Sohaila Cheema, MBBS, MPH

Sohaila Cheema, MBBS, MPH

Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research
Director, Institute for Population Health

 (+974) 4492 8503


Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan, 1996

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA, 2013



Dr. Sohaila Cheema joined Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q) in 2008 and is currently the Director of the Institute for Population Health (IPH) and an Assistant Professor in Healthcare Policy and Research. In her role as director, she oversees the coordination and facilitation of public health research projects management life cycle, including initiation, development and implementation. As an educator, she is the co-director of the two credit pre-medical course Health and Disease: A Global Perspective, teaches and actively participates in the public health clerkship for senior medical students, and regularly presents seminars to community medicine residents at Hamad Medical Corporation on topics of public health interest.

Dr. Cheema is WCM-Q’s manager for the Global Education in Medicine Exchange and Health Professions (GEMx) program, administered by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). She serves on or has served on many Qatari government/medical school committees. She supervises the Global Health Education and Research Program, which provides unique experiential learning and research opportunities to WCM-Q medical students at Weill Bugando in Tanzania.

Dr. Cheema collaborates with private and government institutions on programmatic activities aimed at promoting health awareness, disease prevention and self-care in the State of Qatar. Her research interests are multidisciplinary with an emphasis on population health and the non-communicable disease paradigm particularly in the areas of obesity, diabetes and the epidemiology of road traffic crashes and injuries. Some ongoing projects that she is currently involved in include looking at the epidemiologic and genomic aspects of obesity, assessing diabetes risk in adolescents, and the effects of smoking on diabetes and its progression.

Selected Publications

  • Mamtani R, Cheema S, SheikhJ, et al. Int J Public Health (2016). Cancer risk in waterpipe smokers: a meta-analysis. doi:10.1007/s00038-016-0856-2.
  • Mamtani R, Alrouh H, Cheema S, Lowenfels AB. Migrant mortality in Qatar. Injury. 2015 Oct 19. pii: S0020-1383(15)00619-1. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2015.10.017.
  • Mahfoud ZR, Cheema S, Alrouh H, Al-Thani MH, Al-Thani AA, Mamtani R. Seat belt and mobile phone use among vehicle drivers in the city of Doha, Qatar: an observational study. BMC Public Health. 2015 Sep 22;15(1):937. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2283-3.
  • Tomei S, Mamtani R, Al Ali R, Elkum N, Abdulmalik M, Ismail A, Cheema S, Rouh HA, Aigha, II, Hani F, Al-Samraye S, Taher Aseel M, El Emadi N, Al Mujalli A, Abdelkerim A, Youssif S, Worschech A, El Sebakhy E, Temanni R, Khanna V, Wang E, Kizhakayil D, Al-Thani AA, Al-Thani M, Lowenfels A, Marincola FM, Sheikh J, Chouchane L. Obesity susceptibility loci in Qataris, a highly consanguineous Arabian population. J Transl Med. 2015 Apr 13;13:119. doi: 10.1186/s12967-015-0459-3.
  • Mamtani R, Cheema S, MacRae B, Alrouh H, Lopez T, El Hajj M, Mahfoud Z. Herbal and nutritional supplement use among college students in Qatar. East Mediterr Health J. 2015 Feb 25;21(1):39-44.
  • Mamtani R, Lowenfels AB, Sheikh J, Cheema S, Al-Hamaq A, Matthis SA, El-Nahas KG, Maisonneuve P. Adolescent prediabetes in a high-risk Middle East country: a cross sectional study. JSRM Open 2014 5: DOI 10.1177/2054270414536550.
  • Gerber LM, Mamtani R, Chiu YL, Bener A, Murphy M, Cheema S, Verjee M. Use of complementary an alternative medicine among midlife Arab women living in Qatar. East Mediterr Health J. 2014 Oct 12;20(9):554-60.
  • Mamtani R, Lowenfels AB, Cheema S, Sheikh J. Impact of migrant workers on the Human Development Index. Perspectives in public health. 2013 Nov 8:doi: 10.1177/1757913913491350.
  • Mamtani R, Stern P, Dawood I, Cheema S. Metals and disease: a global primary health care perspective. Journal of toxicology [Internet]. 2011 Oct 5 [cited 2012 Feb 5]; 2011: 319136.