ACC | Scholars in HeAlth Research Program (SHARP)
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Scholars in HeAlth Research Program (SHARP)

About us

The Scholars in HeAlth Research Program (SHARP) is a major capacity building program at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Spearheaded by Principal Investigator and Program Director, Dr. Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan, SHARP is an interfaculty collaborative effort across campus faculty that provides graduates with the required foundations to pursue a career in clinical and translational research. It is the first-of-its-kind in the region and a successful model of similar programs available in several top-tier academic institutions in the US, It equips trainees with management and leadership skills needed to become “change agents” and lead research groups, academic departments, or other healthcare settings.

 

The move to the Daniel ACC building coincides with SHARP’s 5th year as an established master’s program at AUB. This move will bring the SHARP offices closer to campus, the Medical Center, and other relevant research facilities such as CRI and IRB, amongst others.

 

Mission

The mission of the Scholars in HeAlth Research Program (SHARP) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) is to provide superior didactic education complemented with state-of-the-art interactive and practical training in health research, with a focus on non-communicable diseases research. It is intended for physicians and other healthcare professionals, to improve and advance the healthcare agenda for non-communicable diseases in Lebanon and the region.

 

Vision

SHARP’s vision is to:

Acquire essential skills to conduct clinical and translational research
Engage a diverse pool of students from multiple relevant disciplines
Advance the healthcare agenda of non-communicable diseases in the region

 

History

The American University of Beirut (AUB) was awarded a five-year grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2012 to establish the new interdisciplinary program, the Scholars in HeAlth Research Program (SHARP). AUB’s application competed successfully against several first-tier academic centers within the US and other international applications. The NIH granted 14 full awards of which only two were outside the US, AUB being one of them.
Since 2013, SHARP has been offering yearly summer certificates from which 124 students have graduated. In addition, SHARP provides intermediate research training for SHARP summer graduates and accordingly, students have the opportunity to solidify their research skills and publish their projects. Finally, SHARP offers an MS program in Health Research. To date, three students have graduated with an MS degree, and seven are currently enrolled in the MS program.

 

DIRECTOR’S PROFILE

Faculty and Staff

Led by Dr. Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan, SHARP is an interfaculty collaborative effort involving co-investigators from the Faculty of Medicine (FM), Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS), and Hariri School of Nursing (HSON).

SHARP Executive Committee:
• Ghada El Hajj Fuleihan
• Robert Habib
• Abla Sibai
• Huda Huijer

Members of the local Training Advisory Group (TAG):
• Kamal Badr
• Ali Abu-Alfa
• Rabih Talhouk

External US TAG Group:
• Gordon Williams, Harvard Medical School
• Ellen Seely, Harvard Medical School
• Fran Cook, Harvard School of Public Health

Faculty Members Serving as Mentors and/or Teachers in SHARP:

From FM:
• Elie Akl
• Thalia Arawi
• Mona Nabulsi
• Rami Mahfouz
• Hani Tamim
• Marlene Chakhtoura
• Ms. Laila Al Shaar

From FHS:
• Monique Chaaya
• Lilian Ghandour

From HSON:
• Souha Fares

From Weil Cornell Qatar:
• Ziyad Mahfoud
• May Al Kassar

Staff

• Rima Kaddoura, Program Coordinator
• Ali Hammoudi, IT, Moodle and Webmaste

Program Curriculum

SHARP SUMMER CERTIFICATE

SHARP provides the fundamental skills in the essential disciplinesto conduct reasearch, namely epidemiology, biostatistics, research ethics, library sciences/informatics, and involves hands-on training in the analysis and reporting of large health related datasets in Non-Communicable Diseases.

The 7 weeks, June-July, summer certificate program

  • Offers in-depth skills in quantitative research methods (12 credits)
  • Is taught by pioneering faculty teaching research conduct at AUB
  • Allows the option to continue in established master degrees at various faculties at AUB, or the novel 40 credits SHARP MS degree.

 

SHARP MASTER OF SCIENCES

 

Course Description

The SHARP master degree is a natural continuation of the summer certificate program. It builds on the foundations/credits acquired in the summer certificate program, which are pre-requisites and constitute an inherent part of the master degree. It adds additional required courses, electives, the longitudinal Seminar Series, and the thesis.

After completing the SHARP Summer Certificate, students will complete the degree requirements that include additional required core courses, the Longitudinal Seminar Series, and a mentored NCD research project culminating in a thesis. In compliance with AUB requirements, students will also sit for a zero credit comprehensive exam (pass/fail) course in their last semester. The Master’s program can be completed in one to two years.
The total number of allowable credits per semester is 16 credits/semester unless otherwise approved by the Graduate Committee Studies.

 

Requirements

SHARP will be abiding by General University Academic Information (http://www.aub.edu.lb/registrar/Documents/catalogue/graduate17-18/general-university.pdf), in which to be eligible for graduation with a Master’s degree from the American University of Beirut, a graduate student:

  • must have attained a cumulative course average of 80 or above.
  • is not placed on probation by the time the course work is completed.
  • must have completed the minimum credit hours of course work designated by the specific program.
  • must have passed comprehensive exam.
  • must have completed thesis requirements for thesis option degrees.
  • must have completed project requirements for the non-thesis option degrees.
  • must have met the residence requirements specified for the Master’s degree.
Faculty and Students’ Awards

2017

  • Dr. Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan is selected as a recipient of the 2017 Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health Award of Merit, to be awarded at the Alumni annual meeting that will take place on Saturday October 14th, at Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA. The Award of Merit is the highest School honor recognizing the extraordinary achievements of select alumni (about the award)
  • Laila Al-Shaar was awarded a 2 years grant by the AHA for her proposal entitled “BMI and physical activity in relation to outcomes after myocardial infarction: Analysis of two prospective cohort studies” (Read).
  • Karine Al Feghali, SHARP MS graduate, won the first prize at the Clinical Research Open House. Her poster was based on her SHARP MS Thesis “Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation in Patients with Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.”
  • Laila Al Shaar Poster entitled “Weight Change BMI and Mortality after Myocardial Infarction: Analysis of Two Prospective Cohort Studies” was presented at Poster Day (April 26, 2017) of the Harvard T.Chan School of Public Health. The poster won the Audience Favorite Award based on votes from all meeting attendees.
  • Eman Sbaity, SHARP MS Student Wins KIP Grant and MPP Grant (Read).
  • Dr. Huda Huijer received the Princess Mona Regional Award for Excellence in Nursing for 2017 in Amman Jordan in recognition of significant contributions to health care and the nursing profession.
  • Marlene Chakhtoura, MD, MSc, received an award for outstanding poster presentation (category of Epidemiology) during the 7th Annual AUB Biomedical Research Day that was held on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at West Hall. The poster was one of the top 12 out of 122 posters presented.
  • SHARP graduates inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AΩA) Jan 25, 2017 (Read).

 

2016

  • Dr Huda Huijer honored at International Nurse Researcher Hall Of Fame (View).
  • SHARP Summer 2013 Graduate receives Intern of the year award, Best Junior Resident Teaching Award, and Highest Absite Score Award (Read).
  • Recipient of the International Excellence in Endocrinology Award, Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan, MD, MPH (Read) – (Harvard Club-Reception-Photos) – (Endo Plenary Video).

 

2015

  • Dr. Marlene Chakhtoura was selected for ASBMR Phoebe Leboy Professional Development Award, and received the plaque at the Presidents reception (More).
  • Marlene Chakhtoura, SHARP MS student, was selected by the Endocrine Society to receive a travel award to attend Early Career Forum at the Endocrine Society’s 97th Annual Meeting & Expo being held March 4-8, 2015 in San Diego.”

 

2014

  • SHARP Trainees won the Research Day 2014 Lebanese Association for the Advancement of Science Award for the best poster (View) (Poster).
Publications

Publications, manuscripts, and abstracts to date include:

  1. Impact of prior intracoronary stenting on late outcomes of coronary artery bypass surgery in diabetics with triple-vessel disease. Victor Nauffal*, Thomas A. Schwann, Maroun Yammine*, Abdul-Karim El-Hage-Sleiman*, Mohamad El Zein*, Ameer Kabour, Milo C. Engoren, and Robert H. Habib*. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015 May;149(5):1302-9.
  2. CABG Versus PCI: Greater Benefit in Long-Term Outcomes With Multiple Arterial Bypass Grafting. Habib RH*, Dimitrova KR, Badour SA*, Yammine MB*, El-Hage-Sleiman AK*, Hoffman DM2, Geller CM, Schwann TA, Tranbaugh RF. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Sep 29;66(13):1417-27
  3. Hypovitaminosis D in Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies. Marlene Chakhtoura*, Nancy Nakhoul*, Khaled Shawwa*, Christos Mantzoros, Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan*. Endocrine Society’s 97th Annual Meeting & Expo 2015, San Diego, California.
  4. Is the prevalence of diabetes increasing in Lebanon? Nancy Nakhoul*, Hani Tamim, Youssef Mouneimne, Lara Nasreddine, Mohamad Ghassan Abiad, Hussain Ismaeel, and Mona Nasrallah. Endocrine Society’s 97th Annual Meeting & Expo 2015, San Diego, California
  5. Tumor Induced Osteomalacia Associated with a Giant Cell Tumor Mimicking inguinal Lymphnode, A Lesson to Learn From Each Case. Nancy Nakhoul*, Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan*, Mohammad Haidar, Mahmoud Shoucair, Mukbil Hourani, Asma Arabi*. Endocrine Society’s 97th Annual Meeting & Expo 2015, San Diego, California.
  6. Eight-year Target Lesion Revascularization Rates in Bare Metal Versus First and Second Generation Drug Eluting Stents: Analysis of 22,957 Stented Lesions. Sanaa Badour*, Yumiko Kanei, Kamellia Dimitrova, Joseph Habib, John Fox, Robert Tranbaugh, Thomas Schwann, Samir Alam, Robert Habib*. American College of Cardiology 2015, San Diego, California.
  7. Increased Late Benefit of Multi-arterial CABG Compared to Intra-coronary Stenting in Multivessel Left Anterior Descending Coronary Artery Disease. Robert Habib*, Robert Tranbaugh, Kamellia Dimitrova, Maroun Yammine*, Abdul-Karim El-Hage-Sleiman*, Darryl Hoffman, Charles Geller, Thomas Schwann. American Association for Thoracic Surgery 2015, Seattle, WA.
  8. Drug Eluting Stent Implantation in Multivessel Coronary Artery Disease Reduces the Adverse Effect of Diabetes on Late Outcomes when Compared to Bare Metal Stent. Sanaa Badour*, Kamellia Dimitrova, Yumiko Kanei, Robert Tranbaugh, Mark Hajjar, Ameer Kabour, Thomas Schwann, Robert Habib*. American Heart Association 2014, Chicago.
  9. Incremental Survival Benefit of One, Two and Three Arterial Bypass Grafting in Multivessel Coronary Artery Disease: The Effect of Diabetes. Thomas Schwann, Abdul-Karim El-Hage-Sleiman*, Maroun Yammine*, Robert Tranbaugh, Kamellia Dimitrova, Darryl Hoffman, Milo Engoren, Robert H. Habib*. American College of Cardiology 2014 Washington DC.
  10. Role of Completeness of Revascularization in Intermediate and Late Survival after Multivessel Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery Maroun Yammine*, Abdul-Karim El-Hage-Sleiman*, Thomas Schwann, Milo Engoren, Robert Habib*. American College of Cardiology 2014 Washington DC.
  11. Chakhtoura M*, Nakhoul N*, Akl EA, Mantzor C, El Hajj Fuleihan G**. Hypovitaminosis D in Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies, submitted to Metabolism Clinical and Experimental Journal, 2015.
  12. Chakhtoura M*, Nakhoul N*, Akl EA, Mantzoros C, El Hajj Fuleihan G**. Vitamin D replacement in Bariatric surgery: A critical appraisal of current guidelines, submitted to Metabolism Clinical and Experimental Journal, 2015.
    Chakhtoura MT*, Nakhoul N*, Akl EA*, Mantzoros CS, El Hajj Fuleihan G*. Guidelines on vitamin D replacement in bariatric surgery: Identification and systematic appraisal. Metabolism. 2016
SHARP Summer Program graduates

SHARP Certificate program graduates have been recruited in top ranking institutions. They are Research Fellows, Residents, and Research Associates at institutions such as Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, Brigham and Women’s hospital, and MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Under the umbrella of capacity building, some are now junior faculty such as Dr. Marlene Chakhtoura who is an Instructor of Clinical Specialty at AUB, and Dr. Maya Barake who is an Endocrinologist at CMC. Dr. Eman Sbaity, current MS student, is also an Instructor of Clinical Specialty at AUBMC.

 

Graduates of 2017

 

Graduates of 2016

 

Graduates of 2015

 

Graduates of 2014

 

Graduates of 2013