ABU DHABI - The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Illumina, a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies to advance precision medicine and clinical genomics research.

This partnership aims to develop the expertise, infrastructure, and skilled workforce necessary to integrate genomics into clinical practice and translational research locally and internationally.

The MoU was signed during the BIO 2024 International Convention in the United States, in the presence of Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Chairman of DoH, and Jacob Thaysen, Chief Executive Officer Illumina.

It was signed by Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at DoH, and Steve Barnard, Chief Technology Officer of Illumina.

Led by the DoH, a high-profile Abu Dhabi delegation headed by Al Mansoori visited the United States between 29th May to 5th June to showcase the Emirate’s partnership opportunities and explore collaboration with leading organisations in Research and Development (R&D), manufacturing and innovation.

Genomics has the potential to change the future health of humanity. From disease forecasting to diagnostics, drug discovery to personalised treatment, genomics cannot be overstated as a revolutionary force for global good.

Leveraging Abu Dhabi’s wealth of genomic data, DoH and Illumina seek to accelerate innovations in genomics and precision medicine, focusing on emerging genomic applications. This includes genome and multi-omics advanced analysis and interpretation to promote the development of new breakthrough diagnostics for precision medicine and benefit patients locally and globally.

Dr. Al Mannaei said that genomics research, development, and the practical application of its insights and treatments are central pillars of the DoH strategy to establish Abu Dhabi as a global life science hub.

“Through this new partnership with Illumina, we seek to deliver breakthroughs in personalised, predictive, and preventative programmes tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup. It is only through borderless collaboration, in pursuit of a common goal, that we can truly deliver the translational research and upskill our workforce with the tools that will future-proof global public health and enable a healthier future for all,” she added.

Barnard, in turn, said, "The MoU signed today is a significant milestone in accelerating genomic innovation in the UAE through access to the latest sequencing technology, advanced genomic analysis solutions and workforce training initiatives."