The Emirati Genome Programme
What is the Emirati Genome Programme?
The Emirati Genome Programme is a national project which aims to use genomic data to improve the health of the Emirati population. The project involves scientific study and research aimed at profiling and determining the gene sequencing among UAE Nationals to aid in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.
The programme invites Emirati citizens to voluntarily take part in the study by visiting one of the sample collection sites and providing a single blood sample. The programme will then use advanced sequencing technology and artificial intelligence to generate and analyse a comprehensive genome data and produce a reference genome specific to UAE citizens.
Successful outcome of the programme will equip healthcare practitioners with quality information that will enable them to provide advanced diagnosis, treatment options and a personalised and preventive programmes tailored to an individual’s unique genetic makeup. It will also help to predict and prevent present and future genetic diseases better and implement new therapies for rare and chronic diseases.
The UAE will use the genomic data to develop healthcare strategies that address the population’s specific needs now and in the future and support the advancement of preventive medicine in the country.
Formation of UAE Genomics Council
UAE Genomics Council was formed to provide a world-class healthcare system. The council will regulate, oversee and guide the implementation of the ‘Emirati Genome Programme’ into the healthcare system across the country. The council will also support technology start-ups and companies and build partnerships with world-leading technology firms to drive cutting-edge genomics research.
Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) will apply the results of the ‘Genome Programme’ to ensure the delivery of world-class healthcare services. The Emirati Genome Programme is a strategic public-private partnership between Department of Health, Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi-based, Group 42.
In April 2020, a research team at Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences-MBRU accomplished the UAE’s first full genome sequencing of the COVID-19 virus from a patient in Dubai.
Visit the website of Emirati Genome Program (website in Arabic) or call on 800 UAE GENOME (800 823 436663) for more information and details on the Emirati Genome Programme and on how to participate.
Health Research Bank
The Ministry of Health and Prevention maintains a health research bank which enables researchers to access related research projects conducted in the UAE. The platform contains contributions from notable government and private health institutions.
Dubai Science Park
Dubai Science Park, a merger of DuBiotech and Energy and Environment Park (EnPark), facilitates research and development for companies conducting research development in the field of life sciences. It provides excellent laboratories and other ancillary services needed for such work.
The following institutes conduct medical research in the UAE.
Al Jalila Foundation
Al Jalila Foundation conducts medical research and provides medical education and treatment in the UAE. It also offers scholarships in medical studies. It would be the UAE's first independent multi-disciplinary medical research centre that would focus on cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and mental health.
Public Health Research Center
New York University Abu Dhabi has a Public Health Research Center (PHRC). It has developed the following specialised centres to conduct research in areas that concern the emirate of Abu Dhabi:
- Diabetes Research Center
- Obesity and Genetic Susceptibility to Diabetes Research Center
- Human Oral Microbiome Research Center
- Smoking Cessation Research Center.
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In November 2015, Injaz gave birth to a female calf, proving that a cloned camel can be fertile and reproduce normally. The UAE has banned human cloning and research and experiments related to it.
Read about research on prevention and treatment of COVID-19.