Sidra Medicine is proud to host its fourth annual Functional Genomics Symposium from 8-10 December 2018 titled “Big Data to Clinic”.  This year’s symposium will provide an opportunity to discuss cutting edge advances in genetics, genomics and “big data” in the field of medicine.

Understanding the variation of the human genome as well as its analysis and the evaluation of functional consequences of genetic variability requires extensive research, investment and collaboration. This needs the convergence of different communities of scientists to address the complexity of human disease and genome biology.

The “Big Data to Clinic” Functional Genomics Symposium will bring together a cross-disciplinary set of speakers who can address all aspects of genome variability and function, with a specific focus on the genetics of disorders affecting children.


CME/CPD Accreditation

This activity is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Category 1) as defined by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners – Accreditation Department and is approved for a maximum of 22 hours for the 3-full day conference.


A Message from our Scientific Committee

Featured Speakers

Submit Abstract

Abstract submission for Poster Presentation is still OPEN.

Deadline: November 28, 2018

(Abstract submission for Oral presentation is now closed)



Submit Abstract


The symposium will assemble a unique and highly interdisciplinary international community to discuss on how best to use big genetic and clinical datasets to provide novel insights into the biology of disease. The symposium will also focus on various scientific challenges including implementation, scalable data infrastructures and the analyses required for impact on discovery and how it will impact on clinical care as well as developing novel therapeutics.

Conference Objectives

  • Understand the latest scientific advances regarding the collection and analysis of big data in the field of genomics and precision medicine.
  • Gain oversight regarding the assessment of the functional consequences of variants in the human genome that appear to be associated with clinical phenotype.
  • Have an appreciation of the translation of genomic knowledge in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of rare and common genetic disorders of infancy.

Conference Sessions

  • The Message of Genes
  • Genome Sequencing in Action
  • Qatar Genome and Medical Knowledge
  • Modeling Human Disease
  • Exploring the Consequences of Mutation in Model Systems
  • Treating Genetic Diseases
  • From Models of Cells to Disease Phenotypes
  • Diagnosis of the Future Child
  • Patient Genome Sequencing

Sidra Medicine Lecture

The Scientific Organizing Committee has nominated Professor Dame Kay Elizabeth Davies as the inaugural speaker in the Sidra Medicine Lecture Series at this year’s Functional Genomics Symposium.

Professor Dame Kay Davies is the Dr. Lee’s Professor of Anatomy and a co-Director of the MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre.  She is also Associate Head, Development, Impact and Equality, in the Medical Sciences Division at the University of Oxford. Her research interests cover the molecular analysis of neuromuscular and neurological disease, particular Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Dame Davies has published more than 400 papers and won numerous awards for her work.  She is a founding editor of “Human Molecular Genetics” and a founding fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). She was made Dame Commander of the British Empire for services to science in 2008.

Target Audience

The Functional Genomics Symposium is directed towards physicians, nurses, pharmacists, healthcare policy makers, scientists, academic researchers and students involved in the field of biology, genomics, genomic medicine, genetics, cancer and other chronic diseases.

Scientific Organizing Committee

  • Dr. Rashid Al-Ali, Deputy CRO- Sidra Medicine
  • Professor Xavier Estivill, Chair of Genetics- Sidra Medicine
  • Dr. Donald Love, Chief of Genetics Pathology- Sidra Medicine
  • Dr. Tomoshige Kino, Principal Investigator- Sidra Medicine
  • Dr. Jithesh Puthen, Principal Investigator- Sidra Medicine
  • Dr. Bernice Lo, Principal Investigator- Sidra Medicine
  • Dr. Luis Saraiva, Principal Investigator- Sidra Medicine
  • Dr. Chiara Cugno- Director, Clinical Research Centre- Sidra Medicine
  • Ms. Maribeth Caritan, Occupational Health Nurse
  • Ms. Asma Al Naama, Associate-Research
  • Mr. Mostafa Abdelhafiz- Supervisor – Pharmacy Drug Supply

Supporting Planning Committee

  • Nelly EL Mistekawy, CRO Office Manager
  • Maria Theresa Brunsman, Executive Assistant
  • Rana Hamada, Executive Assistant
  • Maricris Salud, Executive Assistant
  • Nevin Amin, Sr. Admin Assistant
  • Kimberly Nieto, Sr. Admin Assistant
  • Aisha Al Zaman, Communications Event Specialist

Selected Speakers

  • Ahmet Ozen, Marmara Universtity, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Anne Ferguson-Smith, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Antonio Scialdone, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany
  • Cisca Wijmenga, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
  • Diego Bohorquez, Duke University, USA
  • Elizabeth Phimister, New England Journal of Medicine, USA
  • Eulalia Marti, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Evan E. Eichler, University of Washington School of Medicine, USA
  • Henning Horn, College of Health and Life Sciences, Qatar
  • Hugo Bellen, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
  • Jim Lupski, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
  • Kay Davies, Professor of Genetics, Oxford Neuromuscular Centre, UK
  • Lee Schulman, Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University, USA
  • Leila Jamal, National Institute of Health, USA
  • Luis Perez-Jurado, Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona, Spain
  • Manolis Kellis, Broad Institute, USA
  • Margaret Elizabeth Ross, Weill Cornell Medical, USA
  • Mariam Ali Al-Maadeed, Qatar University, Qatar
  • Masayuki Yamamoto, Tohoku Medical Megabank  Organization, Japan
  • Mehdi Adeli, Sidra Medicine, Qatar
  • Meritxell Huch, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Nicholas Katsanis, Duke University, USA
  • Nicole Soranzo, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
  • Omar Albagha, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Qatar
  • Robert Richards, University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Rory Johnson, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Said Ismail, Qatar Genome Program, Qatar
  • Sarah Robertson, Robinson Research Institute, Australia
  • Stylianos Antonarakis, University of Geneva Medical School, Switzerland

Registration Packages

Early Bird Regular Registration Onsite
until  Oct 31, 2018 until  Dec 7, 2018 Dec 8, 2018
Students QAR 75 QAR 100 QAR 150
Professionals QAR 150 QAR 200 QAR 300


*** NOTES ***


On-site registration is subject upon availability

Students must present their IDs upon registration on the day of the conference.

Students are not eligible for CME credits

For Sidra staff: please contact for details.


Conference Timings

Saturday, December 8 , 7:00 am to 5:00 pm

Sunday, December 9 , 7:15 am to 5:00 pm

Monday, December 10 , 7:15 am to 5:00 pm



Abstract and Poster Submissions


Oral & Poster Presentation

The Functional Genomics 2018 “Big Data to Clinic” symposium will have a mix format of invited speakers and oral and poster presentations selected from the submitted abstracts. We expect a large and highly competitive submission of abstracts on the different topics of the symposium.

We encourage work that is original and innovative for the following sessions: The message of the genes; Genome sequencing in action; Qatar genome and medical knowledge; Modeling human disease; cellular and organ models of disease; Treating genetic diseases; Reproduction and infertility; diagnosis of the future child; and Patient genome sequencing.

Great reasons to submit an abstract

  • Global networking –We will bring world-renowned experts in the fields of genomics and personalized medicine, giving you the opportunity to discuss your research with distinguished scientists and doctors and find new collaborators from around the world.
  • Professional development –Improve your presentation skills. Get recognized for your research.
  • Awards:
  1. Additionally, early bird submissions are qualified for a chance to win one of the 5 competitive Travel Awards!
  2. Trainees are eligible to win best poster and best talk awards.

Accepted abstracts will be displayed as posters in a designated section of the Exhibit Hall from Saturday through Monday, December 8-10, 2018. Award Sessions and oral presentations are included in the scientific program.


Submit Abstract

Women in Science Workshop


This year we are hosting a Women in Science Workshop  with the participation of several  women who have achieved leadership positions in the field of science.

Workshop hosts include:

Professor Dame Kay Davies, Oxford University

Dr. Elizabeth G. Phimister, The New England Journal of Medicine

Professor Margaret Elizabeth Ross, Weill Cornell Medical College- NY

Dr. Souhaila Al Khodor, Sidra Medicine

Professor Miriam Ali Al-Maadeed, Qatar University


Moderators:  Dr. Bernice Lo and Mrs. Kholoud Al Shafai


Lunch Workshops

Don’t miss our Lunch Workshops:

1. Date:  December 09, 2018 (Sunday)

Time:  13:30-14:30

Venue:  Dining Hall Area

Talk Title:

“The Current and Future Landscape of Targets for Oncology and Diabetes”


Ongoing challenges for cancer immunotherapies are resistance and lack of efficacy with current treatments. The tumor microenvironment and infiltrating immune cells play an important role in the response to treatment. Combinational therapies are being rigorously tested to overcome these challenges, but additional targets are needed. This presentation will review the current landscape of combinational immuno-oncology therapies, discuss strategies for identifying new combinations, and look the future of the microbiome treatments through the impact of metformin in diabetes.

(To know more about the speaker please click HERE)


2. Date:  December 10, 2018 (Monday)

Time:  13:45-14:45

Venue:  Dining Hall Area

Talk Title:

“Versatile Screening Platform for Cardiovascular Functional Genomics and Drug Discovery”


  • Introduction of ZeCardio, a technology based in the use of zebrafish larvae for addressing cardiovascular physiology in vivo.
  • Description of ZeCardio applications: Target validation and efficacy screenings.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 755988.

(To know more about the speaker please click HERE)


Photos from Functional Genomics 2017





Visa application to attend this symposium is the responsibility of each individual.  However, we are able to provide some assistance if needed.

For further assistance, please contact Mrs. Maria Brunsman at:

Programme Schedule

Download the programme schedule for this event

Please understand that the program schedule may change without prior notice

Starts / Ends

On       December 8, 2018

7:00 am – 5:00 pm


Register Here

Venue Location

Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC)
Al Rayyan
Doha - Qatar