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IAEA Partners with the American University of Beirut Medical Center to Enhance Nuclear Medicine Collaboration in Lebanon and the Region

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The signing of the Practical Arrangement - Imad Sadek, Deputy Medical Center Director for Operations, American University of Beirut Medical Center (seated centre), Mohamad B. Haidar, Director of Nuclear Medicine Division, American University of Beirut Medical Center (seated left), and IAEA Deputy Director General, Aldo Malavasi (seated right). (Photo: O. Morozova/IAEA)

Today the IAEA signed a three-year practical arrangement agreement with the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) which will promote collaboration between the two organizations and enhance the practice of clinical nuclear medicine in Lebanon and the Middle East.

While this practical arrangement is the first of its kind to be signed between the Agency and the AUBMC, the AUBMC has been an active participant in Agency technical cooperation initiatives and is currently involved in two nuclear medicine Coordinated Research Projects in the areas of breast and prostate cancer.

The agreement will cover four main thematic areas, including collaboration in the training of professionals from IAEA Member States in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging or allied disciplines; collaboration in the organization of meetings and workshops on clinical nuclear medicine practice and related research; assistance in training and capacity building with the focus on education and training activities; and, the exchange and dissemination of unclassified information of mutual interest and relevance.

“Having the support of institutions such as the AUBMC, with its state-of-the-art facilities, is instrumental for the IAEA to help Member States to tackle various health conditions by enhancing the practice of nuclear medicine,” said Diana Paez, Head of the Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging Section at the IAEA. “The AUBMC serves as a regional hub for research initiatives and has established numerous research and academic centres which have made significant contributions to the ways in which diseases are treated.”

The AUBMC, affiliated with the 152-year-old American University of Beirut, has provided medical care to patients across the country since 1902; today, it handles more than 360,000 patient visits annually. Nuclear medicine has been practiced at the institution since the 1960s.

“This partnership and collaboration with the IAEA will support the AUBMC in bringing ground breaking medical education, research and practice, as well as medical care in the region, into new levels of excellence and as a result, contribute to the global health agenda,” said Mohamad Bahjat Haidar, Director of the Nuclear Medicine Division, PET/CT and Cyclotron Facilities at the AUBMC. “Such an agreement will promote collaboration and exchange of knowledge and technology in nuclear medicine, and will contribute to the sustainability of both institutions in enhancing clinical nuclear medicine practice in Lebanon and the region. It will also increase training opportunities in this important medical field for health professionals across the Middle East.”

The practical arrangement will be valid from 2018 through 2021.

“The AUBMC, having established itself as the most renowned, trusted and respected healthcare provider in Lebanon and the surrounding region, represents an ideal partner for the Agency,” said Aldo Malavasi, Deputy Director General and Head of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications. “This cooperation will combine the IAEA’s institutional reach with the AUBMC’s cutting-edge capabilities and expertise in nuclear medicine, thus enhancing the training of professionals, regional capacity building and exchange and sharing of information.”

At the signing of the Practical Arrangement with members of the IAEA Human Health Division, the Lebanese authorities and AUBMC representatives. (Photo: O. Morozova/IAEA)

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