Nov 13, 2018: Her Highness Sheikha Moza was presented with the first 'Q-chip', during WISH Summit, highlighting the achievement of Qatar Genome Programme and Qatar Biobank in developing the first local Gene Array designed based on data from thousands of Qatari genomes sequenced during the past three years.

Qatar Genome and Qatar Biobank have partnered with the Department of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar to facilitate the development of the first Qatari gene chip, known as the ‘Q-Chip’. The partnership also includes the Diagnostic Genomic Division at Hamad Medical Corporation as well as the Sidra research team at Sidra Medicine. The national working group aims to translate the outcomes of basic genomic research into high impact deliverables at the clinical care end, in the form of the Q-Chip product.

The Q-chip will contain gene variants specific to the Qatari population, identified through the sequencing and genetic screening of thousands of Qatari citizens. The partnership will act as a platform open for inclusion of gene mutations identified by all local research groups willing to participate in the project.

Following years of large-scale data collection and basic research, the partnership aims to materialize vast amounts of genomic knowledge collected by various national stakeholders into a product that will significantly improve the genetic diagnosis of a large number of diseases. Unlike the genetic results that come from international laboratories abroad or gene assays developed using data from other populations, diagnosis using the Q-Chip will be based on genetic information derived from Qataris, making the results obtained more relevant and accurate. In addition, the chip will save on funds spent by healthcare providers on sending samples abroad for diagnosis of many hereditary diseases.