Summarizing the experience: Kuwait observer, Dr. Rola Mohammad


Last week we bid farewell to Kuwait Cancer Control Centre (KCCC) observer, Dr. Rola Mohammad, who was here at UHN for a Personalized Learning Program in Cancer Cytogenetics.

The initiative stems from a partnership between KCCC and UHN/ Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and gives us the opportunity to share our expertise and advance laboratory medicine globally.


Dr. Rola


In the lab

Dr. Rola spent five weeks working alongside Laboratory Medicine Program (LMP) doctors and technologists, observing how we operate and looking for ways to enhance the work being done at her own lab at KCCC. The ultimate goal for her and the KCCC team is to establish a cytogenetics lab and offer advanced oncology testing to patients in Kuwait.

While here, Dr. Rola focused on Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH) of solid tumours, observing the systems in place for evaluating which types of probes to use in the wet lab, and then how to score and interpret the results. This included looking at various scoring pitfalls, CAP guidelines, and ISCN nomenclature.

In addition to her technical learning, Dr. Rola also put together a plan to implement many of the practices used in LMP’s cytogenetics lab into her own lab at KCCC. The plan begins with familiarization and leads to a pilot study, a 10 day evaluation of precision, and continuous quality control.

Before leaving, Dr. Rola made a closing presentation to LMP staff, other KCCC observers, and partners from UHN’s International Office and the UHN International Centre for Educations (ICE), summarizing what she’s gained from working with LMP and how that can be transferred to KCCC.


In the city

Dr. Rola was occasionally able to take off her lab coat and just enjoy the city as a tourist. She visited Niagara Falls, ate at some great restaurants, and like a real Torontonian – was sure to experience some classic TTC delays. She specifically enjoyed touring Little Italy, visiting the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Pompeii exhibit, and taking her kids to popular Toronto waffle house, the Starving Artist.


In conclusion

Dr. Rola was the first in a series of external observers to visit LMP this summer, and all organizations involved seem proud to label the visit as a success.

Upon leaving, she commended UHN for its “friendly atmosphere,” LMP for its “high level of organization and resources,” and all staff for their “commitment to quality teaching.” Special thanks were given to: Dr. Adam Smith, Magdalena Waszul, Jill Krupa, and Ko Gyi.

It was an absolute pleasure to have Dr. Rola in our labs and offices over the last five weeks, and we can’t wait to see how her time here will impact the work being done at KCCC!



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