Saudi Human Genome Program Genomic Laboratory Inauguration by Crown Prince

His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense, inaugurated Saudi Central Laboratory for Human Genome, which documents a map for genetics of the Saudi society, in order to discover genetic mutations that may cause hereditary diseases.

The Saudi Human Genome Program (SHGP) is headquartered at King 'Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), in close partnership with King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center. In addition, satellite sites are expected to add variant information as they build up sequencing capacity. The program has a panel of highly regarded international figures from the field of human genetics who serve as consultants and advisors.

Unlike many other large genomics initiatives, SHGP has focused since its inception on sequencing individuals with suspected genetic disorders, rather than healthy individuals. Key to this decision is the Kingdom’s commitment to making the results of SHGP as translational in nature as possible. While sequencing healthy individuals holds value in determining many interesting variables from a population genetics perspective, this benefit was felt to be secondary to the value of providing likely molecular diagnoses to research participants. Sequencing “healthy” individuals will be considered in subsequent phases of SHGP.