Centre for Arab Genomic Studies Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences
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Centre for Arab Genomic Studies


A Germinating Seed of Arab Genomics

Nature Genetics - Editorial (August 2006)

... The diverse people across [the Arab World] present one of the greatest opportunities for the application of medical genetics... The study of constituent regional populations can form a new research resource from which scientists can bring fresh insights to the world genomics community...

Editorials in Nature (441, 1027, 2006) and The Lancet (367, 959, 2006) earlier this year have reviewed the prospects for international funding of regional research and for the restructuring of medical education and practice in response to the three United Nations Arab Human Development Reports, respectively. For recommendations to become reality, practical examples are needed that can be sustained, copied and amplified by the efforts of others. From this journal’s perspective, an excellent example of such a seed is provided by the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) established in Dubai by the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences.

Ghazi O. Tadmouri and colleagues (Nucl. Acids Res. 34, D601–D606, 2006) have assembled the CAGS database, CTGA... The CTGA database indicates that the populations it covers constitute a considerable resource for understanding single-gene disorders. Another useful feature of the database is that it assembles links to a large number of regional English-language medical journals that may be unfamiliar to an international readership...

The Arab world, possessing its own funding sources, geneticists and particular populations, is well placed to be a leader in demonstrating the type of cooperation between resource-rich and less well resourced countries that will characterize the next phase of human genomics, exemplified by the Human Variome Project. There is much that can be done to build the impetus provided by CAGS, to coordinate clinical genetic reporting and to disseminate existing genetic knowledge within the context of improving literacy and educational opportunity, particularly for women...


Editorial, Nature Genetics, 38(8):851, August 2006


Contact Us

Mailing Address:
Centre for Arab Genomic Studies
P.O. Box 22252, Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Telephone: +971-4-398 6 777

Fax: +971-4-398 0 999

E-mail: cags@emirates.net.ae


About the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies

In the Arab World, genetic diseases represent a major public health problem. Several factors contribute to the wide prevalence of genetic disorders in the region including the high rate of consanguinity, social trend to have more children until menopause, selective factors favoring inherited disease characters like thalassemia and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, and the lack of public awareness towards the early recognition and prevention of inherited disease.

The vision of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to alleviate human suffering from genetic diseases in the Arab World crystallized in the establishment of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) to characterize and prevent genetic disorders and transfigure the future practice of health care in the region. The Centre was inaugurated on 25th June 2003 by H.E Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Midfaa, Minister of Health, Chairman Board of Trustees of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, at the Genetic Centre of Al Wasl Hospital. At present, offices of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies are located within the premises of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, Dubai, UAE.

CAGS includes two scientific committees: The Executive Board of CAGS is composed of a number of local scientists and it represents the governing body and the legal trustee of all activities of the centre. The Council of CAGS includes a number of regional scientists and it facilitates the exchange of information on genetic disorders occurring in Arab countries. Countries represented in the Council of CAGS currently include: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. In the future, CAGS aims to extend memberships to a larger group of scientists and include other Arab countries.

Some of the priority objectives of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies are to educate the public and professionals alike on the important impact of genetic diseases in the Arab World and the methods and benefits of early genetic diagnosis. The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies also plans to provide comprehensive genetic services by translating research achievements into well-integrated patient treatment programs. Concurrently, it will also address the ethical, legal, and social issues that may arise with the implementation of such programs.


Executive Board of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies

Najib Al Khaja

Najib Al Khaja
Secretary General, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences
President, Centre for Arab Genomic Studies


Prof. Al Khaja is the Secretary General of the Sheikh Hamdan Award for Medical Sciences and Director of the Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Centre, at Dubai Hospital. He is also Head of the Academic Department of Surgery and Vice Dean of the Dubai Medical College for Girls and a member of many International Societies. Prof. Al Khaja is a member of TWAS (Third World Academy of Science), the Scandinavian Association for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, International College of Angiology, Saudi Heart Association, UAE Medical Association, European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Asian Annals of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Emirates Medical Journal - Editorial Board and the Arab Board for Postgraduate Studies. Prof. Al Khaja is also a visiting consultant to the Cardio thoracic Centre in Monaco. His research interest lies in the field of cardiac diseases and genetic disorders. Prof. Al Khaja has published numerous papers related to thoracic, coronary and valve surgery and blood trauma in several international journals. Prof. Al Khaja received several awards, including the Best Employee of the Year award from the Dubai Health Authority (1999) and a Special Award for establishment of Cardiac Surgery Department and his distinguished role in the field in Dubai Hospital. In 2006, he has been bestowed by the UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan with the Emirates Appreciation Award for Science, Arts and Literature in the field of medicine.

         
Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali

Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali
Director, Centre for Arab Genomic Studies

Dr. Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali is a Consultant Geneticist, the Head of the Genetics Centre, the Director of Dubai Cord Blood & Research Center, and the Assistant Director of Pathology and Genetics Services at the Dubai Health Authority, Government of Dubai. In addition, he continues to hold the position of the Director of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (since its inception in 2002) and as the Secretary General of H.H. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation (since its inception in 2011; www.sita.ae; www.sbkf.ae). Dr. Al Ali also teaches at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biochemistry since 2001.

Dr. Al Ali is a graduate (B.Sc. in Clinical Laboratory Science) from the University of Kentucky (USA), holding a Ph.D. (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) from the University of London Medical School (UK). Following a special training in the recent advances in diagnosis of metabolic disorders at the Middlesex School of Medicine, London (1996), he setup single handedly the entire department of Metabolic Genetics that currently serves the entire region.

Dr. Al Ali has held several important positions in the past and these include, the position of Project Leader at the Dubai Cord Blood and Stem Cell Center (Dubai Health Authority; 2005), the Executive Committee & Founding Member of Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (2005 to 2008), Assistant Director of Al Wasl Hospital for Clinical Support Services (2000-2002), President of Emirates Thalassemia Society (2001-2002), Head of Federal Laboratories, Northern Emirates, UAE Ministry of Health (1993-1994) and as Head, Dept. of Clinical Chemistry and Immunology (Kuwaiti Hospital, Sharjah, UAE; 1988-1991).

During this long tenure, he gained extensive experience in not only in clinical diagnostics and genetic metabolic disorders, but also in general administration. He has received several awards for his exemplary work and these include the distinguished Employee of the Year (2001-2002; Dubai Government Sector; by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoom); Health Services achievements in the Middle East Award (2005; International Hospital Federation, Switzerland); Employee of the Year Award (2001; Department of Health & Medical Services, Dubai); Sheikh Rashid Scientific Prize (1994; Awarded by the Ruler of Dubai); Honorary Kentucky Colonel (1987; Awarded by Governor of Kentucky, USA); Honorary Citizen of Richmond (1987; by Mayor of Richmond, Kentucky, USA); Presidential Scholarship (1986-1987; granted by University of Kentucky, USA); Honorary Dean’s List (1984 – 1985; University of Kentucky, USA).

Dr. Al Ali has also chaired several professional committees. He has held the chairmanship of many conferences and committees and some of these include; Human Genome Meeting (2011); Scientific Committees of 1st, 2nd and3rd Pan Arab Genetics Conferences, Dubai (2006, 2008 and 2010 respectively); Regional Scientific Committee of 10th International Conference on Thalassemia and Hemoglobinopathies, Dubai (2006); Dubai International Pathogenetics Conference (2005); Arab Lab Conference, Dubai (2004); and Dubai International Genetics Conference (2004). He has given several presentations (National, Regional, and International Conferences) and has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Al Ali continues to be a member of several training, organizational, and research committees. Dr. Al Ali is the Principal Investigator of the ongoing project of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies that has in 2011 entered in its third phase of research with International Collaboration from Switzerland and USA. This successful project has lead to the discovery of two novel loci for Tibial Hemimelia - findings published in American Journal of Medical Genetics (July 2006) and American Journal of Human Genetics (January 2007).

         
Ghazi Omar Tadmouri

Ghazi Omar Tadmouri
Assistant Director, Centre for Arab Genomic Studies

Dr. Tadmouri is a member of the consultancy group supporting the UNDP – Lebanon “Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals” (TOKTEN) Project. In years 2000-2004, he was Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Fatih University (Istanbul, Turkey). In 1999, he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Bogaziçi University (Istanbul, Turkey). Dr. Tadmouri is author of more than 30 books and articles in international scientific journals including Lancet, Nucleic Acids Research, American Journal of Hematology, Human Biology, and others. Since 1994, he presented scientific papers in more than 50 international conferences and meetings. He is a referee for a number of national and international biomedical journals. Since May 2011, he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

         
Erol Baysal

Erol Baysal
Consultant Molecular Geneticist, Head of Molecular Genetics, Genetics Center, Al-Wasl Hospital, Dubai Health Authority

Dr. Baysal is the Head of the Molecular Genetics and DNA Diagnostic Unit at the Genetic and Thalassemia Center, Dubai. He obtained two graduate diplomas with honors from the University of London, his doctoral training from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, and his postdoctoral training from the NYU Medical Centre. Dr. Baysal is credited as the first person to establish prenatal diagnosis of thalassemias in the UAE. He has served as consultant to the UN (TOKTEN), WHO, NIH (USA), TIF (Thalassemia International Federation) and serves on the review board of several scientific journals. His discovery of novel PCR methods to diagnose the most common thalassemias received worldwide acclaim and his methods are currently used in most diagnostic laboratories worldwide. Honors bestowed upon Dr. Baysal include the Sheikh Hamdan Award for Medical Sciences in 2002, Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians, and his election to the New York Academy of Sciences as 'Lifetime Member' for his outstanding contributions to the field of genetic blood disorders. Dr. Baysal has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed articles in reputable journals. He has authored and co-authored 9 book chapters , in addition to co-authoring "The Syllabus of Thalassemia Mutations", one of the most cited reference books in the literature.

         
Lihadh Al-Gazali

Lihadh Al-Gazali
Professor in Clinical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain

Dr. Al-Gazali is professor of Clinical Genetics and Pediatrics at the UAE University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. She obtained her MBCHB from Baghdad University and was trained in Pediatrics and then Genetics in UK (Edinburgh and Leeds). Prof. Al-Gazali is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physician and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, UK. She is member of several international organizations. Prof. Al-Gazali also made an important contribution in the area of Clinical Genetics, providing a significant amount of information regarding genetic disorders specific to the UAE and the Arab world in general. She has provided important data on the clinical phenotypes and natural history of many genetic syndromes. Her expertise in Clinical Dysmorphology has been widely recognized by the international community. Al-Gazali was profiled in the Lancet in March 2006 for her contribution to Clinical Genetics and research in the Middle East. She is the winner of Women in Science UNISCO-L’OREAL Award for Africa and Arab States for 2008. Prof. Al-Gazali has published more than 140 papers.

         
Ahmad H. Al-Marzouqi

Ahmad H. Al-Marzouqi
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain

Dr. Al-Marzouqi is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, UAE University. Dr. Al-Marzouqi completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Pennsylvania State University, after obtaining his Bachelor's and Master's degree from Oregon State University. His research interest lies in understanding chromatin-modifying complexes, and nucleosomal modeling, and his work in this area has resulted in more than 10 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as several presentations in International Conferences. Dr. Al-Marzouqi has received several Awards and honors, including the Paul M. Althouse Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.

         
Mohammed Naveed

Mohammed Naveed
Consultant Pediatrician & Consultant Geneticist; Head of Operations, Sultan Bin Khalifa International Thalassemia Award, Dubai

Dr. Mohammed Naveed is a Consultant Pediatrician and Consultant Geneticist. He holds DNB (Diplomate of National Board in Pediatrics), DM (Doctorate of Medicine in the field of Medical Genetics), PhD (Genetics) and MBA (Health Care Services) degrees. He is a member of several genetic societies including ISHG, IAPGC, ESHG, ASHG and also a corresponding member of American College of Medical Genetics. He is a recipient of the Young Scientist Award (1991; National Award given once in a year by ISHG for best research in India). From 1996-2003, he worked in the Department of Health and started Clinical Genetic Services and introduced Clinical Genetics as a part of the undergraduate curriculum for the Dubai Medical College for Girls. From Jan 2004 to June 2007, he worked in the Canadian Specialist Hospital as a Specialist Pediatrician, Specialist Geneticist, Director of the Laboratories and Director of Medical Affairs. From June 2007 to June 2011, he worked in the UAE Genetic Diseases Association as the Director (Administration and Laboratory) and as the Clinical Geneticist (Genetic Clinic - UAE Genetic Diseases Association). Dr. Naveed teaches Genetics at the Dubai Medical College for Girls (1997-2003; and from 2010) and also teaches at the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UAE University (since 2010; adjunct faculty since December 2011). Since June 2011, he is working as the Head of Operations at the H.H. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation. Dr. Naveed is associated with Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) from the time of its inception as an Executive Committee Member. He is the Principal Investigator of the ongoing first project of CAGS and part of the team that lead to discovery of two novel loci for Tibial Hemimelia (AJMG -July 2006; AJHG -January 2007).

         
Najat Rashid

Najat Rashid
Director, Directorate of Medical Laboratories, Ministry of Health, UAE

BIOSKETCH

         
Tahir A. Rizvi

Tahir A. Rizvi
Associate Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain

Dr. Rizvi is the Associate Professor of Virology at the Faculty of Medicine, UAE University, Al Ain, UAE. His research deals with basic steps in retroviral replication with the ultimate goal of developing retroviral vector systems for human gene therapy. Towards this end, his group is exploiting the Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) model system. FIV is being solicited as the retrovirus of choice for safer and efficient retroviral-based human gene therapy due to its greater evolutionary distance from primate immunodeficiency viruses, such as HIV and SIV that should reduce the chances of generation of pathogenic variants by recombination between similar endogenous retroviruses. Recently, his group has identified the packing determinants of FIV viral RNA. Using these observations, his group is developing packaging cell lines and the next generation of vectors called self-inactivating or “SIN vectors”. SIN vectors are meant to deliver the gene of interest to the target cells with their own “self-inactivation” in such a way that no packageable RNA can be generated that can give rise to replication competent variants in the host.

         
Mouza Al-Sharhan

Mouza Al-Sharhan
Consultant and Head of Department of Histopathology, Dubai Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai

Dr. Mouza Al-Sharhan is a Consultant and Head of Histopathology Department, Dubai Hospital, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and a Senior Lecturer in the Academic Department - Clinical Faculty Dubai Medical College. She is the UAE Council member of the Arab Division of the International Academy of Pathology. Dr. Al-Sharhan is the Chairperson of the UAE Pathology Society, Vice President of the Emirates Medical Association and the Assistant Editor of the Emirates Medical Journal. Dr .Al-Sharhan is the Project manager for the large-scale DHA laboratory information system implementation in DHA which went live on 2003. She is member of the UAE for Breast cancer screening and prevention committee. Dr. Al-Sharhan is member of DHA Cancer registry committee and the deputy of the Medical Research Committee and many other DHA committees. She has various publications and poster presentations.

         
Taher Youssef El-Sharkawy

Taher Youssef El-Sharkawy
Professor, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain

Prof. El-Sharkawy has had a long working experience in first rate academic institutions in Canada, USA, Belgium, Germany, and the Arab Gulf Countries, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University. Prof. El-Sharkawy's research interests revolve around smooth muscle physiology and pharmacology, and he has published about 130 articles and presented several 'state-of-the-art' lectures in international meetings on this subject. He has extensive experience in problem-based learning and organ-systems teaching, and has been awarded several times for excellence in teaching. Prof. El-Sharkawy is the Chairman of Faculty Graduate Studies Committee, and a member of numerous other Faculty and University Committees. He has also participated in the translation of "Scientific American" into Arabic as "Majallat AlOloom" (Kuwait).

         
Mansour Al Zarouni

Mansour Al Zarouni
Director of Laboratory Section, Al-Qassimi and Kuwaiti Hospitals, Sharjah Medical Area, Ministry of Health, Sharjah

Dr. Al Zarouni is a Medical and Molecular Biologist as well as Microbiologist. He is member of the Continuing Education Committee of the Federal Department of Curative Medicine at the UAE Ministry of Health.


The Council of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies

Adekunle D. Adekile

Adekunle D. Adekile
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait
Dr. Adekunle Adekile had his medical education in the University of Ibadan Nigeria. He had his pediatrics residency training in Nigeria and post-doctoral training in Pediatric Hematology in Howard University, Washington DC. Between 1990 and 1993, he was a Forgarty International Research Fellow in Molecular Genetics at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta GA, USA under Prof. Titus Huisman. He is a fellow or member of numerous professional and academic bodies. He holds a PhD in cell biology form the University of Maastricht, Netherlands. Dr. Adekile's research interest is in the area of clinical and molecular characterization of hemoglobinopathies, especially sickle cell disease. He has published studies on patients from Nigeria, United States of America, and Kuwait. He is currently Director of the Hemoglobin Research Laboratory and Professor/Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Kuwait University.

         
Aida I. Al Aqeel

Aida I. Al Aqeel
Inborn Errors of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, Armed Forces Hospital, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Al Aqeel is a Senior Consultant Pediatric Metabolist, Geneticist, and Endocrinologist at the Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital and Adjunct Senior Scientist at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (Saudi Arabia). She graduated from Kuwait University, Kuwait with MD in medicine and Surgery and BS in Biochemistry with honors. Dr. Al Aqeel completed her pediatric residency training, obtained the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of the UK (1987), and obtained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physician of London and Edinburgh (1994). She is a member of several prestigious societies and received several awards including the Outstanding Investigation Award from the American Federation of Medical Research (2002) and the Out Standing Science Award from European Society of Human Genetics (2005). Dr. Al Aqeel is actively involved in research for diagnosis, treatment and application of molecular genetics and genomics, in prevention of genetics disorders including neurodegenerative disorders either by carrier testing, prenatal or preimplantation diagnosis. She published over 50 manuscripts on neurometabolic genetic disorders in peer-reviewed medical journals.

         
Shaikha S. Al-Arrayed

Shaikha S. Al-Arrayed
Genetics Unit, Salmaniya Medical Complex, Ministry of Health, Bahrain
Dr. Al-Arrayed is the Chairperson of the Genetics Department, Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain. She has an M.B.Ch.B. from Cairo university, DHCG, and Ph.D. from Aberdeen University, Scotland, UK (1993). Dr. Al-Arrayed is also Head of the National Committee for Control of Hereditary Diseases in Bahrain since 1993 and Consultant Clinical Geneticist and Head of the Genetics Department at the Salmaniya Medical Complex. Dr. Al-Arrayed is a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Human Genetics since 2002 and Director of the UNDP project on the control of hereditary blood diseases in Bahrain. She is also Director of Janeen Fertility and Genetic center. Dr. Al-Arrayed was awarded the “Competence Order of the First Class” from H.H. King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain. She is a member in the Committee for Establishing Regional Biotechnology Networkw in Islamic countries, HUGO, and many international, national and regional bodies. Dr. Al-Arrayed is a reviewer for many foundations and journals, such as: ASTF, EMRO/COMSTECH, and BMB. In 2004, Dr. Al-Arrayed was awarded the Kingdom Competence Order of the First Class She is a founding member of many social societies and has published more than 60 publications in national and international peer reviewed journals and health educational books.

         
Sadika A. Al-Awadi

Sadika A. Al-Awadi
Director and Consultant, Kuwait Medical Genetics Centre, Ministry of Health, Kuwait
Dr. Al-Awadi, MD (Dublin), FRCP (Edin) is the founder of the Kuwait Medical Genetics Centre (KMGC). A distinguished geneticist with more than 300 publications, Dr. Al-Awadi is also responsible for the creation of the Kuwait Down Syndrome Society and the Down Syndrome Parents League, that to this day provide indispensable services to families affected with Down syndrome. Dr. Al-Awadi has been honoured with the WHO Down Syndrome Research Prize for conducting valued research in this field, promoting and establishing specialized centres to treat patients with Down Syndrome, providing special medical services to patients with Down Syndrome to enhance their capabilities, integrating people with Down Syndrome into the community, and providing material and moral support to the families and staff working with these patients. Most notable has been her achievement in developing the personal and cognitive abilities and skills of people with Down syndrome to enable them to attain a high level of education, helping them to undertake normal life routines and to serve others with Down syndrome.

         
Fahd Al-Mulla

Fahd Al-Mulla
Associate Professor, Head of Molecular Pathology, Assistant Vice President for External Research Collaboration, Kuwait University, Kuwait
Fahd Al-Mulla is the Director of the Research Core Facility in Kuwait University Health Sciences Center. He heads a Molecular Pathology Unit, which aims at delivering state-of-the-art diagnostic, targeted or tailored therapy and research facilities. Currently, as Assistant Vice President for Research, he heads the office of External Research Collaboration in Kuwait University with a mandate to build collaborative partnerships, invest institutional outputs, generate capital and resources, and promote public awareness as regards to the importance of scientific research outputs in resolving society’s problems and in expediting the development process. Fahd Al-Mulla received his Medical Doctorate and Ph.D. from Glasgow University. Since May 2011, he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

         
Moiz O. Bakhiet

Moiz O. Bakhiet
Professor of Molecular Medicine and Neuroimmunology, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Bahrain
Prof. Bakhiet is the Chairman of the Department of Molecular Medicine and Director of HH Princess Al-Jawhara Centre for Genetics and Inherited Diseases at the Arabian Gulf University, Bahrain. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden and a Consultant Physician Neurologist at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital. Prof. Bakhiet's research on the role of cytokines in disease manifestation has resulted in the publication of more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, in addition to the grant of international patents. In his role as a Consultant, as well as from his practice of 22 years in inpatient and outpatient care, Prof. Bakhiet has amassed enough experience to have presented his work at more than 35 national and international seminars, and supervised more than 25 PhD, Licentiate (M Phil) and Masters students. Prof. Bakhiet has also acted as a potential reviewer for many journals and several foundations and has had the honor of receiving several Awards and Fellowships.

         
Riad A. Bayoumi

Riad A. Bayoumi
Professor, Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
Prof. Bayoumi is Chairman of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. He graduated from Khartoum Medical faculty (1967) and obtained Ph.D. in Biochemistry from London University (1973). Prof. Bayoumi is elected member of the Royal College of pathologists (1975) and a fellow of the same College in 1995. He has extensive experience in clinical biochemistry and molecular biology teaching and research. His main research interest is in population genetics, mapping of monogenic and complex polygenic diseases. Prof. Bayoumi mapped Joubert Syndrome, Spastic Paraplegia, and spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia. At present, he is involved in the study of hypertension, diabetes and obesity in large extended and highly consanguineous Omani pedigrees.

         
Habiba Chaabouni

Habiba Chaabouni
Professor, Laboratory of Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine of Tunis; Service of Hereditary Disorders, Hospital Charles Nicolle, Tunisia
Dr. Bouhamed-Chaabouni is professor of medical genetics in University of Tunis and Chief of the Department of Congenital and Hereditary Diseases, Charles Nicolle Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia. She is director of the Human Genetics Research Laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine, Tunis. Prof. Chaabouni developed medical genetics courses for undergraduate students in medical schools of Tunisia, for graduated residents in medical genetics and implemented Master of Sciences in Human Genetics. She implemented genetic counseling clinics and prenatal diagnosis as medical facilities in Tunisia from more than 25 years. Prof. Chaabouni conducted several studies on consanguinity, genetic polymorphism and genetic disorders. She authored and co-authored more than 80 publications in peer-reviewed publications. In 2006, Prof. Chaabouni received the prestigious award of L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science based on her groundbreaking achievements and contributions to scientific progress. In 2007, she received in Italy the International Price “LATIUM tra Europa e Mediterraneo” for Scientific Research. Prof. Chaabouni is member of several organisms working in the field of genetic disorders including Orphanet and the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies. She is also member of several scientific societies.

         
Lotfi Chouchane

Lotfi Chouchane
Professor, Laboratory of Immuno-Oncology, Faculty of Medicine of Monastir, Tunisia; Weill Cornell Medical College, Qatar
Dr. Chouchane is professor in the departments of genetic medicine, and microbiology and immunology of Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Chouchane received his Ph.D. in immunology from Pasteur Institute of Paris and the University of Paris VII. Following a four-year post-doctoral position at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, in the U.S., he obtained his D. Sc. in human genetics and immunology. He then joined the National Institute of Medical Research in Paris as senior scientist. Before joining the Branch of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Prof. Chouchane was at the Faculty of Medicine of Monastir University in Tunisia, where he worked as professor of human genetics and immunology, and chief of the laboratory of immuno-oncology. He was the chair of the department of basic science during the period between 1996-2002. In 2002, he was appointed by the Tunisian government as a member of a commission to oversee all aspects of the education and research mission in the medicine and biotechnology field. In 2004, he was appointed as scientific advisor to the Minister of Scientific Research and Technology of Tunisia, coordinator of the European Commission program and member of the steering committee of the National Center for Cancer Research. Dr. Chouchane is a member of the steering committee of the WHO consortium of genetics of nasopharyngeal cancer, member of the advisory board of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies of Dubai, and member of the advisory board of Morrison law firm, a patent firm in New York. His current research interests include the genetics and immunology of multi-factorial diseases including cancer.

         
Hanan Hamamy

Hanan Hamamy
Professor of Human Genetics currently affiliated with the Department of Genetic Medicine and Development at Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland
Dr. Hamamy was the specialist in charge of the genetic counseling clinic at the National Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Genetics, Amman, Jordan and consultant medical geneticist at Jordan University Hospital and was actively involved in implementing the national program for community genetic services in collaboration with WHO and the Ministry of Health in Jordan. Previously, Dr. Hamamy was professor of Human Genetics at Mustansiriyah Medical College, Baghdad, Iraq, and specialist in charge of the counseling clinic and Cytogenetics Laboratory. She participated in several World Health Organization consultations and co-authored several WHO publications on community control of genetic and congenital disorders, ethical issues in medical genetics, and prevention of birth defects in developing countries. She has authored and co-authored more than 50 publications in international and Arab medical literature, with special interest in researching the relevance of consanguinity to genetic disorders.

         
Moein Kanaan

Moein Kanaan
Professor of Molecular Genetics, Dean of science, Director of the Hereditary Research Lab, Bethlehem University, Palestine
Dr. Moein Kanaan is a professor of Molecular Genetics and a leading Palestinian geneticist. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Kanaan has been investigating the genetically isolated Palestinian population and its high consanguinity rate and identifying the genetic basis human disorders; these include: hearing loss, skin abnormalities, breast cancer and congenital heart diseases. By studying large consanguineous Palestinian kindred, Dr. Kanaan’s collaborative work has been able to profile novel and variant alleles undermining hearing loss and Epidermolysis Bullosa in the Palestinian population and just recently mapped and identified a few new hearing loss causing genes. Dr. Kanaan has been a member of the Research Task Force in Palestine. He has many publications to his credit and has participated in many international research effort and scientific networks. Dr. Kanaan is a recipient of many research and scientific awards.

         
Andre Megarbane

Andre Megarbane
Professor, Unit of Medical Genetics, Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Cytogenetics, Faculty of Medicine, University Saint-Joseph, Lebanon
He is professor of medical genetics and head of the Medical Genetic Unit, St Joseph University, Lebanon. Dr. Megarbane is author and co-author of more than 150 publications. He is member of the Lebanese National Bioethics Committee, member of the French Society of Genetics and Genetic Counseling, the American Society of Human Genetics, and the European Society of Human Genetics. Dr. Megarbane is member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Medical Genetics and member of the Rammal Rammal Prize Committee. He is recipient of four scientific awards, namely: Abdel Hamid Shuman Award; Rammal Rammal Medal, Mohammad El-Fasi Young Researcher, and Makhzoumi Association Award. Dr. Megarbane has an active research with interest in the domains of mental retardations, dysmorphology, osseous malformations, and others.

         
Anna Rajab

Anna Rajab
Consultant Clinical Geneticist, Head of Genetic Blood Disorders Unit, Directorate General of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Oman
Dr. Rajab is an MD, DCH, MRCP, PhD, and Consultant Clinical Geneticist. She is Head of the Genetic Disease Prevention Unit at the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Health. Dr. Rajab is Member of the Gulf Cooperation Cooperation Genetic Experts Committee. She is also member of several societies, such as: The American Society of Human Genetics, the European Society of Human Genetics, the British Genetic Society, and the Human Genome Organisation. Her current activities include clinical genetics, development of national cytogenetic and molecular genetic laboratory services, and education in genetic health. Dr. Rajab has active research in the fields of clinical genetics and population genetics.

         
Rabah M. Shawky

Rabah M. Shawky
Professor, Society of Human Genetics, Medical Genetics Center, Faculty of Medicine, Ain-Shams University, Egypt
Prof. Shawky is a Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics and Head of the Genetics Unit at the Ain Shams University, Egypt. She was responsible for pioneering the construction of the first Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory in the Genetics Unit, and the first Clinic for early intervention program. In her various roles as an academician and a geneticist, Prof. Shawky is the Chief editor of the Egyptian Journal of Human Medical Genetics, Reviewer for the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal and the Egyptian Journal of Pediatrics, Consultant in the National Neonatal Screening Program in Egypt, and a Reference for scientific research projects referred form scientific centers, such as the Academy of Science and Technology in Egypt. In addition, Prof. Shawky has published more than 125 publications in local and international peer-reviewed journals, as well as authored a chapter on Genetics in the Pediatrics book for undergraduate students in Ain-Shams University. In addition to being on the Board of several committees related to Pediatrics and Genetics in Egypt, Prof. Shawky is also the President of the Egyptian Society of Human Genetics, Egyptian Society of Friends of Families of Genetic Diseases, and Egyptian Scientific Society of Human Teratology.

         
Laila Zahed

Laila Zahed
Professor, Cytogenetics Laboratory, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Lebanon
Dr. Zahed is Visiting Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Director of the Cytogenetics Laboratory, at the St George’s Hospital, University of Balamand. She has a BSc in Biology from the American University of Beirut and an MSc in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. She completed her PhD at Guy's Hospital, University of London, England and a post-doctoral research fellowship at Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, Canada. Dr. Zahed has published numerous articles in clinical Cytogenetics, the molecular basis of ?-thalassemia and other genetic disorders and the acceptance of prenatal diagnosis in Lebanon. She is a member of a variety of genetics associations and the country coordinator for ECARUCA, the European Cytogenetics Association Registry for Unbalanced Chromosome Abnormalities.


The CTGA Database Development Team

Dr. Ghazi Omar Tadmouri

Dr. Ghazi Omar Tadmouri
Database founder, programer, principal author

  • Ph.D. Molecular Biology and Genetics, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey (1999)
  • M.Sc. Biology, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey (1994)
  • B.Sc. Agriculture, American University of Beirut, Lebanon (1992)
   
Mrs. Pratibha Nair

Mrs. Pratibha Nair
Research assistant, data editor and curator

Dr. Eiman Ibrahim

Dr. Eiman Ibrahim
Research assistant, data editor (Muscat, Oman)

Ms. Tasneem Obeid

Ms. Tasneem Obeid
Research assistant, data editor and curator

Mrs. Shirine Gallala

Mrs. Shirine Gallala
Research assistant, database optimization, data editor and curator

Ms. Lina Walid

Ms. Lina Walid
Research assistant, data editor and curator

   

Previous Team Members

  • Mrs. Sarah Al-Haj Ali
    Research assistant, data editor and curator (2004-2006)
  • Mrs. Abeer Fareed
    Research assistant, data editor and curator (2005-2007)

Chairpersons of CAGS Sub-Committees

  • Dr. Aida Al-Aqeel (Ethics Committee)
  • Prof. Taher El-Sharkawy (Constitution Committee)

Obituary

Prof. Taher El-Sharkawy (20.11.2007)

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.

It is with profound regret and sadness that we learned of the demise of Prof. Taher El-Sherkawy on the 8th of August, 2011. Prof. El-Sherkawy was one of the earliest members of CAGS, and was a part of the early team that laid out the objectives of the Centre, including the concept of a database for genetic disorders. As Chairperson of the Constitution Committee, he played a vital role in shaping the principles of CAGS and the formation of a written constitution. In his capacity as a Member of the Executive Board of CAGS, Prof. El-Sherkawy made several other significant contributions to the functions of the Centre. He had also been part of the Scientific Committee for the Sheikh Hamdan Awards for Medical Sciences.

Prof. El-Sharkawy had a long working experience in first rate academic institutions in Canada, USA, Belgium, Germany, and the Arab Gulf Countries, and was, for a considerable period of time, an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University. Prof. El-Sharkawy's research interests revolved around smooth muscle physiology and pharmacology, a subject in which and he had published about 130 articles and presented several 'state-of-the-art' lectures in international meetings. He had extensive experience in problem-based learning and organ-systems teaching, and received several awards for excellence in teaching. The translation of "Scientific American" into Arabic as "Majallat Al Oloom" (Kuwait) was one of his contributions.

Prof. El-Sherkawy's demise is a great loss for the scientific community and a personal loss for us at CAGS. We will miss his experience and his ever pleasant personality.





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