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The Developmental Medicine section endeavors to understand the complex biology of the genetic diseases that have devastating effects on many Saudi families, with an ultimate goal of finding solutions and developing interventions and therapies. It contains three major labs including the Brain Genome Lab, the Birth Defects Lab, and the Therapy Developmental Lab.
The developmental genetic disorders that affect the Saudi child represent a huge economic and emotional burden, yet remain remarkably poorly understood. Developmental disorders and many other malformations reflect a great diversity of causes, largely genetic. Existing gene discovery programs for genetic disorders centered in other corners of the world have not particularly supported the interests of the Saudi people, since other populations are quite different genetically from the Saudis.
The unique structure of the Saudi Arabian population, with its historical and geographical isolation, and with a relatively large percentage of parents sharing traceable common ancestry, presents exceptional opportunities to identify genes responsible for human development. Moreover, the genes that are mutated in the Saudi people are invariably also causative of disease in other populations, so that a large-scale effort to understand the genetic disorders affecting Saudis presents a unique opportunity for our group at KAIMRC to be a leading contributor to understanding these conditions worldwide.