King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) has a vision to be a leading international health science research institution. It works toward acquiring, managing and executing academically biomedical research programs.
The Saudi bio-bank project is a large-scale study of the combined effects of genes, environment, and lifestyle on common diseases of adult life. The Saudi bio-bank plans to recruit a group of 200,000 subjects that form the population of the catchment area of NGHA housing and clinics.
Records of the bio-bank participants’ lifestyles, gathered via questionnaires and interviews, together with a physical assessment and collection of blood and urine samples will form the initial Saudi bio-bank database. This information will be supplemented with information from NGHA HIS systems.
It is hoped that the Saudi Bio-bank will provide a unique opportunity to develop a better understanding of the links between genetic and environmental factors and the pathophysiology of disease, and thus provide an opportunity for improving risk prediction and the effectiveness of treatments through the application of pharmacogenetics.
CORD BLOOD BANK
The Umbilical Cord Blood Bank (UCBB) at the KAIMRC is a non-profit public UCBB, which is going to be responsible for recruiting, processing, testing, cryopreservation, storage, thawing and infusion of cord blood units; to be used for patients in need of cord blood stem cell transplantation. The CBB activities will be carried out within a quality system complaint with international standards. The main objective of the UCBB is the collection and production of high quality cord blood units, from Saudi donors, donated to the community patients who unrelated to the donors. Units that not suitable for the clinical use will be utilized in the research stem-cell therapy laboratory.
RESEARCH TRAUMA PROJECT
The Trauma Department has developed one of the major research projects, A Trauma System, which is an organized, coordinated approach to facilitate and coordinate a multidisciplinary system response to injured patients. The development and implementation of the trauma system is a proven method to improve survival and reduce complications after traumatic injury. The initial phase of the project will cover King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC), Riyadh; later it will encompass the entire city of Riyadh.
The mission is to understand the causes of trauma through the use of accurate statistics obtained in the Trauma Registry (TR), propose a preventive program, and provide initial data to support the development of a Trauma System, initially at Riyadh city and later throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The probability of compatibility between siblings that are HLA-matched is high. The problem of tissue incompatibility has been greatly reduced through the use of HLA-matched siblings as donors. However, in our Saudi population, patients who are less than 5 years have only 40% chance of finding a donor, compared to 70% among those who are more than 20 years. Alternative sources of hematopoietic stem cells are needed for the remaining 30-60% of patients requiring hematopoietic stem cell transplant. With further refinement in testing technology, it became clear that unrelated individuals with a closely matched HLA type can be found for most patients. However, such individuals are relatively rare and hence their identification requires surveys of large numbers of people willing to be donors.
The mission of this registry is to extend and improve quality of life through stem cell therapies by maintaining the largest and most diverse registry of stem cell donors in Saudi Arabia.
KAIMRC aims at attracting superlative students, and enhance their education, extend their knowledge, and enable their development of penetrating research analysis skills. Toward that end KAIMRC has been awarding scholarships to proficient Saudi specialists in their fields. Areas of available scholarship programs include: molecular biology, immunology, medical imaging, bioinformatics, pharmacology (lab-on-chip), biostatistics, and nursing research.