Short Curriculum Vitae
Dr Maryam A.G. Dashti, Bahraini Scientist, obtained her PhD from King’s college, London University. She is senior in the field of In Vitro Fertilization and Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis. She was an Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology 1989- 2014 and is in Department of Molecular Medicine 2004-present, College of Medicine and Medical sciences, Arabian Gulf University.
Dr. Dashti has been working in the field of assisted conception since 1988 and was one of the main founders of the first IVF unit in Bahrain in the Military Hospital in 1989, and the main founder of Al-jawhara Fertility Hospital in 2011. In both places, she occupied the position of scientific and managing director, in addition to directing and supervising the IVF labs. Also, she was voluntarily and actively involved in licensing other IVF labs/ centers in Bahrain as an evaluator through the ministry of health, 1990- 2008. Outside Bahrain, she cooperated in optimizing the facilities and services in a number of IVF centers in UAE and Lebanon and she pays continuous visits to other facilities around the globe for follow up of advances in the field of ART.
Over the last 27 years, she has attended more than 50 hands on workshops, attachments and international meetings in different fields of assisted reproduction and Genetic Testing of embryos. Also she has many publications in national and international journals, in addition to numerous scientific presentations and lectures.
Socially she has been very active in enhancing the public awareness to fertility problems and inheritance of genetic disorders which can be controlled through IVF/ PGD programs. In this lineage, she has given many lectures, talked on TV/ radio and written many articles in daily local papers since 1990 until present.
Dr. Dashti is also involved in ISO 9001/ CAP Quality management program in Fertility set ups and provides upgrade and quality assurance consultations for other IVF labs in the area. Her work and extra curricula activities were appreciated by UNESCO, The Middle East Fertility Society, Bahrain Family Planning Association, Bahrain Medical Bulletin, Bahrain Medical society, The Royal Academy for medical specialists, Bahrain Defense Force Hospital, The College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, The Ministries and Directorates of Health in the GCC, The Ministry of Education in Kingdom of Bahrain, Cairo University. As being the main founder of two main Fertility centers in Bahrain, Dr. Maryam Dashti focuses her present interest and potential towards empowering the programs for genetic testing and stem cell technologies. Families with inherent disorders will have the opportunity to diagnose any Chromosomal or Genetic abnormality in their embryos during the first week of development, therefore preventing unwanted abnormal pregnancies. Application of Pre- Implantation Genetic Screening and Diagnosis is considered the technique of choice for better pregnancy success rate and better pregnancy outcome. Dr. Dashti aims to establish a state of the ART fertility and Genetics Center of her own to provide par excellence services to the needy ones.
Session - 3
14:30 PM – 14:50 PM
Bio-Regulation of PGD in Bahrain and other GCC countries. [Dr. Mariam Dashti]
Genetic data are predictive, permanent, and extremely sensitive. Unlike infertility conditions, genetic errors in humans can not be reversed or rectified, but they can be prevented in future generations. Currently, intervention of pre-implantation genetic Diagnosis (PGD) in assisted reproduction has been used in detection of many genetic and chromosomal abnormalities. PGD is preferred to prenatal genetic testing as it imposes lower health risks to mothers and is ethically more acceptable in cultures with reservation on abortion.
Accreditation of genetic labs assists in improving patient’s care and protecting public health. The guidelines and recommendations for best practice offered by ESHRE- PGD consortium and PGDIS are quiet elaborate and are extremely helpful in establishment of an efficient PGD facility. Yet, at levels of quality assurance and service maintenance, labs offering such highly complex tests require proper accreditation by a robust program such as ISO. The College of American Pathologists (CAP), used the internationally recognized ISO 15189 to standardize labs of cytogenetics in 1976 and molecular pathology in 1991. Currently, within the regulatory framework for embryo genetic testing, ISO programs are upgraded to accommodate standardization of PGD labs.
Accordingly, Increasing numbers of countries globally are moving progressively towards acquiring CAP accreditation for their PGD laboratories as a direct indicator of quality for their services.
The main aim of PGD laboratory accreditation is to provide valid results to clients, namely: service users, clinics, clinicians, and most importantly patients. Therefore, assessment of PGT laboratory by an external auditor would ensure whether genetic testing services provided are of sufficient standard. This presentation will highlight the current situation of PGD laboratory accreditation in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and will discuss the consequences of lack of regulatory supervision and surveillance.