The Medical School and Shriners Children’s through their US based Genomics Institute, launched recently in Nicosia the first phase of the research project ‘Genomics and Precision Medicine’ for Cypriot patients. The goal of the project is to discover breakthroughs and develop innovative ways to treat paediatric conditions, including cerebral palsy, cleft lip and cleft palate, club foot, scoliosis, and other neuromuscular conditions.

On behalf of the Medical School, Associate Professor Constantina Constantinou, said:

“The project aims to recruit 5000 boys and girls aged 4-18 years old per year who are treated by Shriners Children’s Doctors in the US and in countries they visit around the world. The project has been approved by the Cyprus National Bioethics Committee and patients from Cyprus together with their biological parents, have the opportunity to participate in the project, by providing saliva samples so that their DNA is extracted and analysed using the method ‘next generation nucleotide sequencing.’ The team of researchers will collect samples for the next 20 years. It is expected that over 1,000 Cypriot patients, including their biological parents, will take part in the project.”

The launching of the project in Cyprus coincided with the visit of the Shriners Children’s team to examine free of charge children with serious orthopaedic problems. Our medical students, who are interested in the field of orthopaedics, had the opportunity to observe the doctors while examining patients. This year is the 40th annual visit of Shriners Children’s in Cyprus, an initiative supported by the George and Thelma Paraskevaides Foundation.

On the occasion of the Shriners visit, the Medical School organised two scientific lectures given by Shriners Doctors covering the topics of Scoliosis and Orthopaedic Surgery.