Saudi Human Genome Program discussed in Riyadh symposium

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

Saudi Human Genome Program discussed in Riyadh symposium

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.