The College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine was first inaugurated as the College of Agricultural Sciences in the academic year 1980/1981. At that time the academic structure included only two departments, namely, the Department of Plant Production and the Department of Animal Production.
The College of Agriculture & Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) – (The College’s new name from this academic year 2021-2022) - is a unique national asset. It is a beacon of distinctive learning that shares valuable knowledge regarding plant/animal health and production with youth aspiring to be future leaders/experts in these disciplines.
Professor- Food Science at UAEU
A question posed during Dr. Afaf Kamal-Eldin’s thesis defense set her on a research investigation that has spanned more than 20 years. At the end of it, she helped clarify the key mechanism in a type of vitamin E that has had a major impact on how this supplement functions as an antioxidant.
In 1993, Dr. Afaf Kamal-Eldin, who served as a chair of the Department of Food Science
at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), was a PhD student at the Swedish University
of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala.
While defending her thesis on sesame oil, she was asked by her examiner why she had written that gamma-tocopherol was a more powerful antioxidant in vitro, while alpha-tocopherols were more powerful in vivo.
“I immersed myself in research, reading everything I could find on the topic and published a review paper that has more than 2,100 citation today in Google Scholar”, she said.
The implication of this finding is that today, when scientists want to use tocopherol to preserve food or as a health supplement, they know to select alpha- or gamma-tocopherol, or a combination of both, along with other compounds, or synergists, that enhance the antioxidant activity.
In 2010, Dr. Kamal-Eldin, seeking warmer climes, decided to move to the UAE, where she joined the UAEU as chair of and a professor in the Department of Food Science. There she pivoted her research to explore the untapped value of two traditional agricultural products – dates and camel milk. She seeks to identify the mechanism in camel milk responsible for its anti-diabetic effect, while also exploring how to utilize the fibrous byproduct of date syrup production as a food supplement. Dr. Kamal-Eldin hopes her research into camel milk and dates will help the UAE achieve some of the goals of its National Food Security Strategy 2051, which aims to make the country the world leader in innovation-driven food security.
“Food chemistry has a role in helping the UAE achieve its goal for food security with respect to the increasing quality – and even quantity – of the food produced in the country. I am particularly hoping to increase our utilization of our traditional produce of dates and camel milk, as they can be processed into different products with various functional and nutritional properties,” she shared.
Dr. Afaf Kamal-Eldin hopes her research into camel milk and dates will help the UAE achieve some of the goals of its National Food Security Strategy 2051, which aims to make the country the world leader in innovation-driven food security.
"As a veterinary medicine student, the learning experience at UAEU university was challenging yet thrilling. The teaching faculty at the University did a remarkable job in delivering all the theoretical knowledge needed along with arranging practical hands-on experience to prepare us well for the workplace. The diversity and opportunity veterinary medicine offers is incredible and till this day I am still learning."
"I am very grateful to the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine for giving me the chance to be involved with sustainable agriculture: where we can produce food without cost to the planet. The education and the experience I gain helps to make me a more productive citizen.”
"The College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine gave me the chance to get involved in many practical activities. The college ensures that students have the chance to excel in areas such as leadership and working with others. Moreover, there are excellent teachers who deliver a top-class education both in and outside of the classroom.”
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