Workshops, Symposia & Scientific Meetings

The Pre-Congress Virtual Workshop on Clinical Genomics for Medical Practitioners jointly organized by the Sri Lanka Medical Association and the Human Genetics Society in collaboration with the Human Genetics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo was held on Saturday, 18th July 2020. The half-day workshop was co-chaired by Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake, Chair, Senior Professor of Anatomy and Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Dr. Nirmala D. Sirisena, Senior Lecturer and Clinical Geneticist, Human Genetics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo and Dr. Thilina Wanigasekera, Actg. Director/Organization Development, Ministry of Healthcare & Indigenous Medical Services. The resource persons included Clinical and Medical Geneticists serving as University academics across the breadth of the country. They included: Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake (Colombo), Prof. Hemali Goonasekera (Colombo), Dr. Nirmala D. Sirisena (Colombo), Dr. Kalum Wetthasinghe (Colombo), Dr. Dineshani Hettiarachchi (Colombo), Dr. Dulika Sumathipala (Colombo), Dr. Sajith Edirisinghe (Sri Jayewardenepura), Dr. Sampath Paththinige (Rajarata), Dr. Asantha Jayawardana (Rajarata), Dr. Lahiru Prabodha (Ruhuna), Dr. Padmapani Padeniya (Kelaniya), Dr. Thurayratnam Chenthuran (Jaffna) and Dr. Yasas Kolombage (Sabaragamuwa). The workshop was held with the aim to develop a basic understanding and knowledge of the core concepts in medical genetics and genomics and their clinical applications in medicine and healthcare among medical practitioners. It was well attended by health professionals from various clinical specialties across the country. The programme included both lectures and interactive case-based discussions using clinical scenarios to illustrate the clinical applications of genetics & genomics data in clinical practice. It served as a valuable platform for healthcare professionals to update their knowledge on the applications of genomic medicine in the clinical setting. It is planned to conduct similar training programmes on a regular basis in conjunction with other relevant professional Colleges and Associations with the aim of improving the genomic literacy of the healthcare workforce in the country. Compiled by: Dr. Nirmala D. Sirisena President, Human Genetics Society

A multi-disciplinary workshop on genetic and genomic education and training for application and translation of genomic advances and new developments in clinical medicine and healthcare organized in collaboration with the Global Consortium for Genomic Education (GC4GE) was held in Colombo on 23rd February 2020. The one-day workshop was co-chaired by Prof. Dhavendra Kumar and Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake. It was conducted as a pre-conference workshop of the 9th International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the Developing World which was held in Colombo from 23rd-26th February 2020. The programme featured talks on the global overview of the status, current strategies, experiences and challenges of genetic and genomic education in various countries in the sub-region. Group-based discussions were held and recommendations were suggested for genetic and genomic education training strategies targeted at ‘doctors of the future’, ‘specialist doctors’ and career grade ‘clinical geneticists, genomic physicians, genetic counsellors and specialist genetic nurses'. Both local and international delegates from several countries in the Asia Pacific regions participated in the workshop. The following members of the Human Genetics Society attended the workshop: Dr. Nafeesa Noordeen, Dr. Dineshani Hettiarachchi, Dr. Sampath Paththinige, Dr. Asantha Jayawardana, Dr. Lahiru Prabodha and Dr. Nirmala Sirisena.

A workshop on implementing genomic medicine in the clinical setting organized by the Human Genetics Unit was held on 10th February 2020 at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. It featured as one of the pre-congress workshops in the week-long Colombo Medical Congress which was held to mark the 150 th Anniversary celebrations of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo from 12 th - 15 th February 2020. The workshop was held with the aim to develop a basic understanding and knowledge of the core concepts in medical genetics and genomic medicine and their clinical applications in medicine and healthcare among health practitioners. It served as a valuable platform for post-graduate trainees in various clinical specialties as well as other healthcare professionals to update their knowledge on the effects of chromosomal abnormalities and genetic variations on human health and disease, patterns of inheritance and risk estimation, selection of appropriate genetic and genome-level diagnostic tests, interpretation of genetic results and integration of genomic medicine in the clinical setting. The programme included both lectures and interactive case-based discussions using clinical scenarios to demonstrate the clinical applications of genomic medicine. The resource persons included: Prof. Vajira H.W. Dissanayake, Dr. Nirmala D. Sirisena and Dr. Kalum Wetthasinghe. It is planned to conduct similar training programmes on a regular basis both in and out of Colombo with the aim of improving the genomic literacy of the healthcare workforce in the country.