The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) was established on 25 June 2003 for the purpose of alleviating human suffering from genetic diseases in the Arab World. Since then, the Centre, a division of Sheikh Hamdan Award for Medical Sciences, has dedicated itself to improving human health by characterizing and preventing genetic disorders in Arab countries based on recent advances in human genetics.
The Executive Board of CAGS is formed 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 include: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.
The Catalogue of Transmission Genetics in Arabs (CTGA) database, which is a continuously updated, open-access compendium of bibliographic material and observations on human gene variants and inherited, or heritable, genetic diseases in Arabs. As the database covers country after country in what is the largest scientific effort to define genetic disorders in Arab people, a clearer picture of the pattern of genetic disorders and effective strategies to prevent them is emerging.
One of the major activities undertaken by CAGS is the Catalogue of Transmission Genetics in Arabs (CTGA) Database, which is a continuously updated, open-access compendium of bibliographic material and observations on human gene variants and inherited, or heritable, genetic diseases in Arabs. As the database covers country after country in what is the largest scientific effort to define genetic disorders in Arab people, a clearer picture of the pattern of genetic disorders and effective strategies to prevent them, is emerging.
CAGS regularly brings out open access publications, aimed at both the scientific community and the public. The Centre's major publication activity has been its series of books on "Genetic Disorders in the Arab World". This compilation is a consequence of CAGS' work on cataloguing Arab genetic disorders. Thus far, four volumes of these books have been published. CAGS also publishes articles in scientific journals from time to time. Aimed at the public, CAGS has also published three booklets on blood disorders, cancers, and disorders covered by neonatal screening. These guides contain basic information on the disorders, their causes, and management, along with relevant epidemiological information about the Arab World.
One of the major activities of CAGS is to conduct cutting edge research in human genetics. Since its establishment, CAGS has conducted a number of studies including research on the underlying basis of:
The Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference (PAHGC) is a biennial event organized by CAGS. This conference series has been one of the major contributions of CAGS towards the dissemination of research outcomes on human genetics in the region, and it has become one of the most awaited events in the calendar of human genetics. The first edition of the conference, held in 2006, was supported by the Human Genome Organization (HUGO), and attracted more than 500 delegates. Attendance almost doubled beyond 900 delegates in the second and third editions of the conference. The fourth edition of the Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference was another feather in the cap for CAGS since it was merged with the 15th Annual Human Genome Meeting (HGM) of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) in Dubai in March 2011. This was the first large-scale event on human genetics and genomics to be held in the Arab World, and was a tremendous success in terms of providing a platform for national and international leading geneticists to work out strategies and set the priorities for research aimed at combating the menace of genetic disorders in the region.