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Sidra, Illumina Ramping Up High-Throughput Genomics Center in Qatar

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Sidra Medical and Research Center and Illumina said today that Sidra will house a high-throughput genomics center at its facility currently under construction in Doha, Qatar.

The new center aims to undertake population studies and gene sequencing for the Middle East and North Africa regions, the partners said. One of the first projects out of the center will be the creation of the Arab consensus genome, intended to enable a deeper understanding of genetic variants that contribute to the health of the Arab population.

Under the partnership, Sidra, Illumina, and Alliance Global, Illumina's partner in the Middle East, will work together to ramp up operations at the new center over the next year. The center will initially focus on high-end applications, including human whole genome sequencing for rare genetic diseases and population studies using Illumina’s HiSeq X Ten Sequencing System.

"Implementing genomic medicine in and around Qatar requires an Arab reference genome set that will provide an in-depth knowledge of genetic variations in the population group," Sidra Chief Research Officer Francesco Marincola said in a statement. "The new level of sequence-based knowledge of genetic variation will allow us to implement genomic medicine systematically and on a large scale. This will help Sidra to lead the way in personalizing medical treatment and delivering the highest level of care to women and children."