Board of Emirati Genome Programme to be led by Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed

The body will regulate data acquisition and support new therapies for rare and chronic diseases

Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed inaugurates 30th edition of Abu Dhabi International Book fair at ADNEC. courtesy: admedia office twitter
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The newly formed board of the Emirati Genome Programme has been approved by Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

The Emirati Genome Programme aims to provide preventative and personalised healthcare for the Emirati population.

This can be achieved by getting a comprehensive understanding of citizens' genetic makeup, said officials.

Genome sequencing can then help in the diagnosis of conditions caused by changes in the DNA.

Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed, chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, will chair the board.

The programme looks to provide the best healthcare system for all Emiratis and get a better understanding of genetic diseases prevalent in the UAE, said officials.

This will include providing patients with an accurate diagnosis and a suitable treatment plan.

Emiratis have recently been urged to voluntarily give an anonymous blood sample to help expand data collection for the Emirati Genome Programme.

The project, launched last year, has collected blood samples and DNA cheek swabs from tens of thousands of citizens.

Researchers said the end goal is to collect samples from all the Emirati population – about one million people – but as a voluntary programme.
The board will regulate data acquisition and storage and establish a system for issuing ethics and consent approvals for all genomics programmes.

It will also support new therapies for rare and chronic diseases.