UAE – The Abu Dhabi Department of Health has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Illumina, a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, to advance precision medicine and clinical genomics research. 

This partnership aims to develop the expertise, infrastructure, and skilled workforce necessary to integrate genomics into clinical practice and translational research locally and internationally.

Genomics has the potential to significantly impact global health, from disease forecasting to diagnostics, drug discovery, to personalized treatment. 

Leveraging Abu Dhabi’s wealth of genomic data, DoH and Illumina seek to accelerate genomics and precision medicine innovations, focusing on emerging genomic applications. 

This includes genome and multi-omics advanced analysis and interpretation to promote the development of breakthrough diagnostics for precision medicine and benefit patients locally and globally.

The MoU was signed by Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, chairman of DoH, and Jacob Thaysen, chief executive officer of Illumina, during the BIO 2024 International Convention in the United States. 

Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at DoH, and Steve Barnard, Chief Technology Officer of Illumina, signed the agreement.

Dr. Al Mannaei emphasized that genomics research, development, and the practical application of its insights and treatments are central pillars of the DoH strategy to establish Abu Dhabi as a global life science hub. 

She stated, “Through this new partnership with Illumina, we seek to deliver breakthroughs in personalized, predictive, and preventative programmes tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup.”

Steve Barnard, Illumina’s Chief Technology Officer, added, “The MoU signed today is a significant milestone in accelerating genomic innovation in the UAE through access to the latest sequencing technology, advanced genomic analysis solutions, and workforce training initiatives.”

This collaboration is part of a broader effort by the DoH to showcase Abu Dhabi’s partnership opportunities and explore collaboration with leading organizations in Research and Development (R&D), manufacturing, and innovation. 

The high-profile Abu Dhabi delegation, led by Al Mansoori, visited the United States between May 29th and June 5th to foster collaboration with leading education research institutions, governmental bodies, and health-tech giants.

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