Neurological Disorders Center
Despite the remarkable progress in health care, the approaches to the prevention of birth defects and genetic disorders or the reduction of their toll by proper diagnosis and treatment have been limited. This has created a critical need for the establishment and development of state-of-the-art centers that provide high quality medical genetics services and harbor active genetic and genomic research enterprises. The Shafallah Medical Genetics Center (SMGC) was established in 2006 to fulfill the critical need for a state-of-the-art center, focused on children with special needs and their families. Seven years after its inception, SMGC has been transferred to Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) and has being integrated under the name of “Neurological Disorders Center.”
Research Interests: Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimers Disease, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Epilepsy and Intellectual Disability and other Neurological Conditions
The research goal of QBRI Neurological Disorders Center is to pursue fundamental knowledge by fostering an active research enterprise in neurogenomics and neurodegenerative diseases that is built on collaboration and leadership. It will implement and sustain research protocols by fostering interactions and collaborations amongst geneticists, neurologists and health-care workers at regional, national and international levels.
The neurogenomics research aims to identify genes responsible for human neurological disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Epilepsy, and Intellectual Disability) in an attempt to find novel genes and disease mechanisms, and to further elucidate biologic pathways underlying neuronal physiologic and developmental processes that are involved in the generation of disease phenotypes. This integrative and interdisciplinary approach ranging from molecular and cellular biology to the use of iPS cells and a variety of disease animal models holds promise for the identification of novel therapeutic targets and the development of molecular diagnostic tools that can be applied for early diagnosis, screening and population studies.
Neurodegenerative disorders research, focused on conditions such as Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease, is actively involved in the investigation of new methodologies for identifying such conditions and developing novel therapeutics. The development of novel immunoassays and potential biomarkers will enhance the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, enabling earlier identification of affected patients. Investigators are also developing a number of novel MRI and PET-imaging compounds which are expected to aid clinicians and researchers working in the field. The use of novel condition-specific monoclonal antibodies is expected to enable detailed elaboration of the processes involved in many of these conditions, improve diagnosis and potentially develop vaccines against them.
Research within the Neurological Disorders Center is supported by: