Sheikh Hamdan Award for Medical Sciences announces research papers involved in 3rd Pan Arab Human Genetic Conference 25 February 2010
"Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences" announced the selected research papers that will be presented at the "3rd Pan Arab Human Genetic Conference” organized by its “Centre for Arab Genomic Studies” (CAGS) on 13th and 14th of March at Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai under the title "Genomic Healthcare".
 
Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali
Dr., "Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali," Chairperson of the Scientific Committee of the conference and Director of CAGS, indicated that submission included 152 research papers from 36 Arab and foreign countries. The Scientific Committee selected 14 papers to participate as lecture presentations, while 136 are to be presented as poster presentations.  Two papers are out because of irrelevance to the subject of the conference.
 
Dr. "Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali," said that three sessions will be held in the first day of the conference to discuss topics such as genetic disorders, emerging technologies and integration into health care, and governance challenges of genomic applications. Concerning this latter subject, the conference will discuss a paper for the regional office of WHO in Cairo that deals with laws governing the application of genomic research at the global level. The conference will also discuss a research paper on the legislations of Health Authority - Abu Dhabi to regulate the conduction of such research projects.
 
He added that developed research of genomic studies are now seeking clues for the genetic causes of many chronic and complex disorders such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension; usually resulting from defects in one or more genes in the human DNA. With the spread of such new research models all over the world, a need has been raised to develop legal regulations governing the conduct of such research which may threaten the genetic privacy of individuals.
 
On the second day of the conference, a morning session will be held to discuss two papers about the long-term experiences of two Arab countries that have carried out the national programs to combat the spread of some genetic diseases. The first research deals with the experience of Bahrain, which organized educational programs for university students from 1984 to 2010 about hereditary blood diseases and lead to a significant decrease in the carrier rate of sickle cell disease.  The second paper deals with the experience of the UAE Ministry of Health, which has implemented newborn screening program since 1995. The program was an alarm bell for many parents who became aware of the existence of genetic defects causing anomalies in their children and allowed early intervention and correction of possible symptoms in hundreds of cases.
 
"Dr. Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali" added that the fifth session of the conference will be held under the title "Open Clinic" and it will be an interactive session between the lecturers and the audience of doctors and students of medical universities. Lecturers will discuss a number of clinical - genetic research that were conducted to determine the genetic basis of known or rare diseases, by explaining the steps that were followed through the genetic diagnosis and how to avoid misdiagnosis with overlapping syndromes. Presentations in this session address subjects including childhood short stature, mental retardation with dysmorphic facies and skeletal abnormalities in Saudi Arabia, obesity genes in Egyptians, rare disorders in Tunisia, and the delineation of genetic variations in a number of cases with genetic disorders from Qatar.
 
Ghazi Tadmouri
"Dr. Ghazi Tadmouri", Member of the Scientific Committee of the Conference and Assistant Director of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies, added that a comprehensive process to select participating research papers was implemented to guarantee objective sorting of qualified research papers based on the quality of science presented.  In this regards, abstracts communicated with the Scientific Committee members were masked not to reveal the identities and affiliations of the presenting authors.  He also commented that this year's submissions were characterized by eye-catching high quality research projects conducted in several Arab countries using advanced DNA technologies.
 
He added that the 3rd Pan Arab Human Genetic Conference has established itself over the years as an event of a global scientific interest. International institutions are well aware of the importance of human genetics research conducted in the Arab World and the importance it carries in terms of the identification of the functions of many of the 25,000-40,000 genes making up the genetic heritage of humans.  Dr. Tadmouri indicated that more than 940 genetic disorders have been characterized in Arab people thus far.  However, 280 of these disorders remain only identified at the clinical level.  Undoubtedly, studying these disorders at the DNA level would contribute to a better understanding of the processes controlling the function of the human genome, provide diagnostic services to affected communities and families, help reduce the spread and mitigate the symptoms of these disorders, and possibly suggest new therapeutic approaches based on the genetic backgrounds of affected individuals.
 
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum pays great concern to the genetic disorders considering its effects on healthcare systems in Arab States. Out of this great vision he issued the decree to establish the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies in year 2003, as a division of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, and support its activities on the collection of data in genetic disorders in Arab people in an open-access electronic database.
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