Sidra Medicine's Precision Medicine and Functional Genomics Conference Concludes with a Vision for Healthcare Advances in Qatar


Led by a panel of distinguished Qatar-based subject-matter experts and institutional leaders, the day focused on the state of Precision Medicine in Qatar and laid out hopes for the future.

6 December 2021, Doha, Qatar – Sidra Medicine’s satellite symposium, themed Unlocking the Full Potential of Precision Medicine and Overcoming the Challenges and Geographical Distribution of Advanced Therapies, concluded today with over 500 virtual attendees.


Dr. Khalid Fakhro

Sidra Medicine’s Chief Research Officer and Director of the Precision Medicine Program, Dr. Khalid Fakhro, said: “This year PMFG2021 comprised an exciting program with the participation of outstanding speakers, both international and from the region. Their fascinating presentations allowed us to look back at the major innovations in personalized medicine over the last year and the pioneering and exciting possibilities for this field in the future. Sidra Medicine is a leading model for precision medicine in the region, and the scientific knowledge gained through the conference will help to converge the efforts into this goal.”

The final day of the conference (Day 3) included presentations by Prof. Khaled Machaca, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar; Dr. Khalid Ibrahim, Sidra Medicine; Dr. Kakil Ibrahim Rasul, National Center for Cancer Care and Research, Hamad Medical Corporation; Dr. Nahla Afifi, Qatar Biobank and Dr. Hadi Mohamad Abu Rasheed, Qatar Cancer Society.

The Organizing Chair of the Satellite Symposium, Dr. Cristina Maccalli, Assistant Level Principal Investigator, Laboratory of Immune Biological Therapy, Sidra Medicine, noted, “We held a thrilling session of the Satellite Symposium with presentations from leaders of principal institutions in Qatar involved in the translational development of precision medicine. An overview of the state of the art and opportunities in Qatar for precision medicine was provided by Dr. Khaled Machaca.”

“We were also pleased to have presentations by Dr. Khalid Ibrahim and Dr. Kakil Rasul who shared examples of the application of precision medicine to clinical care at Sidra Medicine and NCCCR. This allowed us to appreciate how this strategic approach can transform medicine and change the life of patients. Dr. Nahla Afifi contributed to understanding Qatar Biobank's valuable role, through its collection of biological samples and clinical information, in supporting scientists to conduct medical research on diseases prevalent in Qatar. A presentation by Dr. Hadi Rasheed highlighted the importance of a community partnership platform and of the engagement of patients in progressing the biomedical research and the clinical care.”

The culminating panel discussion titled Advanced Therapies in Qatar: More to Come was attended by Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Ministry of Public Health; Dr. Nahla Afifi, Qatar Biobank; Dr. Ayman Saleh Sidra Medicine; Dr. Salha Bujassoum, National Center for Cancer Care and Research, Hamad Medical Corporation; Dr. Dave Brown, Qatar Precision Medicine Institute, and Dr. Khalid Fakhro, Sidra Medicine, Dr. Rayaz A. Malik, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar.

Speaking more broadly about capacity building in the region, Dr. Fakhro concluded: “The e-poster presentations made by local students and scientists represented an added value of the program, demonstrating how far the region has come in the past few years. By bringing together researchers, academics, healthcare professionals, policymakers and community members from the region through effective networking for all stakeholders, we can advance the translation into clinical practice of precision medicine in research.”

The PMFG Chairs also thanks the conference partners - Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar Biobank, Qatar Cancer Society, Qatar Genome, Qatar University, and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar.