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QATAR NATIONAL RESEARCH FUND AND QATAR GENOME PROGRAMME LAUNCH SECOND CYCLE OF PATH TOWARDS PERSONALIZED MEDICINE CALL
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QATAR NATIONAL RESEARCH FUND AND QATAR GENOME PROGRAMME LAUNCH SECOND CYCLE OF PATH TOWARDS PERSONALIZED MEDICINE CALL

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), in collaboration with Qatar Genome Programme (QGP), has launched the second cycle of the Path Towards Personalized Medicine (PPM) call, designed to support and advance research focused on providing medical treatment tailored to a patient’s individual characteristics.

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 Programme (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 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 the PPM,” said Dr. Asma Al-Thani, Chair of Qatar Genome Programme Committee and Board Vice Chairperson of Qatar Biobank. “A large number of high-quality proposals were submitted in the first cycle, which is clear evidence of the success of this initiative.”

“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,” added Dr. 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 across 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, and to help build 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 submission of applications is midday on March 8, 2017.

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

The call for proposals and timelines 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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