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Story | Community
13 October 2020

US congressman makes the case for precision medicine during visit to QF


Congressional delegation’s visit to Education City sees Qatar described as “essential partner” of the US

A member of the US Congress has emphasized the importance of advancing precision medicine for the health of future generations, as he and two fellow American politicians visited Qatar Foundation.

The congressional delegation were given an insight into QF’s vision and mission, and an overview of Education City, during their visit.

The congressional delegation welcomed to Education City included Representative Eric Swalwell, who represents California’s 15th congressional district; Seth Moulton, from Massachusetts’s 6th District; and Congressman Jim Himes, Democrat, from Connecticut’s 4th District. Congressmen Swalwell and Moulton ran in the 2019 Democratic presidential primaries, but withdrew before former Vice President Joe Biden accepted the party’s nomination.

Representative Swalwell is leading a bipartisan effort in the US Congress to advance precision medicine – which is a primary area of Qatar Foundation’s research focus – and said: “I think our future can be determined by what we know at birth.

Qatar’s focus on precision medicine is prescient. As genomic sequencing becomes less expensive, opportunities increase to diagnose patients sooner and treat them more effectively

Representative Eric Swalwell

“Precision medicine can drastically improve treatment and dramatically bring down the cost of healthcare. Personalized medicine can target treatments to only those patients who will benefit from them, and eliminate the need for costly hospitalizations, making health systems more effective and efficient. I am trying to push through legislation in the US Congress that would assure that every child will have access to their genetic profile.

“Qatar’s focus on precision medicine is prescient. As genomic sequencing becomes less expensive, opportunities increase to diagnose patients sooner and treat them more effectively.“

Qatar is an essential partner for the United States. It’s also a model for reform in the Arab world and a leader in women’s rights

Congressman Jim Himes

Precision medicine is a rapidly evolving field in which physicians use medical interventions to assess or alter the molecular characteristics – often genetic – that cause or contribute to certain diseases or predict whether certain patients will respond to various treatments. Congressman Swalwell leads the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) which is educating the US Congress and the public about the benefits of earlier detection, targeted treatment, and improved prevention strategies in personalized medicine. 

Speaking during the visit, Congressman Moulton, a former Captain in the United States Marine Corps and a supporter of American war veterans, said: “The bilateral relationship between Qatar and the United States has great potential, and I expect the friendship between the two countries to grow in the future.”

QF welcomed Representative Eric Swalwell, Congressman Seth Moulton, and Congressman Jim Himes to Education City this week.

Relations between the US and Qatar are also of great interest to Congressman Himes, who is an advocate for early childhood education and the environment. “Qatar is an essential partner for the United States,” he said.

“It’s also a model for reform in the Arab world and a leader in women’s rights. Qatar is a lynchpin in the Middle East and provides a bridge between the Islamic world and the West.”

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