University of Sharjah inaugurated BIMAI-Lab in collaboration with Skoltech

His Excellency Professor Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah, and Professor Alexander Kuleshov, the president of Skoltech, celebrated the official inauguration of the joint BIMAI-Lab — the Biomedically-Informed Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. This joint initiative signifies a transformative era in the field of medicine, with a focus on advancing tailored artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions for biomedical applications and will utilize the existing collaboration between the University of Sharjah and Skoltech in various fields of scientific research.

Image. Skoltech’s President Alexander Kuleshov and the chancellor of UoS Hamid M.K Al Naimiy at the opening ceremony of BIMAI-Lab. Source: University of Sharjah.

Professor Hamid M.K Al Naimiy, the chancellor of UoS, extended his heartfelt appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, the deputy ruler of Sharjah and the president of the University of Sharjah, for his continuous support of University of Sharjah’s researchers and establishing collaborative research with top institutes and universities worldwide.

The chancellor acknowledged the visit by Skoltech, which is one of the top research institutes, as a remarkable milestone in fostering global collaborations and advancing research endeavors. This visit has not only strengthened the ties between the institutions but has also showcased the dedication of UoS to achieving excellence in research and innovation on the international stage. The joint laboratory will harness the strengths of the University of Sharjah and Skoltech in collaborative endeavors in research, education, and innovation as well as playing a pivotal role in addressing complex medical challenges and shaping the future of healthcare in the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

The joint laboratory promises groundbreaking developments in complex disease diagnostics, prognosis, and treatment strategies through the use of artificial intelligence, advanced mathematics and bioinformatics to biomedical data pushing the boundaries to reshape biomedical research. Its mission is to develop solutions that drive progress in precision medicine, ultimately enhancing lives worldwide. The joint laboratory will focus on pioneering projects in the diverse fields of psychiatry, neurodegenerative diseases, oncology, respiratory diseases, and metabolic disorders. The aim of the laboratory is to produce valuable resources, including databases, diagnostic and prognostic biomarker panels, medical support systems, expert tools, AI software, and frameworks and to translate some of the research into commercial products.

The inauguration was attended by Professor Maamar Bettayeb, the vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, Professor Rabih Halwani, the director of the Institute of Medical and Health Sciences, Professor Rifat Hamoudi, the director of the Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and co-chair of the joint laboratory, Professor Ahmed Bouridane, the director of the Centre of Cybersecurity and Data Analytics, as well as other UoS faculty members and researchers. Skoltech was represented by President Alexander Kuleshov and Grigory Kabatyanskiy, the vice president for science and academic relations. 

In October 2023, BIMAI-Lab was inaugurated at Skoltech. Its co-chair Maxim Sharaev, an assistant professor at the Applied AI Center, pointed out that the laboratory pushes the boundaries of artificial intelligence and mathematics to reshape biomedical research. 

The collaboration between the two universities’ biomedical AI researchers goes back to 2021. In 2022-2023, the future BIMAI-Lab team achieved significant milestones, including the creation of a comprehensive database comprising 180 samples. Registered as joint intellectual property, this multimodal database encompasses neuroimaging, multiomics, and clinical phenotype data for both healthy controls and patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) across various age groups. Additionally, the Skoltech-UoS team developed AI-based models for MDD detection based on EEG and transcriptomic data, and applied for a patent while also identifying biomarker candidates for MDD from these AI models.