Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), in collaboration with Qatar Genome Programme (QGP), has launched the second cycle of the ‘path towards personalised medicine’ (PPM) call, to support and advance research focused on providing medical treatment tailored to a patient’s individual characteristics.
Under the second cycle of the PPM, three new specific research priority areas – discovery, clinical and translational research, and community engagement, ethics and policy in precision medicine – will be 
focused upon.
The call also aims to support research into the correlation between disease phenotype and genotype, allowing findings to be translated into medical products, and leading to advancements in healthcare and a wider understanding of personalised medicine among Qatar’s healthcare providers and wider community.
Each PPM award is for up to three years. Researchers who are affiliated with an institution in Qatar, and who have a research-oriented doctorate or any of the approved terminal degrees and at least five peer-reviewed publications, are eligible to apply as lead principal investigators. The deadline for submission of applications is March 8. 
Building on the success of the PPM’s first cycle, QNRF, part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), hosted a presentation on the second cycle recently at benefiting from the valuable pilot phase samples and data collated by Qatar Biobank (QBB), and the Qatar Genome Programme (QGP).
“We are very excited about the second cycle of the PPM,” said Dr Asma al-Thani, chair of Qatar Genome Programme Committee and board vice chairperson of Qatar Biobank. “A large number of high-quality proposals were submitted in the first cycle, which is clear evidence of the success of this initiative.”
“PPM supports researchers in genomics and genetics who are working at research facilities in Qatar. By focusing on discovery; translational research; and community engagement, ethics and policies in precision medicine, we believe we can make advancements in the field of precision medicine in the region, through research dedicated to the distinctive features of local genetic makeup,” added Dr al-Thani.
Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie, executive director, QNRF, said, “PPM will guide decisions related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases, and will provide an invaluable information resource as the foundation for personalised healthcare in Qatar. QNRF supports patient-powered research that will not only empower patients, but also researchers and medical providers to work together in developing new strategies, best practices and policies in PPM.” 
One of the region’s major national genome programmes, QGP – a population-based initiative using specimen and population samples gathered by QBB - is currently in its pilot phase. Its goal is to improve healthcare, encourage cutting-edge genomic research and innovation, and integrate genomics, as well as other ‘omics’ technologies into medical and research practices through building research networks across Qatar.

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