Al-Qallaf, Danah A. A. A. Q., Tomlinson, Darren, Bell, Sandra, and McPherson, Michael
Biomarkers are molecules present in the patients' samples. They are used to detect the presence of a disease or an infection. An array of laboratory tools is used to monitor changes in the biomarker levels for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. Affimers are relatively new tools, which can be used in similar ways to commonly used antibodies with many advantages over the later. The work described in this PhD thesis has focused on a number of methodologies for the generation of Affimers against purified proteins and cell-surface molecules, with the intention of using these to detect biomarkers in cancer. To ensure the development of functional Affimer reagents against different membrane target molecules, EGFR, HER2, and HER3 were used as models to optimise the process of Affimers isolation and selection using phage display technology. In vitro production of Affimers using bacterial cells was assessed and optimised. Following optimisation, a range of Affimers that bound to EGFR, HER2, and HER3 were generated and partially characterised by different molecular applications, including immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, and pull-down assay. Upon characterisation, the developed reagents were not only able to identify their targets on cells and to precipitate them down from cell lysates, but also exhibited a complete inhibition of the downstream signalling activation of both EGFR and HER3. In addition, this thesis provides clear evidence of the potential of Affimers in biomarker discovery studies. After multiple rounds on non-tumourigenic (HB2) and cancerous (MDA-MB-453) breast-cell lines, eight novel anti-breast-cancer Affimers were successfully isolated and characterised. Following pull-down assay and mass spectrometry analysis, the target proteins to which these Affimers were found to bind was identified as CK18 and 19. Upon identification, the specificity of Affimers was further validated on a panel of breast cells, tissues, and on multiple breast-tissue microarrays (TMAs). There is a need to develop the knowledge to utilise this new Affimers-based technology to encourage adoption of this useful tool. With the aid of such technology, several novel detection reagents were generated, partially validated and proved to be promising tools for biomarker detection in different conventional assays.
Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, and poses a considerable burden on a child’s short- and long-term health. Most obesity presents in the early (preschool) years, and once established tracks into later life. Therefore, identification of risk factors in the preschool period is considered critical for prevention of long-term obesity. In the United Arab Emirate (UAE), the rising prevalence of childhood obesity is of great public health concern. However, no previous study has explored risk factors for obesity in preschool children. This PhD aimed to: (i) identify risk factors for preschool obesity in the UAE (Study 1); (ii) describe dietary intake and patterns of preschool children, and explore their associations with risk of obesity (Study 2); and (iii) in a randomised controlled trial investigate the effectiveness of the ‘Eat Right Emirates’ (ERE) tool, a simple leaflet intervention designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle and prevent preschool obesity (Study 3). Study 1 showed that a longer duration of breastfeeding, and later introduction of complementary foods were associated with lower BMI z-score. Study 2 found that, compared with UK dietary guidelines, preschool children in the UAE exceeded intakes of protein, but did not meet recommended intakes for fibre. A high carbohydrate intake as a percentage of energy was associated with lower BMI z-score, whereas a high fat intake was associated with higher BMI z-score. A priori derived diet score found diets of preschool children were suboptimal, and principal component analysis identified three dietary patterns (‘traditional/health-conscious’, ‘processed/western’ and ‘convenience/snack’), which were not associated with BMI z-score. Study 3 found that the ERE tool was effective in reducing obesity risk compared to controls at 6-month follow-up. These findings, and the high compliance rate, suggest that the simple intervention is a promising approach for prevention of obesity in the UAE.
This research considers the possibility of a locally-centric design education curricula in Amman, Jordan by investigating the philosophies, theories, practices and models of curriculum and pedagogy most appropriate for design education. It describes perceptions of design and examines the possibilities for shifting these perceptions to move towards transforming design education. Jordan is a neopatriarchal society, and education re-enacts the dominant structures of the state within curriculum and pedagogy centred on the authority of the educator. This thesis argues for a decolonised design education based on a student-centred pedagogy drawn from the process and praxis curriculum models - a design education and design otherwise. Working with a range of designers, students and educators, it investigates the potential of these actors to contribute to the development of a pedagogy for design education in Jordan that is relevant to the milieu and locality. It poses the following questions: What philosophies, theories, practices, models of curriculum, and pedagogy are appropriate?; What potential shifts could this require and create?; How do we shift perceptions? This qualitative research uses interviews, focus groups, and design charrettes for data collection. Through participation and engagement with people that have most at stake in design education - designers, design educators and design students - I argue for an emancipatory design education that reflects on design beyond its traditional service-provider definition. Drawing on scholarship from design and education studies, and literature from fields such as history, decolonial studies, architecture and urbanism, political science, economics and philosophy, I argue for a curriculum model and student-centred pedagogy that considers design's role in society. Literature on Arab higher education is preoccupied with reforms to help the Arab region build a knowledge-society without considering the role of curriculum models and pedagogy nor addressing power structures. In addition, within design, little literature exists on the Arab region or Jordan, leaving its design culture(s) largely undocumented. My thesis investigates design education in higher education in Jordan by concentrating on models of pedagogy and curriculum and provides an overview of Jordan's contemporary design culture.
Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 2018, 4, 4, 1.
creativity, business, education, training, professional development, creative thinking, theories, arts, arts-based methods, and innovation
Creativity has become one of the most sought-after skills from graduates across business and industry. It is therefore imperative to infuse creativity training within business programs of study and professional development experiences, to remind people of their eternally curious and creative nature. The objective of this paper is to explore the literature around theories of creative potential and performance—including creative identity, creative mindset, and creative self-efficacy. We consider perspectives that reveal that creativity is a mindset predicated on beliefs and ways of thinking. Educational psychology literature and theories of creative self-belief illustrate how creative identity, mindset, and self-efficacy form the core of an individual’s belief system to think, act, and develop creatively in the world. This connects to the potential of arts-based methods as a means to infuse creative learning into business education. We illustrate how our findings can be put into practice by sharing an example of an art-based intervention that is currently in progress to develop creative capacity among students in an internationally known business program. We conclude with the idea that its incumbent upon business education, professional development, and training to incorporate methodologies that enhance creative capacity by initially eliminating or minimizing self-perceived limitations in people, such as fear, negative personal judgement, and chattering of the mind—and theories of creative self-belief provide a foundation that can undergird arts-based methods toward this goal.
Malkawi, Salaheddin, Al-Nimr, Moh'd, and Azizi, Danah
Energy, 2017, 127, C, 680.
Multi-criteria decision analysis, Energy planning, Renewable energy, Nuclear energy, Oil shale, and Conventional resources
In this study Jordan's energy options were evaluated and ranked with respect to several criteria clusters including financial, technical, environmental, ecological, social, and risk assessment. The Analytical Hierarchy Process; a multi-criteria decision-making analysis, was selected to evaluate the electricity generation options for Jordan. Energy options covered in the analysis include both conventional and renewable sources. Conventional sources evaluated include Oil and Natural Gas. Renewable sources covered wind, biomass, Photovoltaic and concentrated solar systems. The study also investigated generation from nuclear energy and direct combustion of oil shale as well as demand side savings from energy efficiency measures as a resource. Results indicate that to date; conventional fuels remain Jordan's most feasible options from a technical and financial perspective. Nonetheless diversification is essential to promoting energy security as well as environmental welfare. Results indicate that Jordan's best diversification options are nuclear, oil shale, biomass, and wind energy.
International Journal of Public Health, 2015, 60, 2, 267.
Adolescents, Violent video games, Clans, MMOGs, and Violent behavior
Clan membership is neither associated with lower rates of externalizing behaviors for youth, nor does it affect the likelihood of reporting externalizing behaviors among male players. There is some suggestion that clan membership may attenuate the concurrent association between in-game violent content and some externalizing behaviors for females. Copyright Swiss School of Public Health 2015
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 2013, 64, 5, 981.
When information practices are understood to be shaped by social context, privilege and marginalization alternately affect not only access to, but also use of information resources. In the context of information, privilege, and community, politics of marginalization drive stigmatized groups to develop collective norms for locating, sharing, and hiding information. In this paper, we investigate the information practices of a subcultural community whose activities are both stigmatized and of uncertain legal status: the extreme body modification community. We use the construct of information poverty to analyze the experiences of 18 people who had obtained, were interested in obtaining, or had performed extreme body modification procedures. With a holistic understanding of how members of this community use information, we complicate information poverty by working through concepts of stigma and community norms. Our research contributes to human information behavior scholarship on marginalized groups and to Internet studies research on how communities negotiate collective norms of information sharing online.
Technology application, Teenagers -- Technology application, Youth -- Technology application, Parenting -- Technology application, and Social media -- Usage
Social media and smartphone applications have turned into an avenue for teenagers to explore their identity and the world around them. Fearful parents tend to track, monitor and block their teenagers' access to the Internet and impose more restrictions. Such parenting techniques do not help teenagers develop the skills necessary to manage complex social situations. Teenagers need the freedom to navigate the digital world but they also need to be aware that their parents are interested in knowing what they do online.