Comprehensive resource of genetic variants associated with diseases in Arabs

Collaborators on this Initiative

Collaborators from the following countries presently participate in the programme.
Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Egypt | Oman | Lebanon

If you are interested in joining the initiative, please drop in a mail to Dr. Vinod Scaria at

We aim to create one of the most comprehensive resources of Genetic variants associated with Diseases in Arabs through a multinational collaborative effort

The Arab world encompassing Middle East and North Africa is home to over 350 million people. This approximately represents over 5% of the world population and is characterized by significant ethnic, linguistic and genetic diversity, while encompassing similarities in language, traditions, cultural practices as well as geographic proximity.

A number of diseases are quite prevalent in the Arab world. A large part of this is attributed to the widespread practice and norm of consanguinity in the region. Understanding the genetic characteristics of many such diseases would provide the much necessary knowledge to build an effective healthcare system where early screening, early diagnosis and effective management can significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality due to such diseases.

While a number of publications from this region have described genetic variants associated with diseases, many of these variants have not been adequately represented in global databases. The Disease Alleles in Arabs (dalia) is a unique venture to systematically characterize evidence from literature to build a comprehensive catalog of disease associated variants in the region.

DALIA Resource is available online at

How can you help?

We are open to collaborating across the board with researchers, geneticists and clinicians to create the comprehensive resource, which would be available in public domain without any restrictions. Please mail us at vinods[at] if you would be interested.

Appropriate credits would be provided to all participants/collaborators in forthcoming publications.

Crowdsourcing Annotations

Annotations have been crowdsourced through the Volunteers4Variants (V4V) programme. If you are a student/graduate with approximately 2 months to spare (approx 2 hours/day), please feel free to enrol for the programme.
Register here to start volunteering.

Completed curation of over 1331 variants (update 09/07/2017) of ~ 8000 variants
Our research has contributed to the understanding of Genetic Landscape of Diseases and Traits in the Arab populations