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Mission & Objectives
The mission statement of the research group is to identify and study the genetic causes of monogenic disorders in UAE population and to conduct research on mesenchymal stem cells differentiation into Adipocytes and neural lineages. The group aims to translate some of its research findings in the therapeutic manners for the wellbeing of the patients.

The group has two major branches: human genetics and stem cells

For human genetics, we will identify the disease-causing gene(s) and mutation(s) underlying several autosomal recessive disorders (ARDs) in consanguineous families from UAE. Our specific objectives are:  
  1. Ascertain and recruit novel cases underlying ARDs from UAE
  2. Perform genome-wide scan using SNP arrays to identify the disease-causing loci based on homozygosity mapping
  3. Perform whole exome sequencing in some of the affected individuals of each family
  4. Select potential disease-causing mutations within the homozygous regions using bioinformatics tools
  5. Carry out functional assays to validate or rule out the pathogenicity of the identified variations

For stem cells research we have the following objectives:  
  1. To set up human dental pulp and mesenchymal stem cells platform for research by isolating, growing, characterizing and cryopreserving the mesenchymal stem cells isolated from human teeth and bone marrow.
  2. To evaluate the neural differentiation capability of the different subsets of human dental pulp and mesenchymal stem cells under specific growth factor combinations
  3. To find key microRNAs regulators involved in the differentiation of human dental pulp and mesenchymal stem cells into neural lineage by performing the whole microRNA sequencing by next generation sequencing
  4. To enhance further the differentiation of the human dental pulp stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells into neural lineages by transfecting the stem cells with specific microRNAs that are differentially and uniquely expressed
  5. To derive functional neurons from human dental pulp and mesenchymal stem cells into 3-D and evaluate their function in 3-D.
  6. To unravel the molecular mechanisms in the differentiation of dental pulp and mesenchymal stem cells into adipocytes, in vitro model of obesity.