Sidra conference focuses on genetic causes of diseases
April 19 2017 08:51 PM
Dr Ammira Akil speaks at the opening ceremony of Cudos 2017.


Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) recently concluded Cudos 2017 - its first conference for understanding the genetic causes of complex diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and stroke. 
The three-day conference and workshop, sponsored by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), featured local and international speakers who shared the latest trends, developments and treatment options for these common diseases.
Qatar is listed among the top 10 countries in the world with the highest prevalence of diabetes followed by the second highest incidence of impaired glucose tolerance. 
Conference organiser Dr Ammira S Akil, staff scientist from the Department of Translational Medicine at Sidra, said, “As a health and research facility, Sidra is committed to its goal to offer personalised treatment and care for the women and children of Qatar. The aim of Cudos 2017 was to create an engaging and productive platform on how to tackle and treat common diseases like obesity, strokes, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases as well as focus on understanding the underlying genetic causes. We want to raise awareness in Qatar and the global scientific community that a lot of local and even international health challenges can be addressed and diagnosed through joint dialogue and collaboration.”
Key sessions during the conference included updates related to the National Diabetes Strategy of Qatar, new trends in diabetes therapy, clinical trials on diabetes, genetics, epigenetics and the environmental predisposition of type 2 diabetes.
Other topics included the nutritional programming of health and diseases as well as molecular biomarkers and clinical studies about type 1 diabetes. 
Dr. Ena Wang, acting chief research officer at Sidra said, “Sidra’s genomic and translational research functions are rapidly merging. We have already established active collaborations with our clinical colleagues on evaluating personalised therapies and treatment options for patients. The dialogue that we are having today at symposiums like Cudos 2017, is the building block that can result in actual life-changing and lifesaving measures for patients.”
As a follow-up to Cudos 2017, plans are underway to integrate several partnership and cross-sectorial communication programmes with local and international health, research and educational institutions. Sidra is also prioritising detailed studies in high-risk populations and individuals to identify environmental determinants and triggers prior to multi-population diseases. 
Speakers at the event included Prof Anthony Keech, professor of medicine, cardiology and epidemiology and consultant cardiologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney; Prof Alicia Jenkins, University of Sydney; Prof Yanjan Yajnik, the director of the diabetes unit at King Edward Memorial Hospital, Pune, India and Dr. Abdul Sattar al-Taie, executive director, QNRF, among others.
Cudos 2017 is part of the Sidra Symposia Series – a regular series of events, conferences and workshops directed towards academia, researchers, scientists, physicians, healthcare providers and regulatory agents.

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