Dr. Sharif Hala, Team Leader of the Infectious Diseases Research Department, Western Region at King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), is a biomedical researcher and one of the recipients of multiple grants from KAIMRC, Ministry of Health's research, and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. His work focuses on pathogen genetics and metagenomics of unknown infections.
Dr. Sharif has recently collaborated with multiple local and international researchers and centers to study and monitor SARS-CoV-2 spread and evolution through genome sequencing, which is essential in handling the COVID-19 pandemic and discovered crucial information in association with critical cases.
Dr. Sharif research Laboratory is working on developing novel protocols for identifications of known and unknown pathogens using genomic methods including 16S, 18S/ITS and metagenomics by using 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation sequencing protocols.
After completing his PhD, Dr. Hala is trying to link research projects in KAIMRC to have an impact on the local and international clinical microbiological practice in order to help patients while driving the epidemiological identification of current pathogens.
Dr. Hala holds a bachelor's degree in molecular biology sciences as well as a master's degree in medical molecular Genetics from University of Aberdeen in Scotland, UK, a PhD in Pathogen Genomics from King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Hala has won several scientific awards from different international institutions such as: Gulf Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ICC-GCCMID), UK Ambassador Award for exceptional projects, and multiple 1st prizes in genetics hackathons and MOH.