Promotions Academic Year 2021-2022

WCM-Q faculty



Ziyad Mahfoud, PhD, was promoted to Professor of Research in Population Health Sciences in August 2021 in recognition of his sustained international reputation as an expert biostatistician in population health sciences through research and education. He is an expert in designing complex studies including clinical trials and in advanced data analyses. His research interests focus on tobacco use, mental health, adolescents’ health, and medical education. Dr. Mahfoud was among the first researchers to work on topics considered taboo in the region such as HIV/AIDS and sexual abuse among children in Lebanon. He has consistently received extramural funding, has presented his research internationally, and has a strong publications record. He has created and taught undergraduate, graduate, and CPD courses where he always received high praise and awards. Dr. Mahfoud serves as the Director of Health Quantitative Sciences in our Institute for Population Health and as the Associate Director of the Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Biomathematics Core. He is the inaugural and current chair of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board. He is also the director of the Area of Concentration course. He provides expert advice and support to researchers, students, physicians at WCM-Q and other institutions in Qatar and beyond in different fields of study design and analysis. He is a member of the Qatar National Public Health Observatory, a committee that oversees the production of the yearly Qatar Health Report, and a member of the Qatar Scientific Research and Referencing Task Force informing policy makers about the best ways to manage the COVID-19 situation in Qatar. He has served as advisor and consultant to several international organizations, including WHO, UNAIDS, IOM, and UNICEF. Dr. Mahfoud holds a PhD in statistics from the University of Florida at Gainesville, Florida, USA. He joined WCM-Q in 2010.



Mohammad Yousef, PhD, was promoted to Professor of Physics in November 2021 in recognition of his contributions to the development of innovative educational methods and materials and his dedication and support to student research.  Dr. Yousef joined WCM-Q in 2017 from Southern Illinois University Edwards, where he was an Associate Professor of Physics. In a very short time, he established himself as a highly regarded colleague, an innovative educator, and a productive researcher.  He successfully transformed the traditional physics course sequence into a highly innovative one which seamlessly merges into the subject of physiology, while bringing to the physics courses a wealth of biological and medical examples. This integration was very well received by the students, and he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award for two years.  His research program continues to be very active, and he has constantly involved the students in his research, leading them to publish successfully. He is a reviewer for international journals and a member of scientific advisory committees. In addition, he has been a mentor in the AOC component of our Medical Curriculum and has collaborated with the Ministry of Education and HMC in training initiatives. Dr. Yousef holds a PhD in Molecular Biophysics from Florida State University and a Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics from Southern Illinois University Edwards.



Rachid Bendriss, EdD, was promoted to Professor of English as a Second Language in December 2021 in the Premedical Education division. Dr. Bendriss joined WCM-Q in 2010 as a Lecturer of English as a Second Language in the Pre-medical Education division and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2016. In addition to teaching, Dr. Bendriss has held several important administrative leadership roles. From 2013 through 2020, he has served as Assistant Dean for Student Recruitment, Outreach, and Foundation Programs. In January 2021, he was promoted to Associate Dean for Foundation, Student Outreach, and Educational Development Programs, providing dynamic and forward-looking leadership to attract local and regional students to prepare for a career in medicine through innovative pathway programs. Under Dr. Bendriss' leadership, the Foundation program has led to a substantial increase in the overall success rate of Qatari students. In recognition of his outstanding innovative teaching practice, he has received numerous WCM-Q Excellence in Teaching awards. Furthermore, he contributes his educational development expertise to QF’s multiversity initiatives and the community at large. Beyond his extensive teaching and service, Dr. Bendriss is an active researcher and scholar, contributing to the scholarship of teaching and learning. He received the U.S. State Department Fulbright Award of International Education and the Florida Association of International Education Annual Award. Dr. Bendriss graduated from the University of Central Florida with an MA in TESOL and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership




Sohaila Cheema, MBBS, MPH, was promoted to Associate Professor of Clinical Population Health Sciences in July 2021 in recognition of her regional reputation as an expert in population health sciences, demonstrated through research and the development of programs for healthcare practitioners, the community, and our students. Since September 2020, she has also served as Assistant Dean of the Institute for Population Health (IPH) and has helped build the IPH into a regionally recognized center of excellence. Her expertise in the field of public health is evidenced by the number and relevance of committees that the Department of Public Health, Ministry of Public Health in Qatar has invited her to join as a member. She has also served as a member of the Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources (STAR) committee, a five-year project of the Public Health Institute, supported by the US Agency for International Development. Dr. Cheema is a dedicated teacher and mentor and has been actively involved in developing clinical and research programs and courses for healthcare providers and the community. Her research interests are multidisciplinary and include the non-communicable disease paradigm, migrant health, road traffic crashes and injuries, lifestyle medicine, public health aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and emerging issues in healthcare and population health. She holds an MBBS from the Dow Medical College, Karachi University, Karachi, Pakistan, and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. She joined WCM-Q as administrative staff in 2008, was appointed as instructor in 2014, and promoted to assistant professor in 2016.



Mai Mahmoud, MBBS, MEHP, was promoted to Associate Professor of Teaching in Medicine in October 2021 in recognition of her accomplishments as an educator and her contributions to the educational mission of the WCM-Q.  She has achieved regional recognition through her contributions to the development of medical education in Qatar and her research in curriculum methods and assessment. She is an outstanding teacher and advocate for the students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she created an innovative non-clinical virtual elective in geriatrics that was very well received and a virtual clinical clerkship experience for one medical student that allowed him to graduate on time. She is, since 2018, the inaugural Director of  Student Academic Advising, a program that she developed from scratch, including the goals and objectives, the policies, and the support structure. Dr. Mahmoud holds an MBBS from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan, and a Master of Education in the Health Profession from John Hopkins University. She joined WCM-Q in 2005 and was appointed as an instructor and promoted to assistant professor in 2008.



Clare McVeigh, PhD , was promoted to Associate Professor of Biology in December 2021 in recognition of her leadership in the development of an innovative new curriculum and her dedication to teaching, mentoring, and service. Dr. McVeigh joined WCM-Q in 2014 at the rank of Senior Lecturer in Biology and, from the outset, she became extensively involved in teaching, research, outreach, and service. Most notably, she was the motor behind our pre-medical biology curriculum transformation.  The changes that were introduced under her leadership made the curriculum more relevant for our students, with its integrated and well-structured increased focus on human biology. The new curriculum ensures that the transition into the medical curriculum is now smoother than it has ever been.  She has received several Excellence in Teaching awards and has also been an outstanding mentor for Teaching Specialists and junior faculty. While selflessly devoting her time to her students and colleagues and to the institution, Dr. McVeigh has found the time to engage in research, educational and basic science, collaborating on various projects and publications and involving her students in her research. Dr. McVeigh received her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from McMaster University (Canada).




Ghizlane Bendriss, PhD, was promoted to Assistant Professor of Biology in July 2021 in recognition of her sustained contributions to premedical education. She is a highly sought-after contributor to our outreach programs and has taught in a variety of foundation, pre-medical, and medical education courses. In addition, she has developed several CPD activities on the role of the microbiome-gut-brain axis and the role of music-based interventions in neuro-developmental disorders. In 2017, Dr. Bendriss obtained a UREP grant to run one of the first clinical explorations of the gut microbiome in Qatar, enabling her students to acquire valuable skills in research, winning the first prize in the 12th annual competition, and publishing several papers. She is the lead investigator for the first music-based clinical trial registered for Qatar, a neuro-musicology study, through which she is currently mentoring another team of medical students. She has shown an unshakeable dedication to the success of students and highly effective creativity in the development of teaching materials and methods to support students' learning. Dr. Bendriss holds a PhD from the Aix-Marseille University, Marseilles, France, and joined WCM-Q in 2011 as a postdoctoral associate. Subsequently, she transferred to the Pre-medical Education Division as a teaching assistant in 2013 and was appointed Lecturer in Biology in 2017.



Ali Chaari, PhD, was promoted to Assistant Professor of Biology in October 2021 in recognition of his sustained contributions to premedical education. Dr. Chaari is a dedicated, gifted, and inspiring educator and has played a major role in the extensive premedical curricular review and reform that took place over the last few years. He conceptualized, developed, and implemented a new first course in biochemistry, which serves as a bridge between organic chemistry and a second biochemistry course, and co-developed and co-implemented the capstone laboratory course. In spite of these major teaching commitments, Dr. Chaari remains very active in research and has been a Pl and co-Pl on internally and externally funded projects, while participating in a host of other projects. This has led to a number of publications involving premedical and medical students. He also contributes his time generously to WCM-Q's outreach and service activities and has participated in a variety of important activities organized by QF and the Ministry of Education. Dr. Chaari holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology f rom the University of Versailles (France) and joined WCM-Q's Research Division in July 2012 as a Postdoctoral Associate in Biochemistry. Later, he decided to dedicate more time to teaching and became a Teaching Specialist in the Premedical Education Division. In October 2018, he was appointed as Lecturer in Biochemistry.



Dalia Zakaria, PhD, was promoted to Assistant Professor of Biology  in November 2021 in recognition of her important contributions to the premedical education program and her dedication to the students as a teacher and mentor. Dr. Zakaria joined WCM-Q in 2016 as a Teaching Specialist in Biology, and in September 2019, she was appointed as Lecturer in Biology. She is an inspiring lecturer, a tireless and supportive mentor, and an innovative and creative educator. She has developed an impressive immunology course that has become an important part of the premedical curriculum. Dr. Zakaria has also independently generated multiple new modules for the Introduction to Biology course and improved the learning experience for the students. She has blossomed into a leader in educational leadership, and this was on full display during the challenges of the global pandemic of the past year. She worked tirelessly to adapt learning to an online format utilizing the most modern technology and supported others in implementation. Since her joining WCM-Q, she has won the Excellence in Teaching Award in every category in which she was listed to compete. In addition, her research activities have been very fruitful and successful. She has mentored and guided several premedical and medical students to publish research papers as well as systematic reviews. Dr. Zakaria received her PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Biology (2007) from the University of Exeter, UK and conducted postdoctoral training at the University of Bristol and the University of Cardiff.



Fatimah Isa, PhD, was promoted to Assistant Professor of Psychology Teaching in Medicine in November 2021 in recognition of her active contributions to teaching, her dedication and service on institutional committees, and her potential to succeed in her academic career. Dr. Isa joined WCM-Q’s Medical Education Division in 2010 and transferred to the Office of Clinical and Faculty Affairs in 2014, where she currently serves as Associate Director.  She was appointed Instructor of Psychology in Medicine in September 2019, and since then, she has grown greatly in her role as a faculty member providing didactic lectures to our students in the premedical and foundation programs. Through her lectures, Dr. Isa has promoted mental health, including providing some practical tools to help students improve their emotional health. Capitalizing on the knowledge and experience gained from her 11 years at WCM-Q, she has developed sessions to help prepare students to mitigate stress during their medical education journey. In her role as Associate Director for Clinical and Faculty Affairs, Dr. Isa guides affiliated faculty preparing for their academic promotion. In addition, she participates on institutional educational and research committees, including the IRB Committee, the Self-Evaluation Review Committee for the Medical Program Accreditation, and a Scientific Planning Committee for the Institute for Population Health’s Population Health & Well-being Series. Dr. Isa received her MSc in Health Psychology from the University of Indonesia and her PhD in Psychology from Grand Canyon University, Arizona.


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Majda Sebah, PhD, was promoted to Assistant Professor of Chemistry in December 2021 in  recognition of her important contributions to the premedical education program. She joined  WCM-Q in 2015 as a Teaching Specialist in Chemistry and was promoted to a Lecturer in Chemistry in 2018. Dr. Sebah has been an indispensable part of Pre-medical Education. Her ability to teach and mentor goes above and beyond; she constantly inspires students to work towards a mastery level in scientific writing and communication both in the premedical and foundation programs.  Her exceptional performance has brought her several WCM-Q Excellence in Teaching awards, winning an award every year since her promotion. Dr. Sebah’s initiative, collegiality, and readiness to embrace new opportunities resulted in virtual labs, the program developed in collaboration with faculty at the Ithaca campus during the lockdown summer. Furthermore, one of her projects with students has led to an invention disclosure with the Centre for Technology Licensing at Cornell University. Dr. Sebah’s research interest and passion are in science education and outreach. She served as the chemistry expert and panel member advising the Ministry of Education and Higher Education on curriculum reforms. Dr. Sebah received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Queen Mary University of London and holds a teaching qualification in science from Imperial College London where she received a Distinction in recognition of her expertise in science curriculum planning and outreach work.



Adam Larson, EdD, was promoted to Assistant Professor of English as a Second Language in January 2022 in the Premedical Education division. Dr. Larson joined WCM-Q in 2012 as a Lecturer in English as a Second Language. He  has played a pivotal role in the WCM-Q Writing Center, including designing and leading writing workshops in topics such as personal statement writing for medical residency. With his extensive academic background and knowledge of the region, he developed several writing seminars tailored to the needs and interests of premedical students in fields like the sociology of medicine, philosophy of medicine, and the history of medicine in the medieval Islamic world. In addition to teaching, Dr. Larson serves on multiple committees and  has contributed to two WCM-Q projects, Fostering Research Identity in Medical Students: An Exploration of the Areas of Concentration Program at WCMQ  and The Impact of Learning Process and Curricular Innovation on Medical Students’ Choice of Specialty:  A Mixed Methods Study from Qatar. As a Fulbright Fellow, he conducted historical research on the religious elites of the Hadramawt Valley in the Yemen Arab Republic. He has presented papers in a variety of fields, including educational theory, sociology, academic writing, writing center theory, and religious studies, most recently a paper entitled, “The Prayers of North and West Africa: Islamic Intellectual History through Pious Devotions” presented at  West Africa and the Maghreb: Reassessing Intellectual Connections in the 21st Century , an international conference hosted by the Harvard Divinity School. Dr. Larson received an MA in International Studies (Comparative Religion) from the University of Washington, Seattle and an Ed.D. from King’s College London, UK.



Amit Thomas Abraham, MD, was promoted to Assistant Professor of Clinical Population Health Sciences in January 2022 in recognition of his active contributions to teaching and population health research.  He has managed multiple public health research projects and has collaborated with WCM-Q colleagues as well as with researchers from HMC and the Qatar Diabetes Association. Most notably, he spearheaded a project to quantify the burden of depression among healthcare workers in the Middle East and North Africa region through a systematic review and meta-analysis.  In addition, he is contributing to two of our biomedical research projects funded by Qatar Foundation.  Dr. Abraham is a Co-Course Director for the Systematic Review Workshop and a member of the Scientific Planning Committee for the Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine and the IPH Webinar Series. He has also contributed to the Public Health Clerkship by developing a case study for the OSCE and has taught healthcare professionals through journal clubs and lectures. In addition to teaching, he is a mentor to other colleagues as well as medical students on various aspects of research methodology. He is currently serving as an academic advisor to the students participating in the master’s program at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Abraham holds an MD from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. 



Karima Chaabna, PhD, was promoted to Assistant Professor of Clinical Population Health Sciences in January 2022  in recognition of her active contributions to research capacity building in Qatar through teaching and research. She  has achieved local and regional recognition for conducting high quality systematic reviews and meta-analyses on topics that are of high priority for the region. She has been invited to present her research at scientific conferences locally, regionally, and internationally, including the international forum held by the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) at Stanford University in September 2021. Since 2019, Dr. Chaabna has taught several CPD courses, including “Understanding basics of health research,” a biostatistics workshop for healthcare professionals and “Systematic review: An introductory workshop,” an ACCME accredited course that she leads. Recently, she presented an ePoster reporting the evaluation outcome of this workshop at the 2021 virtual conference held by the International Association for Medical Education in Europe.In addition to contributing to research capacity building in epidemiology and biostatistics, she is a mentor for  style="font-size: 14px;">other colleagues as well as medical students conducting epidemiological research relevant to Qatar and the region. The Area of Concentration project completed by one of her student mentees successfully won the Outstanding Public Health and Community Medicine Research Award (2021). Dr. Chaabna received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology at Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 (France).


Affiliated faculty



Khalid Abdulla Alyafei, MD, received his WCMC faculty appointment in 2009 and was promoted to Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine and to Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in August 2021 in recognition of his contributions to improving pediatrics emergency medicine in Qatar as well as in the region. As the Division Chief Medical Informatics, he oversees the safe integration of the best practice healthcare technologies within Sidra and leads the implementation of an extensive health information exchange system that links Sidra with HMC and the Primary Health Care Corporation. Dr. Alyafei has been a long-term contributor to our Pediatric Clerkship and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Elective. He holds an M.D. from the Arabian Gulf University and trained in pediatric emergency in Canada, including a Pediatric Emergency Clinical Fellowship and a Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Western Ontario’s teaching hospital. He also holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Liverpool and a Master’s degree in Leadership, Policy Strategy, and Innovation, a joint program between the Qatar Leadership Center with Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.



Anand Bhaskaran Kartha, MBBS, received his WCMC faculty appointment in 2015 and was promoted to Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in October 2021. He is an academic hospitalist with a focus on healthcare quality and safety. As Associate Chief for quality and performance and Director of Consultation Services at VA Boston Healthcare System first, and now as Head of Hospital Medicine at HMC, he has contributed to improving the quality of healthcare and expanded the field of Hospital Medicine, particularly into the critical areas of veterans’ healthcare and establishment of Hospital Medicine as a specialty in international medicine. Over his 15-year career as a hospitalist, Dr. Kartha has earned multiple awards in recognition of his achievements in improving quality and patient safety. In 2015, the Society of Hospital Medicine granted him a Senior Fellowship in recognition of his dedication and contributions to Hospital Medicine. He has been invited to present in the US and Qatar. He served as an advisory panellist for  the Hospitalist;  an assistant editor for the Journal of Hospital Medicine; and a reviewer for  the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Medical Care, and the International  Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. Currently, he is a member of the Advisory Board for the Boston Association of Academic Hospitalists and a reviewer for  the Journal of Hospital Medicine.  Dr. Kartha has been heavily involved in teaching and educational leadership roles. At WCM-Q, he is an active member of our CME/CPD Oversight Committee and supports our Clerkship Directors implementing clinical teaching and providing sub-internships in Medicine. Dr. Kartha received his MBBS from the University of Mumbai, India, trained in internal medicine in the USA, and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.



Muna Abdulrahman Senan Al-Maslamani, MBBS, received her WCMC faculty appointment in 2008 and was promoted to Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in October 2021. She is the Assistant Head of the Infectious Diseases Division and the Medical Director for the Communicable Diseases Center at HMC, where she plays a pivotal role in managing both general and transplant infections, including hematological, bone marrow transplants, and solid organ transplants across HMC’s hospitals. As an expert in Infectious Diseases, Dr. Al-Maslamani regularly provides advice and consultations to the Qatar Ministry of Public Health, contributing to the infectious diseases management at the national level. She has been invited to speak at many conferences in the region, including in the United Arab of Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Lebanon. In March 2021, she was appointed as the Medical Director for COVID-19. In this role, she is responsible for monitoring all the COVID-19 cases in Qatar and for developing protocols and treatment guidelines. She participates in the National Pandemic Committee, a group in charge of developing a plan to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Qatar. Dr. Al-Maslamani received her MBBS from King Faisal University in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.



Khalid A. Fakhro, PhD, received his WCMC faculty appointment in 2014 as an Assistant Professor of Genetic Medicine and was promoted to Associate Professor in December 2021 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to genomics research.  He has played a major role in designing programs, engaging stakeholders, and building research teams, contributing to positioning WCMC and Qatar as regional leaders in genomics and precision medicine. Dr. Fakhro is the Chief Research Officer at Sidra Medicine and a board member for the Qatar Precision Medicine Institute. In addition to his role as an investigator and a high-level research administrator, he participates in teaching and mentoring both at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) and Hamad Bin Khalifa University. Dr. Fakhro holds a Master (2007) and a Ph.D. (2011) in Human Genetics from Yale University. He served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University School of Medicine before joining our labs as a Postdoctoral Associate in Genetic Medicine, first in New York and later in Doha.



Gayane R. Melikyan, MD, PhD, received her WCMC faculty appointment as an Instructor in Clinical Neurology in 2012 and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 2015 and to Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology in March 2022 in recognition of her sustained national and regional reputation, contributions to advancing clinical care for epilepsy, and dedication to teaching WCM-Q students for more than 10 years. Dr. Melikyan was instrumental in the development of the Epilepsy/EEG services in Qatar. Under her leadership in epilepsy, HMC successfully established the first specialized epilepsy clinic in Qatar in 2012, enabling patients with refractory cases of epilepsy to receive care and treatment without traveling abroad. Furthermore, she contributed to the establishment of the first Epilepsy-Monitoring Unit in 2015, the first tertiary care epilepsy center in the country in accordance with the international standards of excellence.  Dr. Melikyan holds an MD and a PhD in Neurology from Yerevan State Medical University, Armenia and completed a Neurology residency and Neurophysiology (EEG & EP) training also in Armenia.