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Experts urged for DNA based testing and genetic counseling to control the hereditary and genetic diseases

DNA based testing, prenatal diagnosis and genetic counseling, are vital to mitigate the impact of Hereditary and genetic diseases in Pakistan.” This was highlighted in a series of two seminars organized by the Department of Animal Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad.

The seminars were conducted by an eminent Turkish academician and researcher Prof. Dr. Asli Tolun, from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey. Professor Tolun is a well-known Human Geneticist in the Mediterranean and European regions working on hereditary and rare genetic disorders.

“Hereditary and genetic diseases are common in Pakistan as well as in Turkey due to various common reasons like consanguinity, early marriages, overlapping generations and large sibships. Hereditary diseases put a tremendous impact on the lives of the patients and their families and 3-6% of the populations in the developing countries are affected by such anomalies. Common hereditary disorders like beta-thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, mental retardation and deafness could be avoided by not doing cousin marriages in families at risk.

In the inaugural sessions of the seminars, Dr. Sajid Malik, Dept. of Animal Sciences, and Dr. Amir Ali Abassi, National Center of Bioinformatics highlighted the importance of the seminars topic and their relevance with the academics and health-system of Pakistan.

A large number of faculty members and students attended the sessions and took great interest in the seminars. Professor Tolun also visited various research labs of the Dept of Animal Sciences and National Center of Bioinformatics and interacted with the faculty. Prof. Tolun had detailed meetings with Prof. Dr. Sarwat Jahan, Chairperson Dept of Animal Sciences, Prof. Dr. Wasim Ahmad, Dean Faculty of Biological Sciences, and Prof. Dr. Javed Ashraf, Vice Chancellor QAU.