S'pore to host top genetics, genomics meetings next year

Photo above: Edison Liu who is the president of the prestigious Human Genome Organisation (Hugo).

The Joint Conference of the Human Genome Meeting 2013 and the 21st International Congress of Genetics will be held from April 13 to 18 at The Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands.

The Human Genome Meeting is the key conference organised annually by the Human Genome Organisation (Hugo), the international group of scientists involved in human genetics.

The International Congress of Genetics is organised by the International Genetics Federation - an association of societies interested in promoting the advancement of the science of genetics - and held once every five years.

The meeting is a coup for Singapore, which has gained international respect for the strides it has made in the biomedical sciences.

"The congress is one of the most important conference events for genetics, while the human genome meeting is also one of the premier international events for genomics," noted Dr Liu Jianjun, deputy director for research programmes, at the Genome Institute of Singapore and a speaker at the event.

Themed "Genetics and Genomics of Global Health and Sustainability", the conference will explore the interface between the health of individuals and the health of the planet, said Hugo president Edison Liu.

"Genetics and genomics are the cornerstone to solutions to most problems facing human beings, from health to food, energy and environmental remediation," he said. "This congress will cover the entire gamut."

Besides the genetics and genomics of human diseases, topics will range from infectious diseases and personalised medicine to food crop and livestock improvement and ecological genomics.

"With the world's population growing and ageing, the burden imposed by chronic diseases is increasing," added Professor Liu, who heads The Jackson Laboratory, a leading genetics facility in the United States.

Advances in disease management will emerge from understanding their molecular roots. Similarly, climate change, shrinking resources and pollution call for advanced biological solutions, he said.

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.