His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday honoured cardiac surgeon Dr Hani Najm with the first "Great Arab Minds" award in medicine.
Dr. Najm, who hails from Saudi Arabia, has been awarded for his "outstanding contribution and pioneering innovations in the field of heart surgery for children and adults".
He has performed more than 10,000 heart operations on patients with complex heart conditions with outstanding outcomes.
Taking to his official Twitter handle, Sheikh Mohammed congratulated Dr. Najm of Cleveland Clinic Hospital in the United States and said the award aims to celebrate Arab scientists, describing it as the "Arab Nobel" prize.
أطلقنا قبل عام مبادرة "نوابغ العرب" .. بهدف تكريم العلماء العرب .. والاحتفاء بالعقول العربية .. وتحفيز المبدعين العرب .. في قطاعات كالطب والهندسة والاقتصاد والأدب والفنون وغيرها .. فكما يحتفى العالم بالعلماء في جائزة نوبل نحتفي بالعلماء العرب في هذه الجائزة .. لتكون نوبل العرب..… pic.twitter.com/nLWjponqXz— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) November 25, 2023
A key highlight of Dr. Najm's work is the development of a gradually self-expanding heart “valve” for children, sparing them the need for repeated surgery.
He is also recognised for developing a novel surgical technique termed the “ventricular switch” to repair one of the most complex congenital heart conditions in children.
Dr. Najm was the lead heart surgeon in a large team that performed a rare and complex life-saving surgery to remove a heart tumor in a 26-week-old fetus.
The Great Arab Minds initiative was launched in 2022 to search for exceptional Arab talents in various fields.