Qatar’s efforts to advance precision medicine have been showcased to the world of biobanking at an international conference in the US.
Qatar Biobank director Dr Nahla Afifi was one of a select group of speakers invited to present at the Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 11th International Leaders in Biobanking Congress, in Miami, Florida, US.
In her address, Dr Nahla explained how Qatar Biobank’s dedicated work to collect health information from Qatari nationals and long-term residents was progressing, and helping to identify serious health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Early counteraction against such issues would be beneficial to patients in Qatar to help improve their long-term health.
An overview of the series of the detailed tests that participants go through at Qatar Biobank – a member of Qatar Foundation – was also shared, including blood samples, waist and hip measurements, grip strength, retinal imaging and an MRI scan.
Dr Nahla, who spoke on the final afternoon of the three-day congress, said: “It was a great occasion to attend and much knowledge was gained as expertise was shared by everyone. Delegates from around the world had the chance to learn about the incredible progress that we have achieved over the past few years at Qatar Biobank.
“We are delighted to share important knowledge with the worldwide biobanking community in such gatherings, which significantly aids precision medicinal support work across the world. It was a pleasure and honor to represent our great institution at the congress.”
The address also highlighted Qatar Biobank’s goal to continue collecting and analysing important health data from the Qatari population, and to carry out further investigations, the eventual aim being the realisation of personalised medical care for all citizens in Qatar and further afield.
Over the coming years, Qatar Biobank will collect health information from 60,000 people in Qatar – 20,000 participants have already completing the screening process.
For more information about Qatar Biobank, one can visit www.qatarbiobank.org.qa/home