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6th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference to be launched this January 10 January 2016
Dubai, 10th of January 2016, The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS), a division of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, is organizing the 6th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference (6PAHGC) from 21st till 23rd this January, at Al Bustan Rotana Hotel. The main theme of the conference is “Multifactorial Disorders”, which are major diseases caused by interplay between genetic and environmental factors. 
Dr. Mahmoud Talib Al Ali, the Director of CAGS and the Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Conference, highlighted why this important scientific event is unique on the regional level in terms of its theme and coverage. “Throughout the conference scientists from 35 countries will be presenting their research and these include; UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, UK, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Russia, Finland, India, Australia, and USA”, he said.
“The conference discusses 114 studies, from which 18 will be delivered as lectures and 96 will be presented as posters, shedding light on employing the tremendous technological progress in the field of human genetics to formulate comprehensive health strategies in Arab countries. This strategy will support early detection and prevention of numerous multifactorial diseases such as Diabetes, Neurodevelopmental disorders, Congenital Disorders, and Cancers”, Dr. Mahmoud Talib al Ali said.
“In collaboration with the "Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute", one of the world’s leading human genetics research foundations, a workshop will be held during the 3rd day of the conference on "Genetic Counseling". The workshop complements the main theme of the conference, especially that genetic counselors are the crucial link between decision-makers in many health sectors and members of the public”, he added. 
“One of the main tasks of the genetic counselor is to brief the patients and their guardians on the latest technological applications for the early detection and prevention from genetic diseases. Also, they have the responsibility to explain consequences of common practices in Arab societies, which may lead to the high incidence of genetic diseases. Consanguinity is one of these practices, and it contributes to the high prevalence of many genetic diseases, including diabetes”, he said.
“According to the Diabetes Atlas issued by the International Diabetes Federation, 6th edition, the incidence of Diabetes is 19% in the UAE, 23.9% in Saudi Arabia, 14.2% in Oman, and 23.1% in Kuwait. Meanwhile, studies in peer-reviewed journals report rates of consanguinity as high as 37% in UAE (Journal of Biosocial Sciences, 1997), 40% in Saudi Arabia (Journal of Medical Genetics, 1995), 35.9 % in Oman (Annals of Human Biology, 2000), and 34.3% in Kuwait (Clinical Genetics, 1985)”, Dr. Mahmoud Talib Al Ali added.
It is worth mentioning that the 6th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference is held with the participation of a number of prominent speakers, including Professor Stylianos Antonarakis, the President of the Human Genome Organization, Professor Mark McCarthy, Oxford University, Professor Alain Verloes, University of Paris VII, Professor Sir John Bern, Newcastle University, and Professor Yves Jean-Bignon, the director of Comprehensive Cancer Centre Jean Perrin, France.