Saudi Human Genome Program discussed in Riyadh symposium

KACST hosts medical innovation symposium in Riyadh. (Supplied photo)
Updated 28 November 2018
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Saudi Human Genome Program discussed in Riyadh symposium

  • Launched in 2013, the Saudi Human Genome Program (SHGP) aims to sequence the genomes of the Saudi population
  • With a genetic map, doctors hope to prevent the spread of genetic diseases and reduce the annual cost of health care

JEDDAH: King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) held the “Innovation in Health — Saudi Human Genome Program” symposium in its Riyadh-based headquarters on Tuesday.
Launched in 2013, the Saudi Human Genome Program (SHGP) aims to sequence the genomes of the Saudi population, which will lead to early diagnosis of genetic disorders, the documenting of the first genetic map, and developing an interactive information system that will contribute to limit the spread of common hereditary diseases.
The program falls in line with national transformation projects to transfer and Saudize genetic detection technology through the prevention of genetic diseases, reducing the annual cost of health care and positively impacting public health and the national economy.
The symposium was attended by Prince Turki bin Saud, head of KACST, and Hani Joukhadar, undersecretary for public health, in addition to a number of Saudi doctors and consultants from various hospitals, as well as pharmacists, researchers and medical professionals.
The symposium witnessed the signing of three memorandums of understanding and cooperation with a number of global companies and research centers, including Korial Research Institute, the US-based RPRD Diagnostics, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, world leader in scientific research.
These memoranda are aimed at expanding the activities of these centers in pharmaceutical specialties in the Kingdom, and developing technical platforms and IT infrastructure, in addition to leveraging the Saudi Human Genome Project’s database in the field of clinical pharmacology.
Dr. Aida Al-Aqeel, senior medical genetics adviser at Prince Sultan Military Medical City, briefed the attendees on the Saudi Human Genome Project and personal medicine. The second session tackled preventive pharmacogenetics through a lecture delivered by Dr. Olley Browell, medical adviser at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Browell shed light on the improvements, clinical practices and clinical research opportunities that would enhance patient care. Dr. Scott Miguel, founder and CEO of Korial Research Institute, presented a working paper on personal medicine: real-world implementation of pharmacology. Browell then talked about cooperative personal medicine, functional genetics and precision medicine.


Arab media outlets urged to create awareness on global issues

Updated 6 min 16 sec ago
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Arab media outlets urged to create awareness on global issues

  • The session reflected the concerns of Arab League and its long-term aims — the Arab Media Map for Sustainable Development 2030

CAIRO: Saudi Minister of Media Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah on Tuesday urged Arab media outlets to raise the level of awareness among the masses on global current affairs.

He was addressing the opening session of the 11th session of the Executive Bureau of the Council of Arab Information Ministers at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.

Al-Shabanah stressed the importance of the role of the media in covering what is happening in the Palestinian territories, and in giving Palestinians the necessary platform to highlight their plight on the world stage.

Badr Al-Din Alali, the Arab League’s secretary-general for media and communication, added to the points made by Al-Shabanah on the importance of the role of the media in tackling the phenomenon of terrorism, and urged the media to play a more positive and effective role in supporting Arab issues.

The session reflected the concerns of Arab League and its long-term aims — the Arab Media Map for Sustainable Development 2030 — to streamline the role of the media as the most effective means of reaching the masses and policymakers. Alali said that one of the most important outcomes expected from the session was the adoption of the updated version of the Arab Media Charter of Honor, along with a discussion of wider Arab media strategy

Abdullah Jadallah Nimer, undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Information, called on Arab media channels and outlets to maintain objectivity and professionalism in dealing with developments in the African country.

In a press statement, Nimer called on journalists to extract information from reliable sources and not rely on Western and foreign media outlets.

“There are a lot of media (reports) based on unrecorded videos and unreliable sources,” he said, urging the press to be careful in dealing with news and events in Sudan.

In response to a question on Egypt’s role in supporting Khartoum, Nimer responded that the two countries maintained friendly ties, and that there was an informal link between his government and Cairo to help solve the political situation.