Doha, Qatar, 24 November 2020: Qatar Biobank organized a discussion panel, at WISH 2020 summit about “Ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) in research with vulnerable populations”, in collaboration with its international partners BBMRI-ERIC (Biobanking and Biological and molecular Research Infrastructure resources - European Union research infrastructure), Isber (International Society for Biological and environmental repositories), and ESBB (European, Middle East & African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking).
During the panel, the moderator Dr Reem Al Sulaiman, the interim Deputy Chair of the Medical Genetics Department at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and a core member of the National Qatar Genome Project Committee, and the speakers, associate professor Dan Catchpoole, head of the tumour bank at the children's hospital at Westmead Sydney Australia, Michael Th. Mayrhofer, political scientist and historian and interim co-Director general of the research infrastructure for biobanks and biomolecular resources, BBMRI-ERIC, and Dr Sofie Bekaert, trained as a doctor in Applied Biological Engineering and valorization and innovation manager at Ghent University, defined who can be considered as vulnerable population and discussed the potential risks of these people participating in research. Also, they have discussed the ethics and regulations in biobanking and research while using the data and samples, the challenges and risks in practice, and privacy, confidentiality and discrimination along with linking all these points to the national vision of precision medicine in Qatar.
Qatar Biobank, part of QF-RDI, aims to make vital medical research possible for scientists in Qatar and the world through the collection of samples and information from participants of Qatari citizens and long term residents on their health and lifestyles. And to achieve this safely, Qatar Biobank is committed to complying with applicable ethical, statutory, regulatory and legal requirements of the state of Qatar and globally