Dr. Naif Al-Harbi is the director of vaccine development unit and head of research quality management at King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC).
KAIMRC recently confirmed its willingness to cooperate with the Health Ministry and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority to test vaccines that are currently in their trial phase.
Al-Harbi said that it was unprecedented to have nine vaccines in the third stage of clinical trials.
“Approval or disapproval of any drug normally follows the third stage of its clinical trials, which is the last stage,” he added. “Since the pandemic, KAIMRC has been in continuous contact with several drug companies in four countries (that are developing vaccines),” he added.
Al-Harbi obtained a bachelor’s degree in medical microbiology at Qassim University in 2006. In 2010, he completed his master’s degree in molecular medical microbiology from the University of Nottingham, UK.
He did a Ph.D. in molecular virology and vaccinology from the University of Oxford in 2014 and he pursued a fellowship in vaccinology there between 2015 and 2016.
Al-Harbi joined KAIMRC as a research technologist in 2007. His association with the center continued as an on-scholarship technologist throughout his studies.
In 2015, he became a postdoctoral researcher for almost two years, and in 2017 he joined KAIMRC’s research credentialing committee as a member, while simultaneously heading the biosafety office until March 2020.
He currently holds several positions at KAIMRC, including associate research scientist, director of the vaccine development unit (since April 2020) and head of research quality management (since March 2019).
He is also a member of numerous committees such as animal research and ethics, and research integrity and misconduct.
Al-Harbi has been a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford since January 2018. He is also co-lead in the pandemic preparedness unit at the G20 Secretariat.