Plan to set up centre for personalised medicine

June 16, 2014 - 5:11:56 am
Dr Ibrahim Janahi, Executive Director of Research, HMC, and Dr Geoffrey Ginsburg, Director, Genomic Medicine, Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, and Executive Director, Duke University Health System’s Centre for Personalised Medicine, addressing the symposium.

DOHA: Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), in partnership with the US-based Duke University, has announced the development of a Hamad-Duke Centre for Personalised and Precision Medicine.

The centre, part of Qatar’s Academic Health System (AHS), will provide evidence-based care grounded in world-class research.

As a precursor to the joint initiative, HMC and Duke University, with whom HMC has a research-focused relationship, hosted the first Personalised and Precision Medicine Symposium, attended by senior officials from HMC, local AHS partners, AHS International Advisory Board, and other stakeholders.

“Personalised and precision medicine has the potential to transform the way we prevent, diagnose and treat illness by allowing us to tailor our strategies to the individual patient,” said Gary Needle, Chief of Planning and Performance, HMC, in his welcome address.

Personalised medicine enables healthcare providers to approach patient care according to the unique genetic characteristics of each individual, allowing for more accurate diagnosis and optimised treatment and care. 

Professor Edward Hillhouse, Chief of Scientific, Faculty and Academic Affairs, HMC, spoke about the AHS vision to make personalised medicine an essential component of the healthcare delivery system in Qatar. 

He said HMC and its AHS partners are investing in healthcare and research facilities across Qatar and new developments will support the initiative. 

“Personalised medicine can help give us tools to deal with pressing local health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other lifestyle ailments,” he said, adding that in addition to optimising care for each patient, personalised medicine will also help in detecting disease susceptibility within a population and customising disease prevention strategies. 

The symposium is the first in a series in Qatar to contribute to the success of the National Qatar Genome Strategy Project. 

The National Qatar Genome Committee, chaired by Dr Asmaa Al Thani, Head of Qatar University’s Health Sciences Department and Board Vice-Chairperson and Consultant for Qatar BioBank, recently held a two-day workshop in Doha.

The Peninsula

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