher education and linking academia with industry. She has several funded grants from national & international agencies. Prof. Malkawi is known for her devoted efforts in helping and inspiring young Jordanian scientists, and entrepreneurs, especially women, to pursue their graduate studies and research in STEM and build a career. She registered several patents and has over 70 published papers in peer reviewed international scientific journals and outstanding teaching and supervision activities. She has & still been invited as speaker and member of Steering/organizing committees in numerous International Congresses and Forums world-wide. She received several awards and fellowships and is an active member in several national, regional and international committees, associations & organizations such as: 18. Member of the Jordan National commission for UNESCO at Ministry of Education, Member of the Third World Organization for Women in Science, Member of the Experts Board of the Environmental Biotechnology section of European Federation of Biotechnology, Jury committee member for the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Pan Arab Regional Fellowships, Member of the Board of Trustees of the “Arab Science and Technology Foundation”, Member of the Steering committee of the “Regional Center for Space Science &Technology Education of Western Asia”, Councilor of the World certification Institute 2014-present, Jury member for the Arab League Educational, Cultural & Scientific Organization (ALESCO) for the Award for young Arab Scientists in Innovation & Entrepreneurship/ in Biotechnology, and others. Prof. Malkawi has held several administrative positions: Vice President for Science Engagement at Royal Scientific Society-Jordan, Vice President for Research & Int. Relations at YU, Dean of Scientific Research & Graduate Studies at YU, Director of UNESCO Chair for Desert Studies at YU, Director of Foreign Projects Management Unit at YU, Director of Center of Excellence for Jordanian Public University Libraries at YU, Vice-Dean of Faculty of Sciences at YU. In addition, she served as Dean for Research & Doctoral studies at “Hamdan Bin Mohammad Smart University”, Dubai-UAE.

 

Synopsis

Abdallah Abu sheikh

Abdallah Abu sheikh

Lux Power

Biography

Abdallah Abu-Sheikh is the managing partner of Lux Power. a leading MEA focused renewable Energy project developer with key focus on providing utility scale renewable energy generation solutions in the middle east and Sub-Saharan Africa. Abdallah was the CEO of Royal Air Ltd 2013-2016 ( A private charter based of Sierra Leone operating as a national carrier for more than 13 African countries founded by the late Mohammad Abu Sheikh) which he later sold to bigger charters in the region Abdallah is considered one of the young pioneers of the renewable energy market and has a proven track record of more than 1.3B$ dollars in project development both in energy and aviation with projects in more than 14 countries helping deliver affordable power to multiple governments and entities around the world, Abdallah in partnership with JCOIC ( a Chinese government entity and GCL the biggest private energy company in China ) has now established the first China middle east energy equity fund in ADGM that will start operations in Q2 of 2019 under the belt and road initiative. Abdallah sits on the board of multiple companies such as IBBC private bank in Congo, the board of advisors of Huawei smart energy solutions, the board of advisors of GCL new energy company etc, Abdallah was also an advisor for the president of the Gambia from year 2014-2017 and got awarded a medal of honor from The democratic republic of Congo and The Gambia. Abdallah also serves as a board member of everyday refugees and multiple other charity foundations. Abdallah currently serves as the tribal leader of al Tayaha tribe in Jordan. On top of that Abdallah has one published poetry book “ The Hour Before Dawn” that sold over 50 thousand copies in 2018.

 

Synopsis

Impact of youth on current economic and political climate

Barik Mhadeen

Barik Mhadeen

WANA Institute

Biography

Barik holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. His research focused on social movements in the Arab world and the shifting dynamics of political contention amongst youth post the 2011 uprisings. He participated/spoke at numerous regional and international platforms advancing the global youth agenda, and has served as the MENA Youth Ambassador for a number of dialogues under the Wilton Park series: Powering the Future. Further, Barik is a member of the Mediterranean Discourse on Regional Security (MDRS); a network of independent academics and professionals focusing on security issues in the Mediterranean region, under the auspices of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. In 2016, Barik joined the Human Security team at the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) Institute, a policy think-tank based in Jordan. He currently supports the research and implementation of WANA’s several Human Security and Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism projects.

 

Synopsis

"A Talk from Youth to Youth: Our role as innovators and entrepreneurs in our society!

Sherif Halawa

Dr. Sherif Halawa

Edraak

Biography

Dr. Sherif Halawa is the head of engineering and research at Edraak, Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development. He currently supervises the development of Edraak's online learning technology, which is using digital technology and AI to enhance online learning for 2.2 million Arab school learners continuous life-long learners. Sherif holds a PhD degree in engineering from Stanford University, and his doctoral research focused on employing digital technology and AI to enhance teaching and learning. Sherif studied the applications of machine learning to predict student performance and retention in online courses, and employed natural language processing and a number of other AI techniques to analyze educational data and extract meaningful insights about learning. Sherif participated in the development of 3 of Stanford's online learning platforms, which were used to deliver learning of more advanced skills, such as design thinking and problem solving, with novel learning interactions. He developed a number of educational data mining algorithms that helped enhance teaching and learning of such skills.

 

Synopsis

Employing AI in Education

Artificial intelligence is being used in education in various ways to enrich teaching and learning. In this talk, we are going to go through some of the key AI applications, and answer interesting questions like: 1) What is IA (Intelligence augmentation) through AI? How much can an AI agent know about how we learn, and how do modern learning systems employ AI? How is AI helping us teach skills that were previously not teachable online? How is AI expected to influence teaching and learning in the 21st century?

Intellect and Debating Society

Intellect and Debating Society

PSUT

Biography

The intellect and debating society was established in 2016 by a group of students to practice and train individuals from various backgrounds in the art of debating in different models such as the asian model, and the english parliment model in both english and arabic. We aim to help our members and trainees to gain the ability to discuss, participate, and provoke thought in issues that concern them, their society, and their beloved nation.

 

Synopsis

Mind reading and brain hacking OR Are we living in a simulation OR Test-Tube Baby

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