Research Title: Premenstrual Syndrome Is Associated with Dietary and Lifestyle Behaviors among University Students: A Cross-Sectional Study from Sharjah, UAE
Author: Hani Jameel Mohammad Hamad, Published Year: 2019
Faculty: Allied Medical Sciences

Abstract: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a cyclical late luteal phase disorder of the menstrual cycle whereby the daily functioning of women is aected by emotional and physical symptoms substantially interfering with their quality of life. Little is known about PMS in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This study aimed to determine the prevalence and severity of PMS among university students in Sharjah, UAE, and clarify its associations with dietary habits, lifestyle behaviors, and anthropometric factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted on female college students at the University of Sharjah, UAE. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires and anthropometric assessments. Descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed. Participants were 300 adult university students aged 18–24 years (mean age 20.07 1.53 years). In total, 95% of participants reported at least one PMS symptom during their menstrual period. The prevalence of PMS was 35.3%, with mild symptoms being the most commonly reported. Multiple regression analysis showed that smoking was associated with increased risk of reporting psychological (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.1–5.8; p < 0.05) and behavioral symptoms (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.0–4.9; p < 0.05), while high calorie/fat/sugar/salt foods intake was associated with increased risk of reporting physical symptoms (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.4–7.3; p < 0.05). However, fruit consumption (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.125–0.92; p < 0.05) was associated with a decreased risk of reporting behavioral symptoms. A high prevalence of PMS was reported among university students, with smoking and high calorie/fat/sugar/salt food consumption identified as strong risk factors for PMS.

Keywords: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS); anthropometry; dietary habits; lifestyle behaviors

Research Title: Factors that influence quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis in Saudi Arabia
Author: Fuad Abdul Rahman Taha Abdulla, Published Year: 2022
Faculty: Allied Medical Sciences

Abstract: Purpose: To study the factors which may contribute to quality of life (QOL) in patients with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) in Saudi Arabia. Methods: 175 pwMS and 71 age-, gender-, and BMI-matched healthy subjects participated in this cross sectional study. QOL was studied by the multiple sclerosis quality of life-54 (MSQOL-54) while depression, disability, and fatigue were measured by the beck depression inventory-II (BDI-II), the expanded disability status scale (EDSS), and the modified fatigue impact scale (MFIS), respectively. The effects of demographic and clinical characteristics on MSQOL-54 were studied. Results: QOL was worse in pwMS. A better QOL in pwMS was linked to being male, having relapsing remitting MS, having lower BMI, being employed, having a low disability, having no or minimal depression, and not fatigued. Age, disease duration, marital status, living status, and level of education did not affect the QOL. QOL showed a moderate to strong correlation with depression and fatigue and a weak correlation with EDSS. Depression and fatigue were the strongest predictors of QOL. Other predictors included gender and BMI but not EDSS. Conclusions: Many of the factors which seem to influence QOL in pwMS are modifiable. Evaluation and management of such factors may improve QOL in pwMS.

Keywords: Quality of life (QOL); multiple sclerosis (MS); depression; fatigue; disability; gender; body mass index (BMI)

Research Title: Varied Composition and Underlying Mechanisms of Gut Microbiome in Neuroinflammation
Author: Fuad Abdul Rahman Taha Abdulla, Published Year: 2022
Microorganisms, 10, 705
Faculty: Allied Medical Sciences

Abstract: The human gut microbiome has been implicated in a host of bodily functions and their regulation, including brain development and cognition. Neuroinflammation is a relatively newer piece of the puzzle and is implicated in the pathogenesis of many neurological disorders. The microbiome of the gut may alter the inflammatory signaling inside the brain through the secretion of short-chain fatty acids, controlling the availability of amino acid tryptophan and altering vagal activation. Studies in Korea and elsewhere highlight a strong link between microbiome dynamics and neurocognitive states, including personality. For these reasons, re-establishing microbial flora of the gut looks critical for keeping neuroinflammation from putting the whole system aflame through probiotics and allotransplantation of the fecal microbiome. However, the numerosity of the microbiome remains a challenge. For this purpose, it is suggested that wherever possible, a fecal microbial auto-transplant may prove more effective. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the role of the microbiome in neuroinflammation and the various mechanism involved in this process. As an example, we have also discussed the autism spectrum disorder and the implication of neuroinflammation and microbiome in its pathogenesis.

Keywords: autism; disorders; gut microbiome; neuroinflammation pathogenesis

Research Title: Antitubercular, Cytotoxicity, and Computational Target Validation of Dihydroquinazolinone Derivatives
Author: Wafa Moh'd Khair Hourani, Published Year: 2022
Faculty: Pharmacy

Abstract: A series of 2,3-dihydroquinazolin-4(1H)-one derivatives (3a–3m) was screened for in vitro whole-cell antitubercular activity against the tubercular strain H37Rv and multidrug-resistant (MDR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) strains. Compounds 3l and 3m with di-substituted aryl moiety (halogens) attached to the 2-position of the scaffold showed a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 2 µg/mL against the MTB strain H37Rv. Compound 3k with an imidazole ring at the 2-position of the dihydroquinazolin-4(1H)-one also showed significant inhibitory action against both the susceptible strain H37Rv and MDR strains with MIC values of 4 and 16 µg/mL, respectively. The computational results revealed the mycobacterial pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (PLP)-dependent aminotransferase (BioA) enzyme as the potential target for the tested compounds. In vitro, ADMET calculations and cytotoxicity studies against the normal human dermal fibroblast cells indicated the safety and tolerability of the test compounds 3k–3m. Thus, compounds 3k–3m warrant further optimization to develop novel BioA inhibitors for the treatment of drug-sensitive H37Rv and drug-resistant MTB

Keywords: Keywords: dihydroquinazolin-4(1H)-ones; anti-TB activity; MTT assay; molecular docking studies; molecular dynamic simulations studies

Research Title: Anti-tubercular activity and molecular docking studies of indolizine derivatives targeting mycobacterial InhA enzyme
Author: Wafa Moh'd Khair Hourani, Published Year: 2021
Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry , Volume 36, 2021
Faculty: Pharmacy

Abstract: A series of 1,2,3-trisubstituted indolizines (2a–2f, 3a–3d, and 4a–4c) were screened for in vitro whole-cell anti-tubercular activity against the susceptible H37Rv and multidrug-resistant (MDR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) strains. Compounds 2b–2d, 3a–3d, and 4a–4c were active against the H37Rv-MTB strain with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranging from 4 to 32 µg/mL, whereas the indolizines 4a–4c, with ethyl ester group at the 4-position of the benzoyl ring also exhibited anti-MDR-MTB activity (MIC = 16–64 µg/mL). In silico docking study revealed the enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (InhA) and anthranilate phosphoribosyltransferase as potential molecular targets for the indolizines. The X-ray diffraction analysis of the compound 4b was also carried out. Further, a safety study (in silico and in vitro) demonstrated no toxicity for these compounds. Thus, the indolizines warrant further development and may represent a novel promising class of InhA inhibitors and multi-targeting agents to combat drug-sensitive and drug-resistant MTB strains.

Keywords: : Indolizinemycobacterium tuberculosisInhAdockingX-ray crystal structure

Research Title: Computational Tools to Expedite the Identification of Potential PXR Modulators in Complex Natural Product Mixtures: A Case Study with Five Closely Related Licorice Species
Author: Manal Mohammad Alhusban, Published Year: 2022
ACS Omega, https://doi.org/10.1
Faculty: Pharmacy

Abstract: The genus Glycyrrhiza, comprising approximately 36 spp., possesses complex structural diversity and is documented to possess a wide spectrum of biological activities. Understanding and finding the mechanisms of efficacy or safety for a plant-based therapy is very challenging, yet it is crucial and necessary to understand the polypharmacology of traditional medicines. Licorice extract was shown to modulate the xenobiotic receptors, which might manifest as a potential route for natural product-induced drug interactions. However, different mechanisms could be involved in this phenomenon. Since the induced herb–drug interaction of licorice supplements via Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is understudied, we ventured out to analyze the potential modulators of PXR in complex mixtures such as whole extracts by applying computational mining tools. A total of 518 structures from five species of Glycyrrhiza: 183 (G. glabra), 180 (G. uralensis), 100 (G. inflata), 33 (G. echinata), and 22 (G. lepidota) were collected and post-processed to yield 387 unique compounds. Visual inspection of top candidates with favorable ligand–PXR interactions and the highest docking scores were identified. The in vitro testing revealed that glabridin (GG-14) is the most potent PXR activator among the tested compounds, followed by licoisoflavone A, licoisoflavanone, and glycycoumarin. A 200 ns molecular dynamics study with glabridin confirmed the stability of the glabridin-PXR complex, highlighting the importance of computational methods for rapid dereplication of potential xenobiotic modulators in a complex mixture instead of undertaking time-consuming classical biological testing of all compounds in a given botanical.

Keywords: Glycyrrhiza, PXR, Glabridin

Research Title: Probing PXR activation and modulation of CYP3A4 by Tinospora crispa and Tinospora sinensis
Author: Manal Mohammad Alhusban, Published Year: 2022
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 291
Faculty: Pharmacy

Abstract: Ethnopharmacological relevance and aims The two Tinospora species, T. crispa and T. sinensis, native to Southeast Asia, are integral components of various traditional preparations with structure-function claims to treat various disorders, including diabetes and inflammation. To assure the safety of the botanicals finished products, herb-drug interaction potential of T. crispa and T. sinensis was investigated by testing their extracts and compounds for in vitro activation of the pregnane X-receptor (PXR) and the modulation of CYP3A4 isozyme, selectively.

Keywords: Tinospora crispa, T. sinensis, PXR

Research Title: Relationship between adopting servant leadership style and employee commitment: Empirical evidence from Jordanian governmental hospitals
Author: Atef Al-Raoush, Published Year: 2022
Problems and Perspectives in Management, , Volume 20, Issue 1
Faculty: Business

Abstract: Businesses face a constant struggle in developing leaders who are devoted to serving and developing their people. Therefore, recognizing the link between servant leadership and employee commitment can help organizations establish a more positive working environment, leading to improved employee and organizational performance. This study aims to investigate the relationship between adopting servant leadership by hospital managers and employee commitment within Jordanian governmental hospitals. This paper employs a cross-sectional study design including a quantitative data collection method. Using a simple random sampling method, data were collected from 389 hospital staff employed by Jordanian governmental hospitals. The data were analyzed using Pearson (r) correlation coefficient with hypothesis testing. Research findings revealed a significant positive relationship between the adoption of a servant leadership style by government hospital managers and employee commitment (r = 0.633, Sig. <0.01). Furthermore, the study showed that demographic variables including gender, age, education, and experience were not associated significantly with employee commitment. The study’s results can help hospital managers develop and practice servant leadership, who are expected to increase employee commitment and achieve organizational objectives.

Keywords: servant, leadership, managers, commitment, government, hospital, Jordan

Research Title: Control environment effectiveness: the influence of control systems on the external audit procedures quality
Author: Rana Mustafa Mohammad Airout, Published Year: 2022
Academy of accounting and financial studies , 26
Faculty: Business

Abstract: This research intended to identify the influence of internal control systems on the external audit procedures in the Jordanian business environment. Specifically, to investigate the impact of control systems (accounting, managerial and internal control) on the effectiveness of external audit procedures, representing by four main audit aspects (including the planning for the audit process, developing audit testing procedures, risk assessments, and implementation of the audit plan). This study uses the questionnaire to gather data to test the relationship between internal control systems and external audit procedures. This research focuses mainly on the Jordanian external auditors' point of view regarding these control systems' influence on the external audit procedures. Data were analyzed employing inferential and descriptive statistics. The research hypotheses were tested using one-sample ttest. Based on 64 valid questionnaires, the findings of the study results show that internal control systems do contribute significantly toward improving the effectiveness of various external audit procedures. The main findings illustrate that the internal control system is the most vital monitoring factors; it has a significant influence on external audit procedures. Moreover, the participants perceived that internal control; accounting and managerial systems play an essential role in enhancing the quality of audit procedures especially their role in conducting a risk assessment. Moreover, the descriptive and inferential findings demonstrate that the influence of the internal control systems over the planning for the audit process was the most important monitoring system. The internal control systems have impact on developing the audit plan, the audit plan tests and risk identification. The findings also suggest that accounting control systems influence the external audit procedures in Jordanian companies that can assist in improving different procedures of external audit. This indicates that the auditors should be aware of the dynamic role of particular internal control systems to enhance the procedures of external audit. The research findings consistent with the Jordanian set of laws, such as JCGC which highlights the significance role of these systems on the control environments and audit processes. The research findings have practical implications for the policymakers, including (board of directors and external auditors). This research recommends that control systems should exert more assurance in monitoring the control environment and external audit process.

Keywords: Control systems, External Audit Procedures, Internal Control System, Accounting, Managerial and Internal Control.

Research Title: Comparative study on the cellular uptake/binding of heparin and its analogues conjugated silica nanoparticles using HUVECs as a vascular model for inhibition of metastasis
Author: Mohammad Bayan, Published Year: 2022
Al-Zaytoonah International Pharmaceutical Conference 2022, Amman, Jordan
Faculty: Pharmacy

Abstract: Inhibition of metastasis is essential in cancer treatment to prevent the spread of tumour cells to other organs. Heparin conjugated nanoparticles could be a useful tool in inhibiting cancer metastasis via blocking growth factors such as VEGF or FGF implicated in metastatic processes including angiogenesis and tumour proliferation. Other possible mechanisms interrupting and interacting with selectin dependent adhesion of tumour cells to vascular endothelium or reducing heparanase activity that facilitates tumour cell migration. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating any possible interaction between heparin and its analogues conjugated to silica nanoparticles surfaces and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) as model vascular cells through measuring their cellular uptake/binding. Heparin, chondroitin, and alginate conjugated silica nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized using stober process followed by carbodiimide coupling of heparin, chondroitin, and alginate to the surfaces of silica NPs. Preliminary data of fluorescence microscopy , flow cytometry and TEM demonstrated that there was a strong binding/cellular uptake between heparin conjugated nanoparticles and HUVECs. However, nanoparticle conjugated with chondroitin, which is a structurally similar polysaccharide, also showed similar cellular uptake behavior by HUVECs indicating that there could be a possible common uptake pathway through cell surface receptor binding. On the other hand alginate conjugated NPs showed less cell uptake/binding in comparison with heparin or chondroitin conjugated NPs which could indicate non-specific binding of these NPs to HUVECs. Receptor mediated binding was explored using the competitive assay and findings indicated that there was a receptor-dependent binding or uptake of heparin conjugated silica NPs which confirms the hypothesis of heparin capability to bind cell surface receptors displayed by endothelial cells which could by exploited by tumour cells. Accordingly, data could suggest that heparin conjugated NPs could be further utilized to interfere with possible mechanisms underpinning cancer spreading.

Keywords: Heparin; Silica NPs; HUVECs; Metastasis; TEM; Cellular Uptake