The BeadLab will anchor the first phase of the Shafallah Center’s transformation into center of research excellence, integrating child-centered capabilities that range from genomics and disease discovery to existing strengths in clinical treatment, special education and related paramedical services.
The Shafallah Genetics Medical Center (SGMC) will have extensive and unique access to samples from founder populations indigenous to the Arabian Gulf Region.
These samples have well-documented family histories that may accelerate the understanding of the genetic basis of disease - not only those affecting children, but also those that are common to all population and age groups.
The research focus will include rare autosomal recessive diseases, of which many are unique or first-discovered in the Gulf, as well as complex diseases such as diabetes, the prevalence of which in the Gulf is among the worlds’ highest.
All diseases explored at the facility will involve the collection and analysis of clinical and genetic as well as pedigree data.
The BeadLab is an end-to-end genetic analysis solution built around Illumina’s proprietary BeadArray™ technology and featuring extensive automation, parallel sample throughput, multiplexed assay protocols, positive sample tracking and allele-calling software.
The SGMC plans initially to conduct genome-wide disease association studies using Illumina’s Sentrix® HumanHap BeadChips, which are designed to genotype between 100,000 and 550,000 SNP loci per sample on a single microarray.
"We’re tremendously honored to be a part of this important new research facility - the first of its kind in the Gulf region," stated Jay Flatley, Illumina President and CEO.
"As employees of Illumina, we’re proud to be associated with the important research targeting children at the Shafallah Center and the hope for accelerated discovery of disease-causing genes."
"We look forward to supporting the Shafallah Center in building a world-class disease research operation."