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QATAR NATIONAL RESEARCH FUND AND QATAR GENOME PROGRAM LAUNCH SECOND CYCLE OF PATH TOWARDS PERSONALIZED MEDICINE CALL
David Edward Moore
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QATAR NATIONAL RESEARCH FUND AND QATAR GENOME PROGRAM LAUNCH SECOND CYCLE OF PATH TOWARDS PERSONALIZED MEDICINE CALL

Building on the success of the PPM’s first cycle, QNRF, part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), hosted a presentation on the second cycle on February 9, 2017, aimed at benefiting from the valuable pilot-phase samples and data collated by Qatar Biobank (QBB), a member of QF, and the Qatar Genome Program (QGP).

The personalized medical treatment that the PPM is designed to support is based on a patient’s genetic profile, with the goal of improving quality of care while reducing unnecessary diagnostic testing and therapies. The call also aims to support research into the correlation between disease phenotype and genotype, allowing research findings to be translated into medical products, and leading to advancements in healthcare and a wider understanding of personalized medicine among Qatar’s healthcare providers and wider community.

Under the second cycle of the PPM, three new specific research priority areas – discovery; clinical and translational research; and community engagement, ethics and policy in precision medicine – will be focused upon.

“We are very excited about the second cycle of PPM,” said Professor Asmaa Al-Thani, Chairperson of the National Qatar Genome Committee. “A large number of high-quality proposals were submitted in the first cycle, which is clear evidence of the success of this initiative,” she added.

“PPM supports researchers in genomics and genetics who are working at research facilities in Qatar. By focusing on discovery; translational research; and community engagement, ethics and policies in precision medicine, we believe we can make advancements in the field of precision medicine in the region, through research dedicated to the distinctive features of local genetic makeup,” explained Prof. Al-Thani.

Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director, QNRF, said: “PPM will guide decisions related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and will provide an invaluable information resource as the foundation for personalized healthcare in Qatar. QNRF supports patient-powered research that will not only empower patients, but also researchers and medical providers to work together in developing new strategies, best practices and policies in PPM.”

One of the region’s major national genome programs, QGP – a population-based initiative using specimen and population samples gathered by QBB – is currently in its pilot phase. Its goal is to improve healthcare, encourage cutting-edge genomic research and innovation, and integrate genomics, as well as other ‘omics’ technologies into medical and research practices through building research networks throughout Qatar .

By providing funding opportunities for original, competitively-selected research and development at all levels and across all disciplines with an emphasis on the four pillars of the Qatar National Research Strategy, QNRF aims to enable research and development excellence in Qatar, to achieve a sustainable and diversified economy through the advancement of research and education.

Each PPM award is for up to three years. Researchers who are affiliated with an institution in Qatar, and who have a research-oriented doctorate or any of the approved terminal degrees and at least five peer-reviewed publications, are eligible to apply as lead principal investigators. The deadline for applications to be submitted is midday on 8th March 2017.

To register and submit a full application through the online submission system, visit https://www.qgrants.org/.

The Call For Proposals and timeline are available at http://www.qnrf.org/en-us/Funding/Research-Programs/Thematic-Program/PPM, and enquiries can be placed by using the QNRF support system at http://support.qnrf.org/index.php?/Tickets/Submit.

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Executive Director’s Message

Dear Readers,
Welcome to the seventh edition of QNRF’s newsletter, ‘Research Matters’. As the second half of the year hurtles onward, the spread of COVID-19 continues to deeply impact our daily lives and livelihoods in so many ways. We are seeing the systematic phased lifting of lockdown measures by the Government of Qatar, and we will surely begin to adjust to the new normal of living with the virus.
 

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