Mohamed Z. Alimohamed MS
University Medical Center Groningen
I, Mohamed Zahir Alimohamed, was born and brought up in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from Manipal University in India, and my Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from The University of Groningen in The Netherlands. I am currently pursuing a PhD in medical genetics in the Genetics Department of the University Medical Centre Groningen in The Netherlands. I work for the Innovation and Development section of the Genetics department. My research is mainly focused on using next generation sequencing to diagnose (genetic) diseases in the clinic and its implementation strategies. I have recently developed an NGS panel that can detect translocations in acute leukemias without prior knowledge of translocation partners. I am currently working on routine diagnostic targeted NGS cardiomyopathy panel to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms, insertions and deletions (indels) and copy number variations to determine the diagnostic yield of the gene panel and reclassify variants of unknown significance based on new statistical evidence in 2000 patients. I am also involved in identification of copy number aberrations and SNV’s in patients with lung and colon cancer and melanoma. My latest work is based on finding functional evidence to characterize splice site mutations in experimental setting using minigene assays in patients with cardiomyopathies and Spinocerebellar ataxia. In addition to my research duties, I am involved in student project supervisions and teaching activities in the field of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics. I have come to understand through my various engagements in scientific meetings, conferences and discussions with colleagues that the Tanzanian (African) genome is severely underrepresented in the human genome database and as an African with experience in this field myself, I take responsibility for changing this narrative and believe that we as Africans must address this seriously. Owing to that, I am currently engaged in founding the Tanzania Society of Human Genetics together with colleagues from Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania. For this I am also setting collaborations with the Tanzania Genome Network, Africa Society of Human Genetics and H3Africa. I am also involved in setting up strategies for Technology and Information transfer from my current department in The Netherlands to Tanzania. Furthermore, I am also engaged in paving the way to start up Human Genetics and Molecular Biology courses for medical/health students in Tanzania in the near future. In my free time, I write articles for the health column of the Tanzanian Newspaper - The Citizen to enlighten the public on the progresses in the field of Genetics. I am also a part of the African Student Community of the University of Groningen in The Netherlands and involved in chairing and organizing various African related activities through this association in the city where I reside. Other than this, my interested lie in discussions on Political Science and Health economics. I take a lot of interest in Organization and Management as well as Humanitarian Services.