Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Msheireb Properties, has officially inaugurated a new permanent exhibition titled ‘A Journey to the Heart of Life’, located in Bin Jelmood House at Msheireb Museums.
In line with Her Highness’s vision, the exhibition is a collaboration between Msheireb Museums and biomedical research institutions, including Qatar Genome Programme, Qatar Biobank, Sidra Medical Research Center and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar.
The exhibition focuses on DNA and includes six sections that give visitors an opportunity to explore genetic inheritance and prehistoric human migrations. It aims to further guests’ understanding of the advances in modern medicine and genomics, and its capacity to help with early detection of disease, as well as creation of personalised medicine, according to a press statement.
Visitors use interactive and audiovisual displays to understand how leveraging genetics, genomic, and observations from the past, can uncover Qatar’s rich cultural and historic heritage.
The exhibition looks at the process of understanding genetics and genomics, and how that is reflected in the history of humanity. It tells a story of migration and integration across the earth, revealing the scientific underpinnings of our common humanity by advances in genetic research, and how this knowledge is being used to make us healthier as a society.
Abdulla Hassan al-Mehshadi, CEO of Msheireb Properties, said: “Through this exhibit, we support innovations in education and showcase Qatar’s leading position in scientific research to benefit humanity. We would like to extend our great thanks to all those involved in creating this fascinating exhibition, particularly Her Highness for her continuous support and wise vision.”
Hafiz Ali, Msheireb Museums director, said: “This opening is intended to help our nation understand the origins of our people and how the mapping of human development can help its citizens today, and in the future.”
Dr Asma al-Thani, chair of the National Genome Committee, vice-chairperson of the Qatar Biobank for Medical Research Board of Trustees and dean of the College of Health Sciences at Qatar University, said: “This exhibition was created to showcase the cultural and social diversity of Qatar and how this affects genetic traits. This exhibition launch is part of a common vision shared with Msheireb Properties to create a better future for our country.”
Dr Lotfi Chouchane, professor of genetic medicine, microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, noted: “‘A Journey to the Heart of Life’ is original and unique, not just for Qatar but around the world as it combines seamlessly both culture and science.”
Dr Rashid al-Ali, deputy chief research officer and Division Chief – Biomedical Informatics at Sidra Medical and Research Center, said: “The exhibition is as unique as DNA itself and it gives me great pride Qatar is leading the way with such initiatives."
Dr Ena Wang, research chief, Division of Translational Medicine at Sidra Medical and Research Center, added: “This exhibition is Her Highness’s vision and is designed to provide knowledge that leads to scientific interest, paving the way for implementing genome guided (precision) medicine in Qatar.”
Major advances in the fields of genetics and genomics have not only corroborated what we can observe from history -- the diversity of Qatar’s origins -- but also opened a path to a hopeful future in prevention and cure of many genetic diseases.
‘A Journey to the Heart of Life’ is presented by Msheireb Museums in Bin Jelmood House in the heritage quarter of Msheireb Downtown Doha. The exhibit will open its doors from Monday to Thursday, from 9am to 5pm, on Friday from 3pm to 9pm, and on Saturday from 9am to 9pm.
For more information, visit www.msheireb.com