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A memorial event honoring the late Dr. Usama Al-Khalidi was held under the patronage of Princess Ghida Talal, chairperson of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF) and Center (KHCC). The ceremony recognized the outstanding achievements of the late Dr. Al-Khalidi in science and academia, which inspiring generations of Arab scientists and developing scientific institutions in Lebanon, Jordan, and the Arab world.
The ceremony included the participation of prominent international speakers including Dr. Talal Chatila from Harvard University, Dr. Miguel Abboud, head of the Department of Pediatrics at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, and Dr. Samir Atweh, professor and chair of Neurology at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, as well as many scientific researchers from the region.
Dr. Al-Khalidi obtained a bachelor of science and a master's degree in biochemistry from the American University of Beirut (AUB), and a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Michigan. He led AUB's Biochemistry Department and established its first PhD department. He was then appointed dean of the College of Medicine at the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain before serving as an advisor to Bahrain's Ministry of Industry and Commerce. He moved to Jordan, and became the scientific advisor to HRH Prince Hassan Bin Talal and appointed Secretary General of Jordan's Higher Council for Science and Technology.
In her speech during the ceremony, Princess Ghida stated: “I am delighted that the Cellular Therapy and Applied Genomics Laboratory will bear the name of Dr. Usama Al-Khalidi. Genomics is at the cutting-edge of cancer care – fundamental to its diagnosis and treatment. It fills me with pride that Dr. Usama's name will be forever memorialized in the King Hussein Cancer Center."
Prior to the inauguration of the laboratory, a memorial lecture was held in honor of Dr. Al-Khalidi. The lecture was presented by Dr. Stefan M. Pfister, director of the Preclinical Program at Hopp Children's Cancer Center in Heidelberg, and discussed molecular tumor classification and its effects on cancer patient care.
The event also included a tour of the Usama Al-Khalidi Laboratory for Cellular Therapy and Applied Genomics.