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Arab Genomic Studies
Emirati research features outstandingly in the 5th Pan Arab Human Genetic Conference
22 Sep 2013

Individuals and establishments belonging to the UAE health sector showed notable eagerness to actively participate in the activities of the 5th Pan Arab Human Genetic Conference and 2013 Golden Helix Symposium. This event is hosted by the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies, which is a division of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, between 17 -19 November with the general theme of "Genomics into Healthcare" at Al Bustan Rotana hotel, Dubai.

Dr Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali, Director of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies and Head of the conference's organizing committee, explained the impact of Emirati research contribution in the Conference which involves nine lectures showcasing the rich Emirati experience in scientific research along the line of human genetics. Importantly, UAE was one of the first Arab countries to respond efficiently to the threat of genetic disorders by adopting appropriate policies and initiating protocols and programs to combat the spread of these disorders nationally.

Many internationally hot topic in genetics are covered by UAE research that will feature in the Conference; including cancer genetics, gene expression regulation, applying next-generation sequencing to identify genetic defects causing disorders in local populations and the pharmacogenomics of Warfarin in local patients as well as many other important topics.

"These UAE scientific papers come as part of the conference's rich scientific program that contains 54 lectures that will be delivered to more than 500 physicians and geneticists among other delegates. The audience for the conference come from around 15 countries including Qatar, Oman, KSA, Kuwait, Tunisia, Palestine, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, USA and China" added Dr Al Ali. 

Dr Al Ali revealed that the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies received more than 170 research papers during the last few months, all competing for a place on the conference program. These papers were subjected to thorough scientific reviewing and consequently 33 papers were selected for oral presentation while 100 papers were chosen for poster presentation.

Dr Al Ali shed light on the importance of this year's cooperation between the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies and the Golden Helix Institute of Biomedical Research. The latter institute hosts an internationally high-profile series of scientific symposia in the field of personalized medicine. This line of research blends very well with the main theme of the conference, which aims first and foremost to identify potential hurdles to integrating genomic research with various therapeutic applications (clinical applications) in order to develop new therapies and diagnostic tools.

Interestingly, the 5th Pan Arab Human Genetic Conference will discuss a number of highly important issues in relation to molecular profiling, the latest techniques in genomics as well as their clinical implications. Additionally, the conference will host a workshop around the project, RD-Connect, which is a global endeavor to link up databases, registries and biobanks related to research on rare diseases. 

According to expert observers, the wide range of topics that will be discussed in the Conference will help starting true multidisciplinary research in the Arab world in relation to the relatively novel field of genetics.