The Qatar Genome Programme (QGP) is a national initiative aiming to map the genome of the local population. Announced by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation and Vice Chairperson of the Supreme Council of Health during the World Innovation Summit on Health (WISH) 2013, the Qatar Genome Programme is currently in its pilot phase.
Managed by the Qatar Genome Committee, and incubated by Qatar Biobank, QGP uses a collection of samples and data from Qatar Biobank participants to identify genotype-phenotype associations relevant to the Qatari population. This will provide unique insights that would enable the development of personalised healthcare in Qatar.
From its early conception, QGP was built based on a national strategy with seven building blocks that would lay the strong foundations required to build a unique model that would position Qatar as a leading nation in the implementation of precision medicine. These building blocks include having a national biobank, establishment of advanced genomics and bioinformatics infrastructures, forging research partnerships, investing in local human capacity, drafting governing policies and regulations, and eventually building a national genome data network and integrating genomics into the clinical setting.
The QGP envisages its role as a national platform at which all local stakeholders can meet and contribute to the programme in a way that would make maximum use of resources and prevent duplication of efforts. The project is in its pilot phase which officially started in September 2015. The outcome of this pilot will help decide the main features with regards to the shape, size and timeline of the next phase.