Sidra Medicine hosts conference to understand genetic causes of common disorders in Qatar


Qatar is currently listed amongst the top 10 countries in the world with the highest prevalence of diabetes followed by the second highest incidence of impaired glucose tolerance. Diet, lifestyle factors and genetic and environmental factors have demonstrated that diseases like diabetes and obesity can have a long-lasting as well as generational impact. By 2030, it is expected that diabetes prevalence could increase by 130 per cent1,2,3

Sidra Medicine recently concluded CUDOS 2017 (10-12 April) – its first conference dedicated to understanding the genetic causes of complex diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and strokes. The three day conference and workshop, sponsored by the Qatar National Research Fund, featured expert local and international speakers who shared the latest trends, developments and treatment options for these common diseases.


Delegates-at-CUDOS-2017Conference organizer, Dr. Ammira S. Akil, Staff Scientist from the Department of Translational Medicine at Sidra Medicine said, “As a health and research facility, Sidra Medicine is committed to its goal to offer personalized treatment and care for the women and children of Qatar. The aim of CUDOS 2017 was to create an engaging and productive platform on how to tackle and treat common diseases like obesity, strokes, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases as well as focus on understanding the underlying genetic causes. We want to raise awareness in Qatar and the global scientific community that a lot of local and even international health challenges can be addressed and diagnosed through joint dialogue and collaboration.”

Key sessions during the conference included updates related the National Diabetes Strategy of Qatar, new trends in diabetes therapy, clinical trials on diabetes, genetics, epigenetics and the environmental predisposition of type 2 diabetes. Other topics included the nutritional programming of health and diseases as well as molecular biomarkers and clinical studies about type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Ena Wang, Acting Chief Research Officer at Sidra Medicine said, “Sidra Medicine’s genomic and translational research functions are rapidly merging. We have already established active collaborations with our clinical colleagues on evaluating personalized therapies and treatment options for patients. The dialogue that we are having today at symposiums like CUDOS 2017, is the building block that can result in actual life changing and lifesaving measures for patients coming to Sidra Medicine and for other healthcare partners and providers.”

As a follow up to CUDOS 2017, plans are already underway to integrate several partnership and cross-sectorial communication programs with local and international health, research and educational institutions. Sidra Medicine is also prioritizing detailed studies in high-risk populations and individuals to identify environmental determinants and triggers prior to multi-population diseases.

International speakers at CUDOS 2017 included Professor Anthony Keech, Professor of Medicine, Cardiology and Epidemiology and Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney; Professor Alicia Jenkins, University of Sydney; and Professor Yanjan Yajnik, the Director of the Diabetes unit at King Edward Memorial Hospital, Pune, India.

Local speakers included Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director of Qatar National Research Fund, Professor Ashfaq Shuaib, Director of Neurosciences Institute at HMC and Sidra Medicine speakers included Professor Khalid Hussain, Head of Pediatric Endocrinology, Professor Jai Udassi, Director of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) and Professor Rayaz Malik, the Associate Editor for Diabetic Medicine, Weill-Cornell Medicine-Qatar.

CUDOS 2017 ended with a training workshop technology for young researchers from multiple Qatari institutions at Sidra Medicine’s Human Genetics labs. Participants were showcased the use of OpenArrayTM advanced-gene expression technology.

CUDOS 2017 is part of the Sidra Symposia Series – a regular series of events, conferences and workshops directed towards academia, researchers, scientists, physicians, healthcare providers and regulatory agents.