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.



 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.



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 nusic-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 showed an unshakeable dedication to the success of students and a 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 visiting lecturer in biology in 2017.


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.