Genomics symposium begins

June 12, 2014 - 4:37:56 am
A panel discussion in progress.

DOHA: Qatar’s National Genome Committee is hosting the country’s first Human Genomics Symposium. 

The two-day event began yesterday to discuss human genomics and personalised medicine – a global overview of challenges and opportunities.

The symposium follows the announcement of the Qatar Genome Project at the World Innovation Summit on Health, late last year, by H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson,  Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and Vice-Chairperson of the Supreme Council of Health (SCH).

The symposium is organised by members of Qatar’s National Genome Committee and the science and research community. 

Committee members include Qatar Biobank, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Sidra Medical and Research Centre, Hamad Medical Cooperation, Qatar Computing Research Institute and Qatar National Research Fund.

The work of the committee is supported by Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar University and SCH.

The National Genome Committee is tasked with the role of driving and advising the development of the Genome Project.

A spokesperson from the committee said: “The project will chart a road map for future treatment through personalised medicine. 

“Genomics and personalised medicine is a rapidly emerging medical discipline and the symposium is a unique opportunity to exchange latest knowledge and best practices in genomics research with local, regional and international experts.”

With Qatar Biobank set for public launch later this year, having collected health information and biological samples from more than 1,500 members of the local community, the symposium will bring together international experts to shed light on how these samples can be used and managed through the project.

Dr Abderrahim, Qatar Biobank’s Managing Director, said, “In 2010, we established Qatar Biobank, the largest population-based health initiative ever undertaken in Qatar and the surrounding region.

“The long-term initiative aims to help improve the lives of future generations by enabling medical research on the causes of prevalent diseases, including diabetes, obesity, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

“With 17 per cent of Qatari adults suffering from type-2 diabetes, the knowledge collected at Qatar Biobank for the project will give scientists insight into the causes, enabling prevention of the diseases and personalised treatments compatible with an individual’s genomic coding,” he added. The Peninsula

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