Nonprofit organization in Riyadh funnels billions into extending healthy human lifespan

Dr. Mehmood Khan, Hevolution Foundation CEO
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Dr. Mehmood Khan, Hevolution Foundation CEO
Nonprofit organization in Riyadh funnels billions into extending healthy human lifespan
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CEO Dr. Mehmood Khan said: “Geroscience and healthspan science are critically underfunded, which is why Hevolution is stepping up to bridge this gap. (Supplied)
Nonprofit organization in Riyadh funnels billions into extending healthy human lifespan
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CEO Dr. Mehmood Khan said: “Geroscience and healthspan science are critically underfunded, which is why Hevolution is stepping up to bridge this gap. (Supplied)
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Updated 25 June 2024
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Nonprofit organization in Riyadh funnels billions into extending healthy human lifespan

Dr. Mehmood Khan, Hevolution Foundation CEO
  • Foundation works to address the underlying causes of aging

RIYADH: Hevolution Foundation is funding research and early-stage investments to catalyze advances in extending healthy human lifespan while understanding the processes of aging.

Boasting over SR1.5 billion ($400 million) in research grants and early-stage biotech investments, the Riyadh-based global nonprofit organization is a philanthropic funder of geroscience, an area of research dedicated to advancing global human healthspan.

Hevolution Foundation is working to address the underlying causes of aging to help prevent the onset of age-related diseases.

The organization says that while the average lifespan in Saudi Arabia is about 74 years, the average healthspan is 64 — indicating a decade-long gap between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy — and many are living the final years of their lives in poor health.

Geroscience and healthspan science are critically underfunded, which is why Hevolution is stepping up to bridge this gap.

Dr. Mehmood Khan, Hevolution Foundation CEO

CEO Dr. Mehmood Khan said: “Geroscience and healthspan science are critically underfunded, which is why Hevolution is stepping up to bridge this gap.

“Hevolution is proud to be the world’s largest philanthropic funder of geroscience and, following the success of our first Global Health Summit in 2023 and the next summit planned for February 2025, we look forward to continuing the shift from lifespan to healthspan.”

Grant recipients include King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, as well as global institutions including Buck Institute, Northwestern University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Haya bint Khaled, the vice president of research at Hevolution Foundation, said: “With the Kingdom’s National Biotechnology Strategy — which Hevolution made vital inputs into — Saudi Arabia is innovating in health.

“Saudi Arabia is at a perfect moment in time to outpace future demographic challenges by investing in healthy longevity now, and to lead the world in addressing age-related diseases for the benefit of all humanity.”

Hevolution aims to increase the number of safe and effective treatments entering the market; compress the timeline of drug development using the latest tools and technologies; and increase accessibility to healthspan therapeutics for all.

Leveraging its annual budget of up to SR4 billion, Hevolution is committed to increasing the number of geroscience researchers globally, expanding the number of companies working in the field and attracting funding to this vital area of science.

This includes commitment to a SR10.1 million two-year grant program to create the first cohort of researchers from King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and other prestigious institutions, to explore areas such as the microbiome, aging biomarkers and senescence.

A SR18 million fund will support up to 15 postdoctoral fellowships to advance the careers of early-stage scientists in Saudi Arabia and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region.

A grant of SR75.7 million over five years will support Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, focused on senescence and aging, led by Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo, a leader in the aging field and member of the National Academy of Sciences.

The organization’s other commitments include SR121 million provided over five years to Northwestern University in Illinois, led by Dr. Richard Morimoto, with research focused on defining healthy proteostasis and maintaining proteostasis in a robust, resilient state.

Established in 2018 by royal order, Hevolution is headquartered in Riyadh with a North American hub in Boston, and plans to expand to other global locations.

 


Saudi Red Crescent in Makkah region puts in almost 80,000 volunteer hours during second quarter

Saudi Red Crescent in Makkah region puts in almost 80,000 volunteer hours during second quarter
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Saudi Red Crescent in Makkah region puts in almost 80,000 volunteer hours during second quarter

Saudi Red Crescent in Makkah region puts in almost 80,000 volunteer hours during second quarter

JEDDAH: The Saudi Red Crescent Authority in the Makkah region revealed its volunteer statistics for the second quarter of 2024, with the number of volunteer hours reaching 79,128.

It said the volunteer opportunities ranged from providing first-aid services to worshippers in the courtyards of the Holy Mosque in Makkah to national occasions, international days, events, humanitarian aid, and sports events.

Additionally, several first-aid courses were held to train male and female volunteers.

The authority indicated that Makkah has the largest number of volunteer initiatives with 273 opportunities, followed by the Jeddah governorate with 207 and the Taif governorate third with 104 opportunities.

The volunteer medical staff included several specialties, most notably consultants, general practitioners, and emergency medicine doctors. The authority emphasized its commitment to developing its volunteers by organizing specialized courses and training them in line with the authority’s mission and work.


Training program for trainers at Princess Nourah University

Training program for trainers at Princess Nourah University
Updated 5 min 8 sec ago
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Training program for trainers at Princess Nourah University

Training program for trainers at Princess Nourah University

RIYADH: Staff at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University recently had the chance to take part in a series of training programs to help them develop their own training and development skills, and prepare more effective training resources.

A six-day “Training of Trainers” program, provided by the university’s Deanship of Quality and Development, included topics such as theories of learning and their effects on training; the needs of the trainer; development of the communication model and communication skills; and the design of training materials.

It also covered management of the training process and the evaluation of performance, along with development of the skills required for managing workshops and conducting training sessions, and how to research information in support of training.

The deanship also provided a three-day “Preparation of Training Packages” program. This addressed the practical aspects of preparing a training program that effectively familiarize trainees with the required principles and standards of quality. It included topics such as development of a curriculum, setting objectives, training methods, and the types and organization of programs.

Officials said the initiative forms part of the deanship’s efforts to help achieve the university’s Strategic Plan 2025, the aim of which is to achieve excellence in teaching and learning through professional support, career guidance, and improved knowledge and skills.


Bahrain king receives speaker of Saudi Shoura Council

King Hamad receives Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh at Al-Safriya Palace.
King Hamad receives Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh at Al-Safriya Palace.
Updated 17 min 10 sec ago
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Bahrain king receives speaker of Saudi Shoura Council

King Hamad receives Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh at Al-Safriya Palace.
  • King Hamad expressed appreciation for King Salman’s efforts to strengthen the historical ties between their kingdoms

RIYADH: Bahrain’s King Hamad received Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh at Al-Safriya Palace in Manama on Thursday.

The king praised the deep-rooted relations between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and the high level of close cooperation and mutual coordination achieved on all fronts to fulfil the interests and aspirations of the two countries, Saudi Press Agency reported.

He also expressed appreciation for King Salman’s efforts to strengthen the historical ties between the two kingdoms.

The king commended the instrumental role of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council and Bahrain’s Council of Representatives and Shoura Council in bolstering relations and supporting development in the two countries.

The king also welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Bahraini Council of Representatives and the Saudi Shoura Council, which aims to expand and strengthen cooperation frameworks, exchange expertise and experiences at the legislative and parliamentary levels, and coordinate positions taken at various regional and international parliamentary forums.


Hail locals relish ancient, nutrition-rich dish on special occasions

Hail locals relish ancient, nutrition-rich dish on special occasions
Updated 18 min 43 sec ago
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Hail locals relish ancient, nutrition-rich dish on special occasions

Hail locals relish ancient, nutrition-rich dish on special occasions
  • Khalea is mostly lamb fat, needs careful preparation
  • Bedouin communities used it for energy in the past

RIYADH: Residents of Hail are known to enjoy a local dish, khalea, on special occasions and especially during winter because of its nutritious and calorie-rich properties.

Consisting largely of lamb fat, khalea requires tedious and lengthy preparation before it can be consumed.

Manifa Ali, a resident of Hail, told Arab News that the fat is cut into small pieces and yoghurt added as a marinade.

It is then slow-cooked over a low flame, which requires constant stirring so the fat does not burn. As the fat dissolves, the mixture is filtered, and the process is repeated multiple times until it is free of all impurities.

Turmeric can be added for color, and the fat is then fried carefully until crispy, said Ali.

It can then be enjoyed with bread or rice-based dishes.

Sarah Mohammed, another resident, said that making khalea requires “continuous practice and extreme precision because any delay in stirring the fat may lead to it being burned.”

Mohammed’s sister, Nora, enjoys eating the khalea like popcorn while watching TV.

Munif Ali, who lives with his family in a remote area east of Hail, said that khalea has ancient roots, harking back to a time when people did not have electricity.

In the past, local Bedouin communities extracted oil from sheep fat as a source of energy.


Saudi Arabia rejects, condemns Israeli security minister’s visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir speaks at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on July 17, 2024. (AFP)
Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir speaks at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on July 17, 2024. (AFP)
Updated 18 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia rejects, condemns Israeli security minister’s visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir speaks at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on July 17, 2024. (AFP)
  • The Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry also condemned an Israeli parliament vote to oppose a Palestinian state
  • Continuing and hostile practices toward Islamic sacred sites and international resolutions demonstrate the aggressive approach of Israeli authorities, ministry said

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia condemned and rejected in the strongest terms on Thursday a visit made by Israel’s far-right national security minister to Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, an ultranationalist settler leader, said he had gone up to the Jerusalem hilltop compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray for the return of Israeli hostages on Thursday.

The Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry also condemned an Israeli parliament vote to oppose a Palestinian state.

The 120-member Knesset late on Wednesday passed by 68 votes to nine a resolution that said a Palestinian state on land occupied by Israel would “perpetuate the Israel-Palestinian conflict and destabilize the region.”

These continuing and hostile practices toward Islamic sacred sites and international regulations and resolutions demonstrate the aggressive approach of Israeli authorities, the ministry said. 

The ministry added that these practices prevent the achievement of any progress aimed at sparing the blood of innocent people and achieving a just and comprehensive peace. 

Earlier on Thursday, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned Ben-Gvir’s visit as a “provocative intrusion” that endangered the fragile status quo regarding the Jerusalem hilltop compound.