Omar Khwaja

Global Head of Rare Diseases

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Omar Khwaja has been Global Head of Rare Diseases at Roche since 2015. His group is responsible for the discovery and development to approval of molecules for rare diseases with a strong focus in severe neurogenetic diseases, pediatric genetically-defined disorders and inherited metabolic and hematological disorders.
Before joining Roche, Omar was on Faculty at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. An experienced drug developer, in addition to research into rare disorders of brain development, Omar ran clinical trials in autism, neonatal epilepsy, Fragile X syndrome and Rett syndrome.
Omar received his MD and PhD in human molecular genetics from the University of Cambridge, and trained in pediatrics, clinical genetics and neonatology at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne. He did his neurology training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital where he was Chief Resident. He is a Member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom and a Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Omar has been the recipient of funding from the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust and National Institutes of Health and received several awards throughout his career, including a Career Fellowship Award from the American Academy of Neurology, the Fisons Prize for Pediatrics and awards from the Child Neurology Society and the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.