Application of Genomic Medicine in Africa: 14th Conference of the African Society of Human Genetics and the 2nd International Congress of the Moroccan Society of Genomics and Human Genetics, Rabat, Morocco 2022

Meryem Fakhkhari Research Laboratory in Oral Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco;

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Ikram Salih Research Laboratory in Oral Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco;

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Najwa Maazaz Research Laboratory in Oral Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco;
Institut of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Ben Guerir, Morocco;

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Victoria Nembaware Division of Human Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa;

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Nchangwi Syntia Munung Division of Human Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa;

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Alice Matimba Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxston, United Kingdom;

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Sanaa Chala Mohamed V Hospital of Military Instruction, Mohamed V University, Faculty of Dental Medicine of Rabat, Morocco;

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Ahmed Belmouden Laboratory of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Sciences, Ibn Zohr University, Agadir, Morocco;

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Karon Chappell Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxston, United Kingdom;

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Leon Mutesa Einstein-Rwanda Research and Capacity Building Program, Research for Development, Kigali, Rwanda;
Center for Human Genetics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda;

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Ghada El-Kamah Department of Clinical Genetics, Human Genetics and Genome Research Division, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt;

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Hicham Oumzil Medical Biotechnology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco;

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Larbi Baassi Office of the Laboratories of the National Institute of Hygiene, Ministry of Health, Rabat, Morocco;

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Younes Abbas Polyvalent Team in R&D, Polydisciplinary Faculty, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Beni Mellal, Morocco;

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Mohamed Zahir Alimohamed Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania;
Department of Genetics, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands;
Tanzania Human Genetics Organization, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania;

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Michele Ramsay Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa;

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Scott Williams Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Institute for Computational Biology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio;

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Karim Benabdellah Department of Genomic Medicine, Pfizer—University of Granada–Andalusian Regional Government Center for Genomics and Oncological Research, Parque Tecnólogico de la Salud, Granada, Spain;

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Youssef Idaghdour Program in Biology, Division of Science and Mathematics, New York University Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates;

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Ambroise Wonkam Division of Human Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa;
McKusick-Nathans Institute and Department of Genetic Medicine, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

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Khalid Sadki Research Laboratory in Oral Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco;

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ABSTRACT.

The 14th African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG) Morocco Meeting and 2nd International Congress of the Moroccan Society of Genomics and Human Genetics (SM2GH), held in Rabat, Morocco, from December 12 through 17, 2022, brought together 298 attendees from 23 countries, organized by the AfSHG in collaboration with the SM2GH. The conference’s overarching theme was “Applications of Genomics Medicine in Africa,” covering a wide range of topics, including population genetics, genetics of infectious diseases, hereditary disorders, cancer genetics, and translational genetics. The conference aimed to address the lag in the field of genetics in Africa and highlight the potential for genetic research and personalized medicine on the continent. The goal was to improve the health of African populations and global communities while nurturing the careers of young African scientists in the field. Distinguished scientists from around the world shared their recent findings in genetics, immunogenetics, genomics, genome editing, immunotherapy, and ethics genomics. Precongress activities included a 2-day bioinformatics workshop, “NGS Analysis for Monogenic Disease in African Populations,” and a Young Investigators Forum, providing opportunities for young African researchers to showcase their work. The vast genetic diversity of the African continent poses a significant challenge in investigating and characterizing public health issues at the genetic and functional levels. Training, research, and the development of expertise in genetics, immunology, genomics, and bioinformatics are vital for addressing these challenges and advancing genetics in Africa. The AfSHG is committed to leading efforts to enhance genetic research, coordinate training, and foster research collaborations on the continent.

Author Notes

Financial support: The meeting was sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Connecting Science, Megaflex, Cerba, PerkinElmer, Roche, Sickle Africa Data Coordinating Center (grant no. U24HL135600 to A. Wonkam), ThermoFisher, MGI, Zenith Pharma, CeGat, SCOMEDICA, Genomes Biotechnologies, and SOMADIAG. The study carried by Professor Karim Benabdellah was also supported by the Consejería de Universidad, Investigación e Innovación under Plan Andaluz de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación (PAIDI 2020; ProyExcel_ 00875) de la Junta de Andalucía, and by Consejería de Salud y familia de la Junta de Andalucia/FEDER (PECART-0027-2020), K. Benabdellah held Nicolas Monardes contract from Consejería de Salud y Consumo de la Junta de Andalucía.

Disclosure: A. Matiba and K. Chappell are employed by the Wellcome Connecting Science, a funder based in the United Kingdom; however, no Wellcome funds have contributed to this publication. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Authors’ addresses: Meryem Fakhkhari, Ikram Salih, Najwa Maazaz, and Khalid Sadki, Research Laboratory in Oral Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, and Institut of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Ben Guerir, Morocco, E-mails: Meryem_Fakhkhari@um5.ac.ma, Ikram.salih@um5r.ac.ma, Najwa.MAAZAZ@um6p.ma, and k.sadki@um5r.ac.ma. Victoria Nembaware and Nchangwi Syntia Munung, Division of Human Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, E-mails: victoria.nembaware@uct.ac.za and nchangwisyntia@yahoo.com. Alice Matimba and Karon Chappell, Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxston, United Kingdom, E-mails: alice.matimba@wellcomeconnectingscience.org and karon.chappell@wellcomeconnectingscience.org. Sanaa Chala, Mohamed V Hospital of Military Instruction, Mohamed V University, Faculty of Dental Medicine of Rabat, Morocco, E-mail: s.chala@um5r.ac.ma. Ahmed Belmouden, Laboratory of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Sciences, Ibn Zohr University, Agadir, Morocco, E-mail: a.belmouden@uiz.ac.ma. Leon Mutesa, Einstein-Rwanda Research and Capacity Building Program, Research for Development, Kigali, Rwanda, Center for Human Genetics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda, E-mail: lmutesa@gmail.com. Ghada El-Kamah, Department of Clinical Genetics, Human Genetics and Genome Research Division, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt. E-mail: ghadaelkamah@hotmail.com. Hicham Oumzil, Medical Biotechnology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco, E-mail: droumzil@gmail.com. Larbi Baassi, Office of the Laboratories of the National Institute of Hygiene, Ministry of Health, Rabat, Morocco, E-mail: larbi.baassi@gmail.com. Younes Abbas, Polyvalent Team in R&D, Polydisciplinary Faculty, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Beni Mellal, Morocco, E-mail: abbayouns@gmail.com. Mohamed Zahir Alimohamed, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; Department of Genetics, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands; Tanzania Human Genetics Organisation, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, E-mail: mzahir89@gmail.com. Michele Ramsay, Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, E-mail: Michele.Ramsay@wits.ac.za. Scott Williams, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Institute for Computational Biology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, E-mail: smw154@case.edu. Karim Benabdelah, Department of Genomic Medicine, Pfizer-University of Granada, Andalusian Regional Government Center for Genomics and Oncological Research, Granada, Spain, E-mail: karim.benabdel@genyo.es. Youssef Idaghdour, Program in Biology, Division of Science and Mathematics, New York University Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, E-mail: youssef.idaghdour@nyu.edu. Ambroise Wonkam, McKusick-Nathans Institute and Department of Genetic Medicine, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, E-mail: awonkam1@jhmi.edu.

Address correspondence to Khalid Sadki, BP 6212 Madinat Al Irfane, Rabat Morocco. E-mails: ksadki1@yahoo.fr or k.sadki@um5r.ac.ma
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