Read about HBKU’s contribution to Sidra Medicine’s PMFG 2023

HBKU Participates at Sidra Medicine’s 9th Precision Medicine and Functional Genomics Conference

29 Nov 2023

Expert contributions made by faculty from CHLS, QBRI and QCRI

Participants at the 9th Precision Medicine and Functional Genomics Conference

In line with its mission to enhance national research capabilities that inspire positive transformation within Qatar and further afield, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) proudly participated at 9th Sidra Medicine’s Precision Medicine and Functional Genomics Conference (PMFG 2023).

Taking place from November 11 to 14, 2023, PMFG 2023 considered how personalized medicine can move from vision to practice. To this end, the conference brought together researchers, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and community members to explore latest developments and innovations in functional genomics. A series of lectures and workshops looked at how cutting-edge discoveries have translated into precision medicine solutions. PMFG 2023 also included a Young Scientists Symposium for new and emerging professionals in the fields of precision medicine and functional genomics.

Beyond its partnership role, HBKU’s College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS) led a session on genomic insights and innovations. Chaired by Dr. Nady El Hajj, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Jithesh Puthen Veettil, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Education, participants discussed efforts to advance disease diagnosis with machine learning, relevant single-cell and single-strand sequencing techniques, and future directions in genomic research. Dr. Borbala Mifsud, Assistant Professor, CHLS, presented her work in a session on functional genomics in cancers chaired by Dr. Julie Decock, Senior Scientist, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI).

Further contributions came from Dr. Omar Albagha, Acting Executive Director, QBRI, who chaired a session on the Qatar genome and major sequencing programs from the Middle East and North Africa  region focused on unraveling and mapping human’s genetic diversity. A noteworthy achievement was the award received by Mariam Elesnawy, a CHLS student supervised by QBRI researchers, for her oral presentation at PMFG 2023. Dr. Halima Bensmail, Principal Scientist, Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), delivered a presentation centered on a machine learning approach  to enhance transcriptomics and advance disease diagnosis.

Speaking after the conclusion of PMFG 2023, Dr. Markus Wenk, Dean, CHLS, said: “I’d like to congratulate Sidra Medicine for organizing the latest edition of the largest precision medicine conference in the Middle East. As an organization dedicated to educating and training future leaders in the fields of genomics and precision medicine, CHLS was a natural partner for PMFG 2023. HBKU’s overall presence also demonstrated its already considerable interest in advancing Qatar’s precision medicine and functional genomics capabilities. We hope to make further contributions to future editions of this globally-relevant conference.”

HBKU’s CHLS provides essential educational and research training to future leaders in the fields of biomedical sciences, genomics, precision medicine, and exercise science. The College embodies a multidisciplinary learning approach to research and discovery and aims to become a dedicated hub of knowledge sharing in the area of health and life sciences.