The 9th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference concluded its events yesterday. The conference, organized by the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) under the aegis of the Sheikh Hamdan Award, was supported by the Ministry of Health, DHA, Emirates Medical Association.
The focus of the 9th edition of this conference was on the challenges and opportunities for genomics in the Arab World. The main topics discussed in the conference included big data genomics in Arabs, new insights into rare disease, genomics and society, and the genomics of infection and immunity. All participants also obtained 12 CME hours accredited by the UAE University.
The activities of the second day of the conference included 9 lectures given by a group of distinguished lecturers. Evan Eichler Professor and Genetics Researcher at the University of Washington gave a lecture entitled “Rare Variants and the Genetics of Autism and Developmental Delay”. Module 3 of the 9th PAHGC showcased great talks on the theme of "Genomics and Society". Alice Aleem presented on efforts for a neuromuscular disease variant database and its value in data sharing and diagnostics. Mayya Sakr presented on the challenges and expanding landscape of genetic counseling in the Arab World and the Arab Association of Genetic Counselors. Shakir Bahzad covered the clinical and genetic diagnostic journey, management strategies, and counseling services for breast cancer, while Sami Bizzari presented the updated public CTGA database which holds growing bibliographic variant, disease, and gene data from the Arab World. The session and panel discussion was moderated by Mona Saleh and Laila Bastaki.
Module 4 of the 9th PAHGC showcased excellent talks on the Genomics of Infection and Immunology. Rifat Hamoudi presented on deciphering the molecular mechanism of covid19 infection through in silico and in vivo studies. Cybel Mehawej presented on the molecular basis of immune dysregulation disorders and targeted therapeutic approaches. Lastly, Abdulla Alangari presented an overview on the diverse spectrum and molecular mechanisms of inborn errors of immunity with several case studies. The session and panel discussion was moderated by Gulfaraz Khan and Moiz Bakhiet.
Several competitions and games were held during the conference. Nasna Nassir from the Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Reema Saleous and Huda Samha, both from the United Arab Emirates University were awarded the best poster award. In addition to this, the most popular poster award was won by a poster presented by Mohd Faizan Siddiqui from the International Medical Faculty Osh State University and Mouna Azaroual from the Tambov State Medical University Tambov City Russia.
During his closing speech Dr. Mahmoud Taleb Al-Ali, CAGS Director and President of the Scientific Committee of the conference said, “On behalf of the organizing committe, I would like to sincerely thank all our speakers and poster presenters, and to our scientific committee who selected them. A big thank you to our sponsors, and to everyone at the Sheikh Hamdan Award for Medical Sciences who helped make this possible. Finally, thank you to everyone who attended and engaged and a big congratulations to the winners of the poster awards and the competitions”.