As the largest of its kind in Qatar, More than 90 genomics researchers gathered recently for the launch of the Qatar Genome Programme’s (QGP) research consortium (QGPRC), The consortium is the latest step in QGP’s precision medicine implementation efforts.

The researchers at the consortium launch represented several institutions in Qatar, including QGP, Qatar Biobank, Sidra Medical and Research Center, Hamad Medical Corporation, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Qatar Computing Research Institute, and Qatar University. Several of the investigators also have international collaborators.

“Inaugurating this research consortium is a critical next step on the path towards precision medicine. By bringing together so many researchers from a variety of institutions, Qatar Genome Programme is helping coordinate the nationwide effort to map the Qatari genome,” said Dr. Asmaa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Genome Programme and Vice Chair of Qatar Biobank.

The investigators will work on exploring the huge genotypic and phenotypic data sets produced by Qatar Biobank and QGP in an effort to identify key features of the Qatari genome. This knowledge will contribute to the development of individualized disease treatment and prevention methods, which in turn leads to more efficient and effective outcomes.

“One of the key pillars of the Qatar Genome Programme’s strategy is forging research partnerships with institutions in Qatar, as well as fostering international collaboration,” said Dr. Said Ismail, Manager of QGP. “ QGPRC, which involves key stakeholders from across the research spectrum in Qatar, significantly strengthens those relationships.”

By consolidating genomic research efforts in Qatar, QGP hopes to leverage the widest range of resources and expertise, as well as to avoid duplication or contradiction in research. Also, QGP’s publication strategy assures that difference entities in Qatar get equal chances to work with the data gathered through Qatar Biobank.