The two-day event is being held under the theme ‘The Impact of Biobanking on Precision Medicine Initiatives,’
genomics and personalised medicine to discuss the field of biomedical science and the growing use of precision medicine to improve clinical outcomes.
Dr Hamad Al Ibrahim, Executive Vice-President of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), opening conference said, “Our overarching healthcare research objectives at Qatar Foundation Research and Development are geared towards finding ways to tackle cancer, diabetes, and other prevalent and destructive diseases through personalised medicine. Both Qatar Biobank and Qatar Genome Programme provide essential support for QF R&D’s mission to improve the health and social wellbeing of Qatar’s population. In Collaboration with stakeholders including Hamad Medical Corporation, Sidra Medical and Research Center, the Primary Health Care Corporation, Qatar’s research and academic institutions, and the Ministry of Public Health, we are enabling Qatar to create an approach to healthcare that is highly tailored to individuals.”
Dr Asma Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Genome Programme Committee and Board Vice-Chairperson of Qatar Biobank, presented on how the Qatar Population Biobank Project aims to establish a research enterprise platform across Qatar to achieve significant improvement in diagnostic and predictive intelligence required to deliver personalised healthcare.
She said: “Each day we get a little closer to achieving global personalised medicine in which treatment and prevention are directly based on individuals’ lifestyle, genes and environment. Through the exchange of ideas at this conference, we will take another step along that path.”
Dr Edward Abrahams, President of the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) in Washington, delivered the keynote address. He discussed the advantages of personalised medicine, its current status, the obstacles to its development and implementation, and also proposed an agenda for its future in the United States and other nations, including Qatar.
“Personalised medicine is an evolving field in which physicians use diagnostic tests to determine which treatments will work best for each patient. By combining the data from those tests with an individual’s medical history, circumstances and values, health care providers can develop targeted treatment and prevention plans,” Dr Abrahams said.
“And, in so doing, personalised medicine promises to improve clinical outcomes for patients as well as increase the efficiency of health systems around the world by directing resources to where they will be most productive.”