Al Jalila Foundation to launch UAE’s first robotic biobank in 2023

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Al Jalila Foundation
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Al Jalila Foundation, a member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has revealed that it will launch the UAE’s first robotic biobank in 2023, in partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

The collaboration is set to advance medical research in the areas of genetic disorders, cancer and other chronic diseases and pandemics.

The robotic biobank will hold a maximum capacity of managing seven million specimens, making it the world’s largest in terms of sample capacity.  The facility will be located at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medical Research Institute, part of Al Jalila Foundation, in Dubai Healthcare City.

The biobank will become an incredible asset for the upcoming Hamdan Bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital and other healthcare facilities in the UAE to conduct research and provide proper treatment due to the vital role biobanks play in advancing research and medical discovery.

Al Jalila Foundation is investing $4.6 million to build a state-of-the-art facility and will manage seven million human biological materials. An automated, robotic, Artificial Intelligence (AI) based system will ensure biological samples are secured in cryogenic storage, below 80 degrees Celsius, maintaining proper sample integrity and retrieval.

Raja Easa Al Gurg
Raja Easa Al Gurg
Al Jalila Foundation

“Biobanking is a game-changer for healthcare and will revolutionize medical research, leading to better outcomes for patient treatment. The biobank will provide an opportunity for people in the community and researchers to work together to build a better, healthier future for generations to come. Scientific progress will shape the nation’s economy by influencing our knowledge about human health, disease, therapeutics, personalized medicine, and more.”

Dr. Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation said that “Biorepositories are places where you can store patient samples and serve as a hub of collaboration between scientists for doing either population health studies, or looking at cohorts of patients who have specific diseases and trying to find better therapeutics and diagnostics to treat patients and save lives.”

Professor Alawi Alsheikh-Ali, Deputy Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority commented that “The establishment of the robotic biobank is a clear reflection of Dubai’s vision for advancing healthcare and being at the forefront of discovery. I am confident the planned biobank will bring significant value to the healthcare system in Dubai and the region. It is a clear example of how the integration of care with discovery, supported by advancement, can set the foundation for better outcomes for our current and future patients.”

The UAE’s first robotic biobank will attract strategic collaboration opportunities with key healthcare authorities and partners across the region and globally. The collaborations will support pioneering biomedical research and accelerate medical discoveries to transform patients’ lives.

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