Sidra Medicine’s third annual Functional Genomics conference, co-organised with scientific journal Nature Genetics, will see a roster of internationally-recognised researchers gather in Qatar to discuss functional and technological advances bringing about a global revolution in precision medicine.
The three-day event, which begins on December 11 at the St Regis Doha, will complement the work of researchers and healthcare professionals at Sidra Medicine and in Qatar to implement precision medicine for women, children and adolescents in the country, the region and internationally.
Dr Khalid Fakhro, director, Human Genetics at Sidra Medicine and assistant professor of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar said: “The recent advances in genomics have allowed us to begin understanding the mechanisms of disease on an individual level. The future of medicine will not only target a specific disease but its precise manifestation in each individual, presenting new opportunities to develop personalised treatments and therapies. Our goal in Qatar and at Sidra Medicine is to advance genomics research to deliver cutting edge healthcare to the larger population.”
Sessions at the Functional Genomics conference will focus on recent breakthroughs in implementing personalised medicine from early life (maternal and neonatal conditions) through to adulthood. There will also be a special emphasis on large-scale studies, novel technologies and ongoing efforts towards the implementation of such programmes in the Mena region. The event will feature enhanced networking opportunities with speakers and include thematic breakout sessions.
Students who register before December 5 will have an option to reserve lunch with world-renowned international speakers at the symposium. Attendees will also have the chance to learn about technologies in the genomics and precision medicine space through sponsor-led, hands-on workshops.
Keynote speakers at this year’s event include Dr Steven Scherer, director, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (SickKids) and a ‘Nobel-class’ professor in autism research; Dr Lee Shulman, chief of the Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Northwestern University and a world-renowned expert in non-invasive prenatal testing; Dr Nazneen Rahman, head of genetics at the Institute for Cancer Research in the UK; and Dr Paul Thompson, professor of neurology and associate director for neuroimaging and informatics at the University of Southern California and director of the NIH’s ENIGMA centre for Worldwide Medicine.
Several Sidra Medicine researchers will also present at the event, including acting chief research officer Dr Ena Wang; division chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition Dr Mamoun Elawad; senior attending physician Dr Marios Kambouris; director, tumour biology immunology and therapy Dr Davide Bedognetti; and investigator Dr Bernice Lo.
As a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, Sidra Medicine seeks to advance the health of the population by bringing the latest thinking and techniques to Qatar. The event marks a milestone in that regard, taking Sidra Medicine to the forefront of scientific discovery through investment in medical research and building strong partnerships with leading institutions in Qatar and around the world.
 Registration for the symposium is open until December 10 and can be done  through the Sidra Medicine website.
This activity is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Category 1) as defined by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners – Accreditation Department and is approved for a maximum of 15.5 hours for the two-and-a-half day conference.
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