Naser Elkum, PhD

Principal Investigator – Full Level
Director – Biostatistics and Epidemiology Core
Biostatistics and Epidemiology Core

Email: nelkum(@)sidra.org
Phone: +974 4003 7402

  • Biography

    In 1997, Dr. Elkum earned a Ph.D. degree in statistics from Queen’s University Canada. More than 30 years of biostatistics and related health experience in internationally recognized institutions: National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group Queen’s University (NCIC, CTG), Canada; Health Canada: Laboratory Center of Disease Control (LCDC), Ottawa, Canada; Pharma Medica Research Inc. (PMRI), Mississauga, Canada; King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, Riyadh, KSA; Dasman Diabetes Institute (DDI), Kuwait; and Sidra Medicine, Qatar. His areas of expertise included: epidemiology, biostatistics, clinical trials, medical writing, and bioequivalence studies. 

    Dr. Elkum is a research methodologist with research interests in the development and application of statistical methods in health research. His research interests cover a wide spectrum of areas including design and analysis of RCTs; generalized linear/nonlinear mixed effects models; failure time data; statistical methods in epidemiology and cancer; Bayesian and non-Bayesian inference and statistical consulting.

    He has collaborated with researchers in cardiology, internal medicine, diabetes, obesity, urology, oncology, pathology and health technology assessment. He has provided statistical leadership in studies in various areas of population health research, clinical research and health services and outcomes research.
  • Services and Approach

    Resources, time and money will be devoted to the development of analytic epidemiological and statistical models to reduce uncertainty and provide error free methodologies to produce indices about population health that can aid in medical decision making.

    The Biostatistics and Epidemiology Core will be focusing on the following subspecialties: 
    • Statistical Genetics & Genetic Epidemiology: Genetic Association Studies, Genetic Data Tests, Multiple Comparison Procedures, Methods for Unobservable Phase and population genetics,

    • Statistical Machine Learning: Linear Regression, Classification, Resampling Methods, Linear Model Selection and Regularization, Polynomial Regression, Smoothing Splines, Decision Trees, Bagging, Random Forests, Boosting, Support Vector Machines, Principal Components Analysis, Clustering Methods, deep and Multitask learning,

    • Clinical Biostatistics: design and analysis of RCTs; generalized linear/nonlinear mixed effects models; failure time data; Bayesian and non-Bayesian inference. Traditional primary safety/efficacy analyses for phase I-IV studies. Compartmental PK modelling, statistical analyses including bioequivalence and bioavailability.

SELECTED 10 PUBLICATIONS (†equal contribution):

  • Dawodu, A; Salameh, KM; Al-Janahi, NS; Bener, A; Elkum, N. “The Effect of High-Dose Postpartum Maternal Vitamin D Supplementation Alone Compared with Maternal Plus Infant Vitamin D Supplementation in Breastfeeding Infants in a High-Risk Population. A Randomized Controlled Trial”. Nutrients (2019) 11(7).
  • Elkum, N; Alarouj, M; Bennakhi, A; Shaltout, A. “The Complex Etiology of Childhood Obesity in Arabs Is Highlighted by a Combination of Biological and Socio-Economic Factors”. Front Public Health (2019) 7:72.
  • Khadir, A; Kavalakatt, S; Dehbi, M; Alarouj, M; Bennakhi, A; Tiss, A; Elkum, N. “DUSP1 Is a Potential Marker of Chronic Inflammation in Arabs with Cardiovascular Diseases”. Dis Markers (2018) 2018:9529621.
  • Mezzavilla, M; Tomei, S; Alkayal, F; Melhem, M; Ali, MM; Al-Arouj, M; Bennakhi, A; Alsmadi, O; Elkum, N. “Investigation of genetic variation and lifestyle determinants in vitamin D levels in Arab individuals”. J Transl Med (2018) 16(1):20.
  • Hebbar, P; Alkayal, F; Nizam, R; Melhem, M; Elkum, N; John, SE; Abufarha, M; Alsmadi, O; Thanaraj, TA. “The TCN2 variant of rs9606756 [Ile23Val] acts as risk loci for obesity-related traits and mediates by interacting with Apo-A1”. Obesity (2017) 25(6):1098-1108.
  • Hebbar, P; Elkum, N; Alkayal, F; John, SE; Thanaraj, TA; Alsmadi, O. “Genetic risk variants for metabolic traits in Arab populations”. Sci Rep (2017) 7:40988.
  • Abu-Farha, M; Abubaker, J; Al-Khairi, I; Cherian, P; Noronha, F; Kavalakatt, S; Khadir, A; Behbehani, K; Alarouj, M; Bennakhi, A; Elkum, N. “Circulating angiopoietin-like protein 8 (betatrophin) association with HsCRP and metabolic syndrome”. Cardiovasc Diabetol (2016) 15:25.
  • Elkum, N. Al-Arouj, M. Sharifi, M; Shaltout, A; Bennakhi, A. “Prevalence of childhood obesity in the state of Kuwait”. Pediatr Obes (2016) 11(6):e30-e34.
  • Abu-Farha, M; Abubaker, J; Noronha, F; Al-Khairi, I; Cherian, P; Alarouj, M; Bennakhi, A; Elkum, N. “Lack of associations between betatrophin/ANGPTL8 level and C-peptide in type 2 diabetic subjects”. Cardiovasc Diabetol (2015) 14:112.
  • Abu-Farha, M; Abubaker, J; Al-Khairi, I; Cherian, P; Noronha, F; Hu, FB; Behbehani, K; Elkum, N. “Higher plasma betatrophin/ANGPTL8 level in Type 2 Diabetes subjects does not correlate with blood glucose or insulin resistance”. Sci Rep (2015) 5:10949.
  • Elkum, N; Al-Tweigeri, T; Ajarim, D; Al-Zahrani, A; Amer, SM; Aboussekhra, A. “Obesity is a significant risk factor for breast cancer in Arab women”. BMC Cancer (2014) 14:788.
  • Abu-Farha, M; Behbehani, K; Elkum, N. “Comprehensive analysis of circulating adipokines and hsCRP association with cardiovascular disease risk factors and metabolic syndrome in Arabs”. Cardiovasc Diabetol (2014) 13:76.