Doha, Qatar. November 2018:
Msheireb Museums, the cultural destination at Msheireb Downtown Doha, hosted an introductory seminar conducted by Qatar Genome Programme and Qatar Biobank. The seminar intended to raise awareness on the importance and role of bio banks and genome science, and encourage the people of Qatar to register in the program.
Held at the education centre at Bin Jelmood House at Msheireb Museums, the seminar was attended by representatives from the three partners and guests. It is an extension to the existing ‘A Journey to the Heart of Life’ exhibition launched last year at the museum.
The seminar is one of a series promised within a memorandum of understanding signed recently by Qatar Genome Programme, Qatar Biobank and Msheireb Museums, to strengthen mutual collaboration through the delivery of events, seminars, scientific tours and lectures on bio banks and genome science.
Each of the planned seminars will provide essential information to introduce people to the role of bio banks and genome sciences, and experts from both entities will participate in the scientific tours and workshops organised in Msheireb Museums for school students in Grade 6 and above.
Commenting on the MOU signing, Dr. Asmaa Al Thani, Chair of National Genome Committee, and Deputy Chairperson of Qatar Bio Bank said: “We are pleased to sign this partnership with Msheireb Museums, as it will allow us to educate the community on Genome science, and how we can leverage medical sciences to maintain the health of Qatar’s people and residents, today and in the future.”
“This agreement will enable us to raise awareness on the vital role of Qatar Bio Bank and Qatar Genome Program in developing personalised medicine for each patient”.
Hafiz Ali, Msheireb Museums’ Director said: “Msheireb Museums is proud to partner with two leading organisations which seek to enhance people’s knowledge on such an important topic. We are pleased to host the first seminar which supports Msheireb Museums educational and scientific mission, and feel that the museums provide the perfect environment to promote such a vital topic. In collaboration with national organisations, we will continue to organise events and forums that benefit our community”.
Dr. SaidIsmail, theQatar Genome Programme(QGP) Managersaid: “This partnership with Msheireb Museums will enable our local community to get better information and knowledge on our program, and feel great pride in the progressive sciences sector in Qatar, which is one of the few countries in the world that has a fully-fledged genome program in place”.
“The workshops and scientific tours are a great method to introduce our role in improving healthcare to the people of Qatar”, he concluded.
During the seminar, Mohammad Al-Dosari, Head of Communications and Participants Recruitment at Qatar Bio Bank, presented an overview of the Qatar Bio Bank and its mission, calling on the people of Qatar to register for a program that aims to collect samples and personal data of the healthcare and lifestyle of the people of Qatar. He explained that the long-term healthcare initiative aims to provide the people of Qatar with better opportunities and methods to avoid diseases, and enhance the health of future generations by providing personalised medical treatment for each patient.
Dr. Mashael Al-Shafei, Researcher at Qatar Genome Program and Assistant Professor at the Department of Health Sciences at Qatar University, introduced the audience to Qatar Genome Program, which seeks to present the first Qatari gene chip for the implementation of precision medicine in Qatar. She indicated that Qatar is one of a handful of countries that has a national genome project, a project which is crucial in the journey to improving people’s health.
The educational tours will be carefully tailored to meet the needs of different age groups and will help students to develop a better understanding of the concept of genome research and introduce them to the different methods that support efforts in the field of genome research both in Qatar and globally. The tours will also educate the students on the latest scientific explorations that support their academic study, enabling them to consider future careers in this sector.