As one of the most ambitious medical research endeavors in the region, the Qatar Genome Programme (QGP) is spearheading the implementation of advanced precision medicine and personalised healthcare in Qatar.
The QGP is designed around a comprehensive strategy that is built on seven fundamental building blocks: the Qatar Biobank; building genomic infrastructure; forging research partnerships; establishing genomic data networks; building local human capacity; drafting regulations and policies, and finally, integration of genomic data into the healthcare system. The accomplishment of these building blocks will ensure Qatar a leading position in the field of precision medicine, being one of the top programs globally.
Phase one of the programme, launched in September 2015, was completed recently with the successful development of the first Qatari gene chip (Q-Chip V1) which contains over half a million DNA mutations and variants sourced from the sequencing of over 10,000 genomes. This will help in identifying the genetic variants distinctive of the local population related to rare as well as common diseases.
We are promoting genomic research in Qatar through special Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) grants including the Pathway Towards Personalised Medicine (PPM). With initiatives like the QGP Research Consortium, the first and largest of its kind in the region, with over 120 scientists and researchers, we are encouraging multicentre research teams to work on the data being produced by QGP and utilize the findings in clinical implementation. Furthermore, QGP has successfully been developing strategic partnerships with leading institutions in the field of genomics for knowledge sharing and collaborations in research and development.
We are raising awareness about the importance and role of Genomics and Precision Medicine, with results of our national-level surveys reflecting overwhelming public support. We develop enduring partnerships with local organizations to strengthen mutual collaboration through the delivery of events, seminars, scientific tours and lectures to further our effective engagement with the local population.
QGP has successfully held two successful international symposiums which brought together globally acclaimed healthcare researchers and professionals to Qatar to share their knowledge and explore the ethical, social and scientific challenges facing genomic medicine.
We are extremely honoured to take part in this ground-breaking genomic research programme and are determined to continue our work under the visionary leadership of Qatar, which will prove vital to the evolution of the health of our current and future generations.
Prof. Said Ismail
Director, Qatar Genome Programme