The Third International Genomic Medicine Conference in Saudi Arabia

In a trail blazing history, Center of Excellence in Genomic Medicine Research (CEGMR) keeping its tradition of providing exceptional scientific achievements on surprising regularity, successfully organized the Third International Genomic Medicine Conference (IGMC-3) from 30th November to 1st December 2015 at the prestigious King Faisal University Convention Hall. It was a well attended scientific gala. Many international scientists of highest repute, renowned national researches and KAU's dedicated scientific fraternity participated proactively and enthusiastically to present their findings. This high profile scientific extravaganza opened with an impressive and serene fanfare.

The day on 30th November at 9:30 am witnessed the opening and welcome proceeding with the recitation of Holy Quran. On the stage, the Chief Guest, His Highness Vice President Prof. Adnan Zahid and Director of CEGMR, Prof. Mohammed Hussein Al-Qahtani were already seated to accord the occasion. A galaxy of foreign delegates, guests of honor, scientists, faculty and participants in their overwhelming number from many institutes were in attendance. Impressive brief speeches by CEGMR DIRECTOR Prof. Mohammed greeted the chief guest and the participants. Chief guest responded by presenting his best wishes for the grand success of the Conference. As a mark of respect, Prof. Mohammed presented a momento to Mr. Vice President who obliged by accepting it. The proceedings of International Conference, thereafter, declared open and all settled to scientific business.

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Keeping the past tradition in place, the conference organizers provided incentive to young scientists in poster session. Nearly two hundred posters were displayed covering wide range of researches. A select committee critically went through the displays; posed questions to the participants, heard their defense and explanation on the subject and, on the basis of a set of criteria, selected posters for top three positions. Each winner received the certificate and incentive money. The first prize of SR 5000 was bagged by poster number 30 by Olfat Al-Harazi on the subject 'Breast Cancer Incidence and Genomic Signature in Young and Old women in Saudi Arabia and Western Countries' from the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Scientific Computing, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh. The second prize went to poster number 23 displayed by Nezar N Al-hebshi on 'Mutational landscape of Arabian snuff-associated oral squamous cell carcinoma' affiliated to the Department of Preventive Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan. The work bagged cash prize of SR 4000. The third prize the value of SR 3000 was earned by Nada Salem for poster number 105. The work involved 'Integrated use of evolutionary information in GWAS reveals important SNPs in Arabia'. She represented the Center of Excellence in Genomic Medicine Research (CEGMR), KFMRC, King Abdulaziz University. This was an outcome of an excellent team work focusing on evolutionary component to the Genome Wide Repository Associated to human diseases. Those who got the incentives, along with all the contributors, are congratulated and wished to raise the research quotient by one more notch. And, the IGMC-3 came to an end and the participants departed to their destination in high spirit.


The Second International Genomic Medicine Conference in Saudi Arabia

The Second International Genomic Medicine Conference in Saudi Arabia was inaugurated, Sunday, at King Faisal Convention Centre by Prof Abdurrahman Alyoubi, Vice President for Educational Affairs, on behalf of KAU President, Prof Osama S. Tayyeb,. The four-day event is organized from 24-27 November 2013 by the Centre of Excellence in Genomic Medicine Research (CEGMR) .

The event has attracted some 800 distinguished participants and 32 international speakers. On arrival at the conference venue, Prof Alyoubi made a tour of an exhibition held on the sidelines of the event. The programme was then opened with recitation of some verses from the Holy Qur'an, followed by a number of speeches. Addressing the audience, Prof Alyoubi stressed that the conference was the outcome of substantial efforts made by CEGMR staff. In his speech, Dr Mohammed Al-Qahtani, CEGMR Director, thanked Prof Tayyeb, Prof Alyoubi and the sponsors of the conference for their relentless support to make the event a reality. Dr Abdualziz Al-Swailem, Vice President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), gave a speech in which he highlighted KACST's achievements in the area of genomic research. The event was also addressed by Prof Dr Erwin Neher, Nobel Prize Laureate, as a keynote speaker.


The First International Genomic Medicine Conference in Saudi Arabia

CEGMR under the leadership of the current Executive Director, Prof. Mohammed Hussein Al-Qahtani, the Vice-Director for Technical Affairs, Prof. Adeel Gulzar Choudhary; the Vice-Director for Financial Affairs, Prof. Adel Abuzenadah; the Head of CEGMR Education and Outreach Program, Prof. Mamdooh Abdullah Gari; and other staff are proud to announce the successful completion of the First International Genomic Medicine Conference.

The conference was held at the main auditorium of King Fahad Medical Research Center (KFMRC), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah on 16th to 17th February 2011 corresponding to 13th to 14th Rabi I, 1432 Hijri. His Excellency the President of King Abdulaziz University, Prof. Osama Bin Sadeq Tayyeb, in a message to the center, reiterated his support and the leading role the KAU plays in hosting several centers of excellence in research and added that the KAU will keep establishing new centers to add to our ever-expanding knowledge base.
In the opening speech delivered on the President's behalf, the Vice-President for Business and Knowledge Creativity, Dr. Ahmed Nagadi mentioned the KAU's drive to build a generation of researchers equipped with knowledge and know-how to achieve distinction in their professional life and contribute to the development of Saudi Arabia and mankind overall. He added that the CEGMR establishment is our hope for a better future for the students of the KAU and other Universities in the Kingdom in terms of the research culture.

The director of the CEGMR, Prof. Mohammed Hussein Al-Qahtani in his inaugural speech highlighted the noticeable advancement in decoding human genome in addition to a brief discussion on the emerging field of regenerative medicine. He provided details of the achievements of the Center as well as potential challenges.
The conference was the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia that brought together leading researchers and industry representatives to review recent progress in key areas of post-genomic research in medicine and charter future developments in the field. About 500 participants from various countries participated in the event.

The theme of the conference mainly related to genomic studies around the globe with an emphasis on the importance of bioinformatic tools in genomic medicine. Topics related to epigenomics, updates and challenges in preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and opportunities and challenges in regenerative therapies based on stem cells were other highlights of the conference. Genomic studies from other Gulf countries such as Qatar and Kuwait were also discussed.

The CEGMR staff provided the highest degree of cooperation and hospitality to participants and organized visits to CEGMR laboratories. Several remarkable social events were also introduced.