Solving Genetic Disease in the Kingdom
|The Kingdom has a high burden of genetic disease, both in the form of severe inherited diseases, which show up early in life and impact 8% of births in the Kingdom, and in the form of common genetic diseases that show up later in life, such as Diabetes, which ultimately impacts over 20% of the population. These diseases have a high impact on individual quality of life for those affected, as well as a huge burden on national healthcare costs, contributing substantially to the USD$30 Billion annual healthcare expenditures in the Kingdom. The first step to eliminating these burdens is to find the genes and gene variants that cause these diseases – “solve the disease genetics” – so that those at risk can be identified and given proper preventative counseling, and so that rational therapies can be devised, with are the core elements of Personalized Medicine.|
The Saudi Human Genome Program is a specific effort to solve genetic disease in the Kingdom, to lay the foundation for the development of Personalized Medicine and establish capacity for a Genomics industry more broadly. This is envisioned as a 10 year project to find the genes responsible for the genetic diseases that impact the Kingdom, by reading (often called “sequencing”) the genomes of 20,000 subjects, representing both the general population, and all the major diseases. This will be the largest disease gene discovery project ever undertaken, and will therefore also establish the Kingdom as a world leader in disease genetics research and Personalized Medicine.
The Saudi Human Genome Program is made up of a consortium of members that share the common goals and principles of the Program and have agreed to work in a coordinated and collaborative manner within a defined structure.
Members are made up of a number of institutions who submits samples to the program from current ongoing research projects.
Guidelines for Membership of the Program:
The SHGP Project Management Committee is responsible for the overall coordination of central and satellite collaborating institution facilities. The committee provides recommendations to the Executive Committee for the inclusion of eligible satellite institutions, the monitoring and follow up on progress of satellite site construction, equipment installation and recruitment of staff, the conduct of regular audits of central and satellite site facilities ensuring full adherence to Program guidelines, and the development and execution of communication programs to satellite sites and the general public at large of the goals, outcomes and opportunities of the SHGP.