International Awards


International Award

Grand Hamdan International Award

The Prize amount is AED Two hundred fifty thousand (AED 250,000) (Approx.US$ 68,000)

The mission of this category of the Hamdan Award for Medical Sciences is to honour individuals whose contributions to healthcare delivery have left an indelible mark by their quality, originality and impact on the delivery of health care.

The Grand Hamdan Award is unique in that it not only awards quality but also dedication to the alleviation of the sufferings of humanity through research and exemplary service. The major deciding factor will be a research breakthrough in the subject selected for the award, having the potential to have a major impact on healthcare delivery. These could be through the invention of novel surgical equipment or technique, the discovery of a new mode of therapy or new drugs that lead to a decrease in mortality and /or morbidity related to a particular surgical procedure or disease.

Universities, research centres, science institutions and individual physicians and scientists are eligible to nominate individuals for this award.

The subject in this category for the present round of awards is:


Stem cells are one of the most fascinating areas of biology today. Knowledge in this field has advanced in the area of healthy cell replacement of damaged cells and in the area of the development of an organism from a single cell, a promising area of science leading scientists to investigate the possibility of cell-based therapies to treat disease. Scientists have hypothesized that stem cells may be the basis of treating diseases like Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and heart disease. As scientists learn more about stem cells, it may become possible to use the cells not just in cell based therapies, but also for screening new drugs and toxins and understanding birth defects. However, human embryonic stem cells have only been studied since 1998. For treatments to be developed studies should be made of how stem cells remain unspecialized and self renewing for many years, and on identifying the signals that cause stem cells to become specialized cells.

It has taken scientists 20 years to learn how to grow human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory after the specific factors and conditions that allow stem cells to remain unspecialized were identified. An important area of research is understanding the signals in a mature organism that cause a stem cell population to proliferate and remain unspecialized until the cells are needed for repair of a specific tissue. Such information is critical for scientists to be able to grow large numbers of unspecialized stem cells in the laboratory for further experimentation.

Many questions about stem cell differentiation remain. For example, are the internal and external signals for cell differentiation similar for all kinds of stem cells? Can specific sets of signals be identified that promote differentiation into specific cell types? Addressing these questions is critical because the answers may lead scientists to find new ways of controlling stem cell differentiation in the laboratory, thereby growing cells or tissues that can be used for specific purposes including cell-based therapies.

Rules and Regulations

  • Nomination should include the following:
    1. A letter of nomination from a nominating body.
    2. Typed current Curriculum Vitae detailing the nominee's academic background, experience, previous positions, and listing all published work.
    3. The nominee's office and home mailing addresses, including telephones, fax, and e-mail.
    4. Description of the nominated work. (Please highlight aspects of the work that indicate its relevance to the award objectives.).
    5. Justification for nomination (Please provide evidence showing that the nominated work is scientifically outstanding and has had substantially benefited humans. Include all supporting evidence such as copies of peer reviews, external reports, and citations.)
    6. Previous awards, honours, or recognition received for nominated work (Please state the name, nature, source, and date of each.)
    7. Three recent colour photographs.
    8. Five copies of the whole dossier.
  • One or more individuals who worked together to produce the nominated work can apply for the Award.
  • A review article on the nominated work shall be written and included in the dossier and shall be published in the Emirates Medical Journal. A letter transferring copyright to the Emirates Medical Journal and signed by all authors should accompany the application.
  • The nomination will not be accepted if it does not meet all the above conditions.
  • Nomination papers/work submitted to the general secretariat shall not be returned, whether or not the nominee wins the Award.
  • The last date for receiving the completed nomination is December 31, 2007.
  • The winner's name(s) shall be announced in a press conference held in Dubai during September 2008, and the Award will be presented in an official ceremony to be held in Dubai on 25th November, 2008.
  • The winner shall make an oral presentation, and shall submit an abstract of his presentation, a print version of the presentation not to exceed 1500 words, at the "4th Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences" which will be held between 26th & 27th November, 2008.
  • The Award shall consist of:
    1. A trophy carrying the winner's name.
    2. A certificate in the winner's name containing the Award winning subject of the work.
    3. 3A sum of AED Two hundred fifty thousand (AED 250,000) (Approx.US$ 68,000).
  • The winner shall be provided with a return business class air ticket, accommodation and visa to attend the Award Presentation Ceremony and Conference.

Contact Address:

The General Secretariat
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences
P.O.Box: 22252
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +9714 3986777
Fax: +9714 3984579 / 3980999