Qatar Biobank has appointed a leading industry expert, Dr Hadi Abderrahim as its managing director to continue the drive for research into medical conditions that prevail in Qatar.

As a biotech and pharmaceutical executive with 18 years’ experience in biomarker development, turning biological discoveries into drugs and medical devices that can be used in the treatment of patients, and studying the effect of genetic factors on reactions to drugs and personalised medicine, Dr Abderrrahim will provide exceptional leadership to the growing Qatar Biobank team.

Dr Abderrahim’s commendable career includes founding GBM Consulting, a biotech strategy firm, consulting on clinical trials and business development. As Head of Genetics and Biomarkers at renowned Merck Serono, the $5 billion plus, revenue-earning pharmaceutical company based in Geneva, Dr Abderrahim oversaw a team of 40 and established a central Biobank based in Italy.

Prior to that, as Head of Genetics and Genomics Platforms at Genset in Paris, Dr Abderrahim set up a genetics and pharmacogenetic team, improving on sample testing and processing. He obtained his M.D. speciality in Human Genetics from the prestigious Hopital Necker, Paris, and he has a Ph.D. in Human Genetics and an executive MBA from HEC in Paris.

Dr Abderrahim’s Ph.D. on “Cloning and characterization of the human MHC complex”, was advised on by Jean Dausset, a Nobel laureate.

Dr. Abderrahim said, “I am thrilled and delighted to be joining the accomplished team here at Qatar Biobank. Qatar’s robust efforts in the realm of advancing medical research are evident and offer an unparalleled opportunity to give Qatar’s population stronger chances of avoiding serious illnesses. My vision is to continue the great work of our team to raise Qatar’s profile as a biomedical research hub and ultimately position Qatar as a leader in the field.”

Qatar Biobank is a large-scale, long term medical research initiative, currently gathering community-provided health information and biological samples in order to pry open the mysteries of why some people in Qatar’s population develop certain diseases and others do not. It was established by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, the Supreme Council of Health, and Hamad Medical Corporation, with the support of scientists from Imperial College London.

A representative from the Qatar Biobank Board of Trustees said, “We are delighted to welcome Dr Abderrahim to the team. With his well-established record of harnessing data from biomarkers as well as extensive experience in leading vast teams, Qatar Biobank is in good hands to deliver on its remit to provide better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases prevalent in Qatar. Dr Abderrahim will lead the initiative to establish how chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes are affected by the lifestyle, environment and genes of people in Qatar.”

Qatar Biobank has recently reached its 500th participant. Over the last few months, participants from Qatar Foundation and Hamad Medical Corporation along with their friends and families have actively taken part in the development of Qatar Biobank to help prepare for wide-scale recruitment from the Qatari public later this year.

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