Abu Dhabi Crown Prince visits children’s disease centre in London

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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, was received by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, reports Asian Lite News

The Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children (ZCR) on Friday welcomed Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who toured the facility and met with researchers, professors and doctors to learn about the Centre’s lifesaving research and treatments.

Sheikh Mohamed was received by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi.

Abu Dhabi

Matthew Shaw, Chief Executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Prof Rosalind Smyth, Director of UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, explained the Centre’s world-first model for paediatric medicine, which brings together under one roof cutting edge research and world class clinical care. This bench-to-bedside approach accelerates the diagnoses, treatment and cures of rare diseases in children.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed toured the main laboratory, which includes 140 dedicated research benches and the genomics team lab, and was briefed on the Centre’s specialist facilities that have enabled it to play a vital role in the global response to covid19. The Pathogen Genomics Unit has sequenced 15,500 samples, informing scientists of the changing nature of the virus, and the impact of new and repurposed drugs in the treatment of serious viral infections in children.

The visit also included a briefing on the importance of the state-of-the-art specialist clean rooms – the largest single academic manufacturing unit for gene and cell therapies in the UK and one of the largest in the world – where products are manufactured for use in groundbreaking gene therapy trials.

The crown prince thanked Mohamed Al Ameri, a ZCR Researcher and PhD candidate of Epigenetics of Pediatric Leukaemia Diagnostics, UCL, for his pioneering research into how a person’s DNA is altered in cancer cells, highlighting that this work has the potential to not only benefit cancer patients in the United Arab Emirates, but also the world over.

While at the Centre, he also met Ali Hamed Al Ketbi, a 10-year old patient, who is improving steadily as he undergoes treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The Centre, which will celebrate its second anniversary in November, is a partnership between Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.