Clinical Molecular Geneticist
Dr. Ahmad is the Director of the Genomics Center at Al Jalila Children’s, and an Associate Professor of Genetics at Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences. He completed his doctoral studies in genetics at Dartmouth College, followed by a fellowship in molecular diagnostics at Dartmouth Medical School. In 2013, he joined Harvard Medical School where he completed his clinical molecular genetics fellowship and, in 2015, became board-certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG). Dr. Abou Tayoun is a fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Prior to joining Al Jalila Children’s, he was a director in the Division of Genomic Diagnostics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and also an assistant professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
To support clinicians in various specialties at CHOP, Dr. Ahmad developed genomic sequencing-based diagnostic tests for a range of pediatric disorders. He also developed and published several tools and clinical assays involving next-generation sequencing and variant interpretation. Dr. Abou Tayoun serves on several international expert groups in his field. He is a co-chair of the Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) Hearing Loss Expert Group, a member of the ClinGen Sequence Variant Interpretation group, and also a member of American College of Genetics and Genomics Interpreting Sequence Variants workgroup. In those capacities, Dr. Abou Tayoun is working with international experts to establish guidelines and recommendations for sequence variant interpretation in genomic diagnostic settings.
Dr. Abou Tayoun’s main research interests are centered around characterizing the genomic landscape of pediatric diseases in the Middle East, and cataloguing the normal genetic variation in this population. In addition, he is one of the leaders in driving national efforts to characterize the epidemiological and genomic characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 in the UAE, and to identify host genetics factors and RNA expression profiles modulating COVID-19 disease severity.
He has authored and co-authored several publications with a focus on molecular diagnostic tools including mainly the next generation sequencing (NGS) technology and variant interpretation. Examples of tools include ExomeSlicer and a machine learning-based algorithm for variant pathogenicity prediction in epilepsy and other disease areas.