Sidra to Host Series of Genomic Focused Events in Qatar

Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) announced today that it is hosting a series of genomic focused events featuring leading experts from around the globe. The Genomics Analysis and Genetic Testing – Ethics, Law and Society Workshop will be hosted on the 24th of November and the Functional Genomics Symposium will be on 13th and 14th December 2015.

Both events are part of the respected and popular Sidra Symposia Series and are free to attend for doctors, healthcare professionals, researchers, scientists, academics and students. Registration is mandatory. For more details, including speaker bios, program agenda and to register please visit:


The Genomics Analysis and Genetic Testing – Ethics, Law & Society Workshop: 24 November 2015

The Genomics Analysis and Genetic Testing – Ethics, Law and Society Workshop will provide an opportunity to reach a consensus on ethical, legal and social issues related to genomic analysis and genetic testing in general, with a specific focus on Qatar. This workshop is directed towards academia, students, researchers, geneticists, and regulatory agents involved in the field of genomic analysis and genetic testing.

Key international speakers at the event include the leading expert on consanguinity and diseases – Professor Alan Bittles from the Center for Human Genetics, Edith Cowan University Australia; Liss Leitsalu, Genetics Consultant from the BioBank of Estonia; Giovanni Romeo, the President of the European Genetics Foundation in Italy and Dr. Ma’n Zawati, an Academic Associate and Lawyer from the Centre of Genomics and Policy from McGill University in Canada.

Dr. Mohamed Ghaly, Professor of Islam and Biomedical Ethics from Hamad Bin Khalifa University will be providing the local context with a discussion on the Islamic perspective on genetic testing and genomic analysis.

Dr. Paolo Gasparini, Chief of the Experimental Genetics Division at Sidra said, “With the advances in genetic testing and genomic research today, it is important to consider the changing dynamics of the ethics and legalities in these areas. We want to actively engage the student, legal and scientific research communities here in Doha to be a part of a conversation. Their contribution will help shape the future outlook on genetics and genomics and will also have a significant impact on Qatar’s own genetic research agenda.”

One of the key outcomes for the workshop is to develop a paper on “Genetic testing and genomic analysis: a debate on ethical, social and legal issues in the Arab world with a focus on Qatar”.
Functional Genomics Symposium: 13-14 December 2015

The Functional Genomics Symposium will offer the opportunity to discuss cutting edge advances in functional genomics with insights into the mapping of the human genome and outcomes related to precision medicine. The symposium will feature presentations that will address the impact of genetic studies on complex disorders and rare diseases.

International speakers to the event include David R. Bentley, Vice President and Chief Scientist from Illumina Inc; Michel Lenardo, Chief of Molecular Development from the National Institutes of Health, USA; Hakon Gudjartsson, Vice President of Bioinformatics and IT from Wuxi NextCODE; Gabe Rudy the VP of product and engineering from Golden Helix, USA.

Along with Sidra researchers, leading local experts include Dr. Tawfeg Ben-Omran, the Head of Clinical and Metabolic Genetics from HMC; Dr. Asma Ali J.F. Al-Thani, Chair of the Qatar Genome Project and Board Vice Chair of Qatar Biobank and Dr. Hatem El Shanti, the Scientific Director of the Medical Genetic Reearch Center at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute.

Dr. Ena Wang, Research Chief of Translational Medicine said, “We hope that attendees will learn more about the advances in functional genomics and genomics medicine. Sidra’s research aim is to advance the understanding of the epidemiology and mechanisms of diseases so that we can develop preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic tools to improve the health outcomes of the women and children of Qatar. The two-day symposium is an excellent opportunity that will bring great minds and great ideas together so that we may continue to contribute to the advancement of genomics not only in Qatar but globally.”