The 6th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference concludes its activities in Dubai 23 January 2016
H.E. Mirza Al Sayegh, Member of the Board of Trustees of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, emphasized the interest of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance, and the patron of the award, in the field of genetics which is key to developing future clinical applications in all medical and health sectors in the Arab world.
 
This statement was made during a visit paid by H.E. Mirza Al Sayegh, and Mr. Abdullah bin Souqat, a member of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Director of the Award, to the “Genetic Counseling” workshop, which was held concomitantly with 6th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference by the Award’s Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS), with the participation of 26 healthcare professionals, geneticists and molecular biologists. 
During the visit, H.E. Mirza Al Sayegh, extended the greetings of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to all attendees and expressed HH pleasure of the unprecedented success of the conference. The latter event has indeed received excellent feedback from senior geneticists who expressed their willingness to cooperate with the Centre in the future.
Also, Al Sayegh praised the intended new strategy of CAGS towards increasing inclusivity and accelerating the pace of work in it in the near future. CAGS found it necessary to adopt this new strategy in order to keep pace with the recent massive development in Human Genetics in Arab countries.
On the other hand, Dr. Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali, the Director of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies and the Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the 6th Arab Human Genetic Conference, spoke about the most important recommendations of the Conference, including the agreement of members of the Arab Council of CAGS on the need to establish an Arab Society for Human Genetics.
“One of the most important tasks of this society will be establishing a network of researchers and scientists from all Arab countries, similar to those that exist in Europe and America, and whose membership will be open to all Arab geneticists”, he said.
“This society will support Arab geneticists in deciding on research topics, fundraising, and providing comprehensive coverage for their studies, as well as in supporting publishing their research in top international periodicals”, he added.
Additionally, a high-level Saudi scientific delegation participated in the activities of the conference, including Prof. Fauzan AlKuraya, Prof. Muhammad Al-Owain, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, and Dr. Jumana Al Amaa, Al-Jawhara Center of Excellence in Research of Hereditary Disorders. 
“We have agreed with them to open new channels of partnership that will start by working to include Saudi data about genetic disorders in KSA in the CAGS’ CTGA database”, he said.
“Also, CAGS received an invitation to join the "Global Alliance for Genomics and Health" initiative, as a regional representative for the Arab region. The main focus of this initiative is on the clinical applications of the Human Genome Project”, Dr. Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali added.
“If this project is approved by the members of the Council for Arab Genomic Studies, CAGS will take all the necessary measures to link its CTGA database with the Alliance. Such a development will provide further enhancement to the status of CAGS’ database, which will then make up for the Arab clinical and molecular component within the Alliance that is linked to the Human Genome Project”, he added.
Today afternoon, CAGS concluded the activities of the 6th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference, held during the previous 3 days atA Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai.
The 3rd day of the conference was dedicated to a workshop in “Genetic Counseling” given by two distinguished specialists; Dr. Christine Patch from “Guy’s Hospital”, and Dr. Anna Middleton from “Wellcome Trust, Sanger institute”, London.
 
During the workshop, 26 participants were acquainted with the qualifications and training needed for genetic counselors, theoretical frameworks and the ethical principles that guide the practice as well as the impact of genomics on genetic counseling. Also, the workshop discussed providing sequencing services within clinics.
 
The participants explored ways to channel their professional genetic knowledge to patients with neurodevelopmental disorders and to people with disability. Proper examples such as deafness and Huntington's disease were worked out during the workshop. 
 
Additionally, considerable focus was given to the importance of performing genetic tests to newly married couples as well as prenatal tests.
 
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