NATIONAL GENOME COMMITTEE HOSTS INTERNATIONAL GENOMICS SYMPOSIUM
11 June 2014 Doha: Qatar’s National Genome Committee is hosting the country’s first Human Genomics Symposium which began yesterday at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha.
The two-day event, discussing Human Genomics and Personalised Medicine – A Global Overview of challenges and opportunities, is set to continue today.
The symposium follows the announcement of the Qatar Genome Project at the World Innovation Summit on Health, late last year, by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and Vice Chairperson of the Supreme Council of Health.
The symposium, was organised by members of Qatar’s National Genome Committee and the science and research community. Committee members include Qatar Biobank, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), the Sidra Medical and Research Centre, Hamad Medical Cooperation, Qatar Computing Research Institute and the Qatar National Research Fund.
The work of the committee is supported by Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar University, and the Supreme Council of Health. The National Genome Committee is tasked with the role of driving and advising the development of the Genome Project in Qatar.
Commenting on the significance of the inaugural symposium, a spokesperson from the National Genome Committee said: “The Qatar Genome Project will chart a road map for future treatment through personalised medicine. Genomics and personalised medicine is a rapidly emerging medical discipline and the Human Genomics Symposium is a unique opportunity to exchange the latest knowledge and best-practices in genomics research with local, regional and international experts in the field.”
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 Human Genomics Symposium will bring together international experts to share international best practices which will shed light on how these samples can be used and managed through the Qatar Genome Project.
Dr. Abderrahim, Qatar Biobank’s Managing Director said: “This is why 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 disease.
“With 17 per cent of Qatari adults suffering from type-2 diabetes, the knowledge collected at Qatar Biobank for the Qatar Genome Project will give scientists a unique insight into the causes, enabling prevention of these diseases and personalised treatments compatible with an individual’s genomic coding,” he added.
A number of global leaders in Genomics are also presenting at the symposium. They include Prof. Ron Davis, Professor of Biochemistry and Genetics and Director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center, and Dr. Jeffrey Gulcher, Co-founder and President of Iceland’s NextCODE Health, which is similar to the Qatar Genome Project in terms of sample size and participation.
Also participating are representatives from Genomics England and the Estonian Genome Centre. Representatives from the region include, Dr. Sultan Al Sedairy of the Saudi Arabian Genome Project, Dr Hamza Abdul Rezzak, Scientific Coordinator at the Center for Arab Genomic Studies, regarding the ‘UAE Genome Project’, and Eman Sadoun, Head of the Department of Research at the Supreme Council of Health, regarding ‘Ethics and Genomics Research in Arabia’.
To join the conversation on genomics research, please follow #QGenome
About Qatar Biobank:
Qatar Biobank is a member of Qatar Foundation, under Qatar Biomedical Research Institute. Working with the Supreme Council of Health, Hamad Medical Corporation and scientists from Imperial College London, Qatar Biobank will enable medical research on health issues that prevail in Qatar.
Through its collection of samples and information on health and lifestyle from large numbers of members of the population of Qatar, Qatar Biobank will make vital health research possible for researchers in Qatar, the region and the world.
About Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D)
Leading Qatar’s vision to become an international centre for research and development excellence and innovation, QF R&D is home to Qatar Science & Technology Park, a world-class hub for technology innovation and commercialisation, as well as the Qatar National Research Fund, a globally renowned scientific research funding organisation, and prominent research institutes operating at the frontiers of science, including Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Qatar Computing Research Institute and Qatar Energy and Environment Research Institute.
For more information:
Please contact Ashvinder Kaur Matharoo, +974 7021 8283, firstname.lastname@example.org
You are being invited to take part in Qatar Biobank, Qatar’s long-term medical health initiative for Qatar’s population. To help you decide whether to contribute, here is some information on Qatar Biobank and what taking part involves.
Qatar Biobank will make it possible for scientists to conduct research to address some of the greatest health challenges facing Qatar and the region, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.