Live, in person

24 - 27 January 2022

Dubai World Trade Centre


5 January - 28 February 2022

COVID-19 Workshop


National Reference Laboratory
Stand: Za'abeel hall 5, Z5.A30


Wednesday 26th January, 14:00 - 17:00
Johannesburg room, Za'abeel hall 2, Z2.A40


The SARS CoV-2 pandemic is now into the third year. The pandemic has not followed the natural history of other infectious viral agents and continues to successfully adapt and in part defeat our public health measures. In this workshop we will outline both vertical and horizontal efforts to develop the tools and knowledge needed to fight SARS CoV-2.


14:00 - 14:10

Opening remarks

Dr. James Donnelly, Technical Director, National Reference Laboratory, UAE

14:10 - 14:40

The seroprevalence of COVID-19 infection in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE

Dr. Shereen Atef, Consultant Clinical Pathologist, National Reference Laboratory, UAE

14:40 - 15:10

Genetic Sequence Surveillance Project

Dr. Rowan Abuyadek, Project Manager, Abu Dhabi Public Health Center, Department of Health, UAE

15:10 - 15:30


15:30 - 16:00

Quality Standards for COVID-19 Testing

Dr. Christi Wojewoda, Director of Clinical Microbiology, University of Vermont Medical Center, USA

16:00 - 16:30

Developing Emergency Use Diagnostics: COVID-19

Dr. Jennifer Arroyo, Manager Immunoassay Development, Siemens Healthineers, USA

16:30 - 17:00

Q&A session

Learning objectives

The workshop will highlights:

  • First-hand how industry responded and produces diagnostic tests under emergency use authorization.
  • How accreditation bodies audit EUA assays in clinical practice.
  • The key points from the Abu Dhabi DPH Seroprevelance Study and the viral sequencing program of the DPH.
  • Workshop chair

    Dr. James G. Donnelly
    Technical Director, NRL

    Dr. James Donnelly is an expert in laboratory operations with experience in academic,corporate, and clinical laboratory settings.After completing his PhD in Pharmacology from George Washington University, US, Dr.James obtained his MBA in General Management from the University of Ottawa, Canada.He has held various professional and academic posts in the US, Canada andSwitzerland; including Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Chemistry, MolecularVirology and Toxicology, at New York University’s School of Medicine. Prior to joiningNRL, Dr. James served as Scientific Advisory Board Member, Chief Scientific Officer andVice President of Laboratory Operations at Babson Diagnostics Inc. Austin, Texas, US.In addition to being a prolific researcher, Dr. James is currently on the editorial boardsof Clinical Biochemistry, and Clinica Chimica Acta. He is a fellow of both the CanadianAcademy of Clinical Biochemistry and the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry(USA). He is certified by the Canadian Academy of Clinical Biochemistry and holds theNew York State Department of Health Certificate of Qualification as Laboratory Director.


    Dr. Shereen Atef
    Consultant Clinical Pathologis, NRL

    Dr. Shereen Atef has more than 20 years’ of experience in the field of laboratory medicine and is the author of two books and more than 80 regional and international publications. She is also engaged as a peer reviewer for medical journals such as the Arab Journal of Gastroenterology and the Journal of US-China Medical Science.

    Dr. Shereen completed her Doctorate in Clinical Pathology at Ain Shams University, Egypt in 2004. She joined the Clinical Pathology Department in 1999 and was promoted from Assistant Lecturer to Assistant Professor. She received her Diploma from the American University in Cairo in Total Quality Management for Health Reform (TQM) in 2008. In 2015, Dr. Shereen successfully passed the Certificate Course in Laboratory Quality Management by the University of British Columbia – Faculty of Medicine.

    Dr. Shereen completed her Doctorate in Clinical Pathology at Ain Shams University, Egypt in 2004.

    Dr. Rowan Abuyadek
    Project Manager, Abu Dhabi Public Health Center, Department of Health, UAE

    A physician heals healthcare system and services. 10 years of experience, in Public Health majoring Health Administration, experienced in Clinical, Public Health, and Health system & services research and Public Health/ Healthcare Management with its different applications, majoring in statistical management of healthcare processes.

    Dr. Christi Wojewoda
    Director of Clinical Microbiology, University of Vermont Medical Center, USA

    Christi Wojewoda, MD, FCAP is the Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at the University of Vermont Medical Center and an Associate Professor at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. She received her BS in Medical Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and her MD at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She completed her Anatomic and Clinical Pathology residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland and her Clinical Microbiology fellowship at Cleveland Clinic. She currently serves as the Chair of the College of American Pathologists’ Microbiology Committee and is State Commissioner for Vermont, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts for the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program.

    Dr. Jennifer Arroyo
    Manager Immunoassay Development, Siemens Healthineers, USA

    Jennifer Arroyo PhD is currently an R&D Manager in the Laboratory Diagnostics Division of Siemens Healthineers. Her work is focused on developing automated immunoassays, with a focus on infectious disease. Over the last 7.5 years she has contributed to the development of several immunoassays including two assays developed in response to emergency situations, i.e., Zika and COVID-19. She earned her graduate degrees (MS, PhD) at New York Medical College and undergraduate degree at Fordham University. Past research includes genetic analysis of influenza candidate vaccines, studies on influenza virus host cell interactions and conducting high throughput central nervous system compound screening.

    Important note: All workshops will be on a first come, first served basis.