Clinical OMICS

SEP-OCT 2018

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 47 of 51

46 Clinical OMICs September/October 2018 Dubai's slogan is "Always being 10 years ahead of other world cities." With that in mind, the Dubai Health Author- ity launched Dubai Genomics earlier this year, a human genome initiative that intends to sequence all of its 3 mil- lion residents. Dubai Genomics is one of numerous projects within the Dubai Future Foundation's "Dubai 10X Initia- tive," launched to catapult the emirate 10 years ahead of the rest of the world in all sectors by implementing disruptive technologies first. The project's first phase will take at least 24 months and focus on building a genomic medicine infrastructure and starting large-scale whole-genome sequencing. That work, said Dubai Genomics, will include collecting sam- ples from UAE nationals, analyzing DNA sequencing data, and recording results. The second phase will deploy arti- ficial intelligence capabilities for more complex sequence analysis layered with longitudinal data, using what the authority terms a "massive" genomic databank. The goal is to accurately predict risks associated with genetic-re- lated illnesses. The third phase, Dubai intends to collaborate with phar- maceutical companies and academia to develop new pre- cision medicine treatments. The Authority has directed several affiliate organizations to carry out the initiative, including the department of pathology and genetics, and the Dubai Cord Blood and Research Center (DCRC). "Forming genome laboratories in Dubai signals a new phase, where our forecasts for the future of the health and medical services sector begin to materialize," Humaid Mohammed Al Qatami, DHA's director general and chair- man of the board, told Dubai's Khaleej Times. "The labs will establish the first national genetic database for future research, lending support to decision-makers as they set plans and strategies for the future of the healthcare sector. This, in turn, ensures Dubai's global competitiveness and strengthens the knowledge economy." Dubai Genomics DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Turkey's Ministry of Health in February launched the Turk- ish Genome Project, which aims to sequence the genomes of 100,000 Turks over three years in the first phase. The second phase is far more ambitious, with plans to increase that num- ber to 1 million genomes sequenced by 2023, the 100 th anniver- sary of the present-day Republic of Turkey. The project aims to create a national DNA map that will offer researchers clues to fighting disease. "The Turkish Genome Project has two goals: mapping out our genetic structure and finding out reasons behind prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer, or reasons behind longevity in a certain population group," Prof. Fahrettin Keleştemur, president of Turkey's recently founded Directorate of Health Institutes (TÜSEB), which oversees the Project, told the country's Anadolu news agency. One component of the project will focus on complex phenotypes with high rates of heritability, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neuropsychiatric conditions, endocrine function, and rheumatologic dis- eases, while other components will focus on rare diseases, and cancer, Tayfun Özçelik, M.D., of Bilkent University, whose research focuses on neurodevelopmental disorders, wrote in the journal Molecular Genetics and Genomic Medicine. Turkish Genome Project TURKEY lvcandy / Getty Images

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