Dear Members of the FM and AUBMC Community:
It gives me great pleasure to announce that the 2021 King Salman International Award for Disability Research - Health and Medical Sciences Branch - has been awarded to Dr. Samia Khoury, Professor of Neurology and Immunology, Director of Abu Haidar Neuroscience Institute (AHNI), and Director of Nehme and Therese Tohme Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center. The Award encourages local, regional, and global efforts aimed at enriching science and knowledge in various areas of disability.
Dr. Khoury is a distinguished neurologist renowned for her clinical and investigative work on Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a disease that causes severe disability if untreated. Her major area of research is focused on understanding pathogenesis and mechanism of regulation/tolerance in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model for MS, and the molecular mechanisms involving the cross talk between the immune system and neural stem cells during EAE. Most of Dr. Khoury's work led to implementation of clinical trials, which impacted clinical care. Furthermore, her work helped in developing several databases that captured clinical and demographic information of the MS patient population.
As the Director of our MS Center, Dr. Khoury has worked tirelessly on raising awareness about Multiple Sclerosis, evolving healthcare for patients with the disease, and intensifying local and regional research to determine the causes of the disease and find the best treatment options to slow its development. Dr. Khoury also worked on community initiatives to raise awareness and combat this disabling disease. These initiatives included establishing the “Friends of Multiple Sclerosis at AUBMC Fund". The fund raises money to assist patients with MS who cannot afford the treatment they need. The Friends of MS also organizes activities to increase awareness such as annual seminars and workshops to inform MS patients and their families about the disease, the available treatments, and how to deal with any disability.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Khoury for this deserved honor.
Raymond Sawaya, MD
Vice President for Medical Affairs
Raja N. Khuri Dean, Faculty of Medicine
American University of Beirut