The pilot phase of Qatar Genome debuted in September 2015, with all national stakeholders coordinating and embarking on a well-planned comprehensivevision to make Qatar a regional hub for genomic research and theimplementation of Precision Medicine (PM). With the completion of 10,000 whole genomes sequenced, Phase 1 was concluded in 2018, while Phase 2 concluded in 2021 with over 25,000 whole genomes. We are now into the largest phase, Phase 3, which will aim at sequencing 100,000 genomes by 2025.
The past few years saw fruition of Qatar Genome’s research work through the QGP Research Consortium (QGP-RC) which established the Qatari reference genome and published other major founding research outcomes on behalf of the under-represented Qatari and Arab populations in high impacted journals.
Qatar Genome also funded other genomic research studies in partnership with the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) to support local and international researchers mining the data. This has led so far to 5 successful cycles of a research funding program called the Path towards Precision Medicine (PPM).
To coordinate national collaborative efforts aiming at moving from basic research to clinical implementation, Qatar Genome forged partnerships with the main national health care providers such as Sidra Medicine, the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) to facilitate the translation of research findings into precision medicine practices within the healthcare system in Qatar.
Qatar Genome has also initiated multiple education initiatives spanning the whole pathway from early school years up to postgraduate levels. At school level, these include introducing changes to the national science curricula, educational materials and videos, DNA museum tours, comics for kids, as well as sponsoring internships for high school students. At University level, we helped initiate 2 graduate programs with partner universities, an MSs in Genetic Counseling with Qatar University and a Genomics & Precision Medicine MSc/PhD program with Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).
At the implementation side, we have launched several projects including the Q-Chip gene array, the pharmacogenomics pilot studies, as well as the genomic reports on wellness and general health.