Biosfer Teslab at the International Conference on Genomic Medicine 2022

We only know what we know… We have to continue pushing”, has been the message Professor Sarah h. Elsea, director of the Clinical Genomics for the BCM Human Genome Research Center transmitted to the audience remarking the importance of breaking the boundaries of current clinical diagnosis by introducing advanced technologies into the clinical diagnosis.

The International Conference on Genomic Medicine 2022, Riyadh, has joined international and local experts on the field of Genomic Medicine and translational medicine to discuss and explore together the challenges on the present and the future of precision medicine.

As an initiative of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFHS&RC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Center for Genomic Medicine (CGM) was established in 2021 with the aim of delivering the best-in-class patients’ health care by investing in clinical genomics and associated translational research, developing and transferring pioneering technologies into real transformation through the widespread implementation of omics-based technologies in clinical practice.


Cutting edge innovation projects spanning the three pillars of computational, translational and clinical pathways in translational medicine have been presented: Dr. Rami Mehio (Global Head of Software and Informatics at Illumina, Inc) opened the first session with a fascinating presentation on innovation in whole Genome Sequencing technology, followed by  Prof. Xin Gao, Prof Al-Ghamdi and Prof Rolf Backofen as a member of scientific advisory board of ELIXIR  (The European Initiative for Life Science Data Analysis), and interesting reflexions of Dr. James Nurse on communication and education in Inherited Metabolic Disease Research and insights on computational challenges from Dr. Stefan Arold among other speakers.

Prof. Sir. Peter Donnelly, founder and CEO of GENOMICS has opened the second day’s sessions by introducing the concept of “Genomic Prevention”, as a strategy for early diagnosis of high-risk individuals who are currently invisible to the system. Prof Donnelly has played a key role in major international human genetics projects over the last 20 years, including leading the genotyping of the UK Biobank. Prof Arndt Rolfs, Prof. Sara Elsea and Dr. Judith Jans presented new insights on combining genomics and metabolomics to fully integrate the genomic-metabolic diagnostic workflow.

The panel consisting of Prof. Donnelly, Prof. Backfen, Prof. Jui-Hung Hung and Dr. Mehio has addressed current patient’s privacy rights and risks, opening up considerations about data security and ethical issues related to the genome information. The session, very well moderated by Dr. James Nurse, pointed out the difference of the data according to the actionable nature of the diseases… The question is: to tell or not to tell, at what point is it necessary to share, and what are the limits of shareable information?

Other presentations complemented the conference.  At Biosfer Teslab we had the opportunity to share our vision on how our NMR metabolomics platform can support the diagnosis of cardiometabolic diseases, and we look forward to a future collaboration with this fantastic centre.

And beyond the science… Culture, joy and hospitality defined the meeting, which is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

With special thanks to Dr. Anas Abdel Rahman, who envisioned this potential collaboration, and Dr. Salah M. Baz, Dr. Altassan, Dr. Ibtisam Alyousef and Dr. Meshari Alwazae allowing our project to be a small part of the whole.

And finally thank you to Samya Hagos, Dr. Rola Ba-Abbad,  Dr. Raja Sebaa and Dr. Saif Abdullah Alshahrani for the nice conversation and help!