Bahrain National Genome Program
The International Center for Genetic Disease has been awarded $10M to design and implement the Bahrain National Genome Program. The aim of this intuitive is to translate research findings into new diagnostics and therapeutics and to integrate them into genomic medicine services.
The Bahrain National Genome Program will be directed by Alireza Haghighi, M.D., D.Phil., Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston. The team includes more than 60 researchers, clinicians, bioinformaticians in the US and Bahrain. "We have an interdisciplinary dream team of investigators, clinicians, and bioinformaticians from different Harvard-affiliated hospitals," said Richard Maas, M.D., Ph.D., Chief, BWH Division of Genetics. "With this team, we will perform comprehensive analyses on both population and patient levels.” said Dr. Haghighi.
The Bahrain Genome Program's approach differs from other genome projects in that it integrates research, clinical and comprehensive capacity building and technology transfer efforts. In the first phase of the program, the research team will whole genome sequence 6,000 individuals, living in Bahrain; 4,000 from general population and 2,000 from families with monogenic diseases. The detailed clinical information of the participants will be collected in a clinical database and the subjects will be followed for up to long term.
"This partnership with Bahrain Ministry of Health (BMOH) exemplifies our efforts to help countries establish genomic medicine to improve the nations’ public health." said Alireza Haghighi, M.D., D.Phil. "The aim we pursue is ambitious and therefore requires thoughtful and complex planning. I am hopeful this initiative will help not only families with genetic diseases but also the general population in Bahrain." Said Dr. Maas.