Dubai launches project to predict future of human health

Human Genome Project aims to perfect gene scanning to detect changes that can lead to genetic diseases
By Staff writer
Wed 14 Mar 2018 04:44 PM

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has announced plans for a Human Genome Project which seeks to upgrade skills among medical professionals and forecast the future of human health.

It aims to perfect gene scanning to detect changes in the genes, chromosomes, and proteins that can lead to genetic diseases, allowing researchers to prevent and eradicate chronic diseases and cancer, and reduce the financial burden for treating chronic diseases, in addition to slowing down the ageing process.

The project is part of the Dubai 10X Initiative which seeks to place Dubai and its Government entities 10 years ahead of the rest of the world in all sectors.

Humaid Mohammed Al Qatami, DHA’s chairman and director general, said: “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.

"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.”

“Inspired by the vision and guidance of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai Health Authority is determined to play its part in ensuring the prosperity of our country,” he added.

DHA said it is dedicating ample resources, capacities and efforts to implement the ambitious Genome project, mandating a number of its affiliate organisations to carry out its execution, such as the Department of Pathology & Genetics, and the Dubai Cord Blood and Research Centre (DCRC).

The authority has also formed a committee of genetics experts, drawn from prominent international studies and experiments, and outlined potential challenges and solutions to overcome them, all in an effort to ensure the seamless implementation of the project per its approved timeline.

“The Authority is looking to target all residents of the emirate of Dubai with this groundbreaking project, focusing on UAE nationals in the first phase of implementation,” said Al Qatami explained.

“The project’s timetable extends over 24 months, during which we will be collecting samples, analyzing DNA sequences, and recording the results in the data bank.”

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Last Updated: Wed 14 Mar 2018 04:48 PM GST

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