News & Press releases

CAGS conducts webinar on ‘’Genetic Counseling"
The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) ‎conducted the fifth webinar in its monthly webinar series. The webinar ‎focused on Genetic Counseling and was attended by more than 300 ‎participants from all over the world.‎
 
In her talk on ‘A new Era of Genetic Counseling in UAE’, Dr. Mona Saleh, ‎Assistant Professor at UAE University, highlighted the importance of ‎genetic counseling and introduced the functions of a genetic counselor. ‎Her lecture showed that genetic counseling is an expanding and in ‎demand profession worldwide as health services keep pace with ‎emerging genetic technologies and related patient/client needs. She also ‎introduced the 2-year full time Master of Genetic Counseling course ‎being developed by the UAE University to fulfil the demand for trained ‎and certified genetic counselors in the region. 
 
The advent of and easy access to next generation sequencing ‎techniques such whole exome sequencing, has led to newer challenges ‎for genetic counseling. Dr.Tamam Khalaf and Dr. Rawan Awwad, both ‎practicing genetic counselors and founding members of the newly ‎formed Arab Association of Genetic Counselors presented case studies ‎to demonstrate the complications inherent in interpreting variants of ‎uncertain significance.
 
The webinar was moderated by Dr. Alan Taylor, ‎Genetic Counselor at Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital, UAE.‎
Dr.Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali, Director of CAGS said, “The continuing ‎success of the CAGS webinar series is very gratifying to note. With ‎these monthly webinars, it is our endeavor to initiate discussions in ‎diverse fields of human genetics and to keep these conversations ‎ongoing”.‎
 
The first webinar in this series focused on the genomics of infectious ‎diseases, and was followed by webinars on the topics of population ‎genetics, gene therapy, and big data in genomics. The webinars have ‎been very well received with more than 400 participants from around the ‎world joining each of them. ‎
 
The series activities are scheduled to conclude this October with a ‎webinar discussing metabolic disorders. Inherited disorders of ‎metabolism (IEM) occur mainly due to deficiencies in the enzyme that ‎are necessary to convert one metabolite to another metabolite. The ‎manifestations of these disorders are either due to the accumulation of ‎large amounts of one metabolite or a deficiency of one or more ‎metabolites. The webinar will provide an overview of IEMs and take a ‎more in-depth look at neonatal screening programmers designed for the ‎early detection and treatment of these disorders.‎
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