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September 30, 2018

Qatar Biobank Participates in Europe Biobank Week

Qatar Biobank, a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), showcased its public recruitment strategy to the European biobanking community during Europe Biobank Week (EBW), which took place in Antwerp, Belgium.
The event was hosted by Biobanking and BioMolecular Resources Research Infrastructure - European Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC) and the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking (ESBB). Held under the theme ‘Biosharing for Scientific Discovery’, it brought together international biomedical researchers, policymakers, and scientists to address challenges, explore future collaborations, and highlight their achievements in the industry.

Dr. Nahla M Afifi, Acting Director and Scientific and Education Manager at Qatar Biobank, said: “It is an honor for Qatar Biobank to participate in Europe Biobank Week for the fifth year running.

“This gathering offers an invaluable opportunity for us to expand our global outreach and strengthen our international network of key stakeholders in the biomedical field, while gaining a greater insight of the different models adopted by biomedical institutes from around the world.”

Mohammed Al Dosari, Head of Communications and Participant Recruitment at Qatar Biobank, delivered a poster presentation on ‘Driving Qatar Biobank’s Public Recruitment through the Effective Utilization of Nationwide Events and Social Media.’ It highlighted Qatar Biobank’s use of the local media landscape, social media, and national events to encourage members of the population to sign up and be part of its vital medical research.

“Qatar Biobank has a comprehensive public recruitment strategy that leverages the power of the domestic media landscape to raise awareness and encourage the public to enroll,” he said.
“So far, we have enrolled 25 percent of the targeted population in less than four years, and over the years we plan to recruit 60,000 people to participate in our medical research program, which will enable us to draw a genome map of Qatar.

“We recently marked a major milestone with the screening of the 15,000th participant; a clear indicator of the public’s growing awareness of Qatar Biobank and the Qatar Genome Programme, and their greater understanding of the impact their participation has on the future health of the country.”

Throughout the three-day conference, delegates attended a number of plenary sessions, workshops, and poster presentations covering numerous topics on biomedical research, including Biosharing for Scientific Progress, Ethics and Stakeholder Engagement, Professional Biobanking as a Career, Patient Outreach, and Education and Training.

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