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The 6th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conferenceis launched today 21 January 2016
Dubai, January 21, 2016: Today morning, H.E. Humaid Al-Qatami, the Chairman and Director General of Dubai Health Authority and the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, opened the activities of the 6th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conferenceand the accompanying exhibition, which is organized by the award’s Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS), and attended by about 450 geneticists and doctors from 35 countries.
Attended the opening ceremony were the members of the board of trustees of Hamdan Medical award include; Mirza Hussain Al Sayegh, Dr. Abdullah Al Khayat, Dr. Al-Said Jafar Al-Said Mohammed, Dr. Ahmed al-Hashemi, Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al-Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Centers and Clinics, UAE Ministry of Health, and Abdullah Bin Souqat, as well as Dr. Mahmoud Talib al Ali, the Director of the Center for Arab Genomic Studies and the chairman of the scientific committee of the conference, Prof. YousefAbdulRazzaq, the chairman of the Award’s scientific committee, and Prof. Sehamuddin Galadari, the Chairman of the Award’s Medical Research Grant Committee.
During his speech, H.E. Humaid Al-Qatami conveyed the greetings of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance, and patron of Hamdan Medical Award, to the attendees and his best wishes for the success of this significant scientific event.
Also, he extend his thanks and gratitude to His Highness for his consistent follow-up and keenness to support the events of this major scientific forum, which has become, in record time, at the forefront of events in the field of human genetics at the regional level, and an important icon in defining new horizons for the future of health and medical sectors.
“Our Arab world has made considerable progress in human genetics research, as is clearly evident from the vast repository of research data in the CTGA database curated and maintained by the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS). This database has passed a major milestone with the number of its records exceeding two thousand, thus contributing to the reinforcement of the global status of the CTGA database as the largest ethnic database in the world”, HE. Humaid al Qatami said.
“The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies has also seen major developments in its work strategy, which is focused on two parallel levels; first the diversification of scientific contributions and consolidation of relations with Arab researchers, through a variety of scientific projects, the latest of which is the project of incorporating data on genetic diseases from Saudi Arabia into the Centre’s database, and second is the utilization of the abundant data available in constructing a knowledge base for prevalent chronic diseases in the Arab region. The Centre is at the vanguard of this move and has succeeded in publishing the first comprehensive research study on the genetic characteristics of the Arab type 1 diabetic patients”, he added.
“Every day novel and amazing facts are revealed in the field of Human genetics, especially in relation to the interplay between human health and genetics. Lately, research in this field has focused on studying the relationship between genetic factors and environmental ones leading up to various medical conditions, namely the "Genetics of Multifactorial Disorders", which will be the main theme of this Conference. In collaboration with the "Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute", one of the world’s leading human genetics research foundations, a workshop will be held on "Genetic Counseling".  The Conference has received 18 hours of continued medical education credit from the UAE Ministry of Health”, he mentioned.
H.E. AL Qatami extendedhis thanks to Professor Antonarakis, the President of the Human Genome Organization, Professor McCarthy, Professor Verloes, and Professor Sir Burn, the esteemed scientists from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their invaluable scientific contributions to this Conference, and the Arab council members of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies for their unwavering support to the Centre’s activities. 
Then, Professor StylianosAntonarakis, the President of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) presented a speech, in which he expressed the HUGO’s delight to support the 6th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference in Dubai. “The scientific program is outstanding and the conference will certainly promote the Genomic Medicine in the Arab populations”, he said.
Also, he mentioned tothe reasons that make theconference timely and important.He spoke about the Genomic Medicine which is likely to have a prominent place in Medicine since the variation of individual genomes is one of the two determinants of disease (the other been the environment).
“The Genomic Medicine expert now has a concrete field of expertise. Like the specialized doctors in dealing with their patients’ diseases, the medical geneticist deals with the GENOME, a complex and exciting field of expertise”, he said.
“The “Medical Genome” is currently restricted to the protein-coding fraction, but is likely to expand to the entire functional fraction of the genome”, Prof Stylianos said.
“Extensive sequencing of all human populations and geoethnic groups is necessary in order to assess the genotypic variability and its relationship with the phenotypic variability. Extensive, accurate and continuous recording of phenotypes is necessary for the matching with the genotypic variability”, he added.
“Consanguinity in certain human populations provides an invaluable tool to identify the full spectrum of recessive disorders in humans. International, large projects are necessary for the rapid identification and initial molecular understanding of the recessive disorders in humans”, he said.
“Genomic Medicine provides the tools for transforming the diagnostic fields of Mendelian disorders and cancer. In addition, the therapeutic strategies of cancer could be guided by the monitoring of the evolving genomic alterations in cancer cells”, he added.   
The opening ceremony was concluded with a film about the history of CAGS, which extends for more than 12 years, and the 1stsessionon Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders started with a keynote lecture byProf.Mark McCarthy, from Oxford University,aboutUsing Genetics and Genomics to Inform Biology and Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.
Also, Dr. Abdul RazzeqHamzeh, Senior Scientific Coordinator, Center for Arab Genomic Studies, presented a keynote lecture about the meta-analysis study issued by the center on HLA Class II and Type 1 Diabetes in Arabs.
Then, a lecture entitled “High Prevalence of MODY Variants in Patients Previously Diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes” was presented by Dr. AnetteGjesing, Denmark. And, Dr. VadimStepanov, Russia, delivered a lecture on“Analysis of Genetic Variation in Obesity Genes in Worldwide Populations and Evolutionary Origin of Obesity”. 
The 1st session of the conference was concluded with a lecture by Dr. Hinda Daggag, UAE, on the Application of Urinary C-peptide to Creatinine Ratio (UCPCR) for Discrimination of Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) in the Emirati Population.
Also, the 2ndsessionentitled “Genetics of Neurodevelopmental Disorders” startedwith a Keynote Lecture on Primary Microcephalies and Primordial Microcephalic Dwarfisms, by Prof. Alain Verloes, University of Paris VII.
Then, Dr. Ganeshwaran Mochida, USA, presented a lecture on “CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing for Cellular Modeling of Microcephaly. And, Dr. Irma Jarvela, Finland, delivered a lecture on Whole Exome Sequencing in Genetic Isolates – A Founder Mutation of the C12orf4 Gene Underlies Autosomal Recessive Non-Syndromic Intellectual Disability. Also, a Keynote Lecture on Neuromuscular Disorders and Rehabilitation was presented by Dr. Andre Megarbane.
The activities of the 1st day of the conference were concluded with a lecture by Dr. Mohammad Ansari, UAE, on Computational Approach towards Targeting Aggregate Formation in Synucleinopathies.