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Yeshiva University Program for Jewish Genetic Health Launches Blog

How is the field of genetics going to change the world of medicine? What kinds of situations do genetic counselors face on a daily basis? What kinds of ethical concerns should be taken into consideration before exploring the “slippery slope” of genetic engineering? What is halakhically permissible under Jewish law?

These are just a few of the questions that will be answered in The Gene Scenea new blog from The Program for Jewish Genetic Health, a joint initiative between Yeshiva University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Read the rest of this entry…

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Einstein Faculty React to Historic Supreme Court Ruling on Affordable Care Act

Reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling concerning the Affordable Care Act has been swift. The high court’s ruling to largely uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has significant implications for patients, medical schools and academic medical centers. Read the rest of this entry…

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Lolita Wood-Hill Offers 11 Tips for Students Pursuing a Career in Medicine or Dentistry

With the need for health care professionals in high-demand, more and more students are choosing to pursue careers in this fast-growing industry.

Lolita Wood-Hill is the director of pre-health advisement at Yeshiva College.

“Yeshiva College students have consistently sought careers in medicine and dentistry but the past several years have shown a marked increase in the number of students applying to these programs,” says Lolita Wood-Hill, director of pre-health advisement at Yeshiva College. “With the increased interest in healthcare, we have also seen the quality of our applicant pool rise, attesting to the high-caliber students Yeshiva University is able to attract.”

Yeshiva College is not alone. At Stern College for Women, “the number of students interested in the health fields has grown substantially,” according to Dr. Brenda Loewy, pre-health adviser at Stern College, “and the acceptance rate has gotten better and better.”

With a medical school acceptance rate of 88 percent—well above the national average (approximately 50 percent)—and a 90 percent acceptance rate to dental schools in 2011, YU students have gone on to pursue graduate degrees at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a host of Ivy League schools including Columbia, Harvard and Cornell. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Celebrates Israel with Largest Contingent at Annual NYC Parade

More than 1,500 students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of Yeshiva University marched up Fifth Avenue, cheering and greeting the crowds as they celebrated Israel’s 64th year of independence at the annual 2012 Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 3.

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Researchers at Einstein and Ferkauf Find “Personality Genes” May Help Account for Longevity 

“It’s in their genes” is a common refrain from scientists when asked about factors that allow centenarians to reach age 100 and beyond. Up until now, research has focused on genetic variations that offer a physiological advantage such as high levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. But researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University have found that personality traits like being outgoing, optimistic, easygoing and enjoying laughter as well as staying engaged in activities may also be part of the longevity genes mix.



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On Brink of Professional and Academic Careers, New Graduates Reflect on Undergraduate Experience

They are art historians, human capital consultants and biotechnologists. They come from Jerusalem, Montreal and Miami. They’ll be pursuing cutting-edge graduate work at first-class institutions like Harvard and New York University. They’ll build their own businesses from the ground up. And they’ll also be giving back by teaching at schools for children with special needs and developing innovative educational programs about world issues.

They’re the Yeshiva University Class of 2012.

On May 24, more than 750 students will march across the Izod Center stage at Yeshiva University’s 81st Commencement Exercises, as they celebrate the completion of their undergraduate careers. However, these new alumni know their education is far from over.

As they begin the next chapter of their lives, members of the graduating class reflected on the good times, the defining moments and the takeaways of their unique YU experiences. Read the rest of this entry…

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Meredith Hawkins to Receive Top Award from American Federation for Medical Research

Meredith Hawkins, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Global Diabetes Initiative at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, will receive the American Federation for Medical Research’s (AFMR) highest honor for medical research, the Outstanding Investigator Award. The prestigious prize is given annually to one exceptional investigator aged 45 or younger for excellence in biomedical research.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Meredith Hawkins, M.D., will receive the American Federation for Medical Research’s (AFMR) highest honor for medical research, the Outstanding Investigator Award

Dr. Meredith Hawkins

Hawkins was selected for her diabetes research, which examines the liver’s role in glucose regulation and production, and how elevated fatty acids contribute to insulin resistance and inflammation in humans with glucose intolerance or obesity. While insulin’s role in regulating blood glucose has been widely studied, Hawkins’ group did pioneering studies showing that, in susceptible individuals, the liver fails to sense an increase in blood glucose—findings that may lead to novel diabetes drugs. They also study malnutrition diabetes, a poorly understood form of the disease that particularly affects the developing world.

“Dr. Hawkins is an innovative clinical scientist, committed mentor, prolific member of our Diabetes Research Center and an international force through her leadership of Einstein’s Global Diabetes Initiative,” said Harry Shamoon, M.D., director of the Einstein-Montefiore Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and one of her former research mentors. “This is well-deserved recognition for Dr. Hawkins’ stellar track record as a clinical and translational investigator.”

A previous recipient of AFMR’s Junior Physician-Investigator Award, Hawkins will present an overview of her work at AFMR’s Henry Christian Awards dinner on April 17, 2012. She will then accept the award at the Translational Science 2012 meeting on April 19, 2012 in Washington, DC.

“I am honored and thankful to receive this award,” said Hawkins. “As the rate of diabetes and its serious health complications continues to rise worldwide, support and validation from organizations like the AFMR are necessary to help investigators like me continue to identify and develop effective and practical treatments.” Dr. Hawkins is also an attending physician in endocrinology at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein.

Established in 1940 as the American Federation for Clinical Research, the AFMR is an international organization that bridges basic and patient-oriented research in multiple medical disciplines. Their broad medical sciences constituency includes basic, translational and clinical researchers.

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Exhibition Presented by YU Museum in Collaboration with Einstein Explores Jewish Encounter with Modern Medicine

Modern medicine emerged in the second half of the 19th century, as innovative technologies and new theories of disease paved the way for extraordinary medical advances. For Jews, and for the Jewish community at large, the field of scientific medicine presented new opportunities, new challenges and new ways to engage with modernity. Through an array of original medical instruments, artifacts, documents, letters, photographs and video, Trail of the Magic Bullet: The Jewish Encounter with Modern Medicine, 1860-1960, explores the Jewish encounter with modern medicine on an individual, communal and religious level. The exhibition, on display at the Yeshiva University Museum through August 12, brings the conversation up to the present, concluding with a specially produced film that examines key issues in contemporary Jewish bioethics.

Einstein's Rabbi Dr. Edward Reichman speaks to local high school students.

On March 21, Trail of the Magic Bullet was the centerpiece of two educational initiatives. In the morning, in a program organized by Ilana Benson, museum educator at the YU Museum, 80 students from four Jewish New York area high schools used the exhibition as the jumping off point for discussions around the role of halakha in medicine and the training of the Jewish medical student across history. Science, pre-med and AP biology students from Yeshiva University High School for Boys, Yeshiva University High School for Girls, DRS Yeshiva High School and Yeshiva of Flatbush participated. In tandem with tours of the exhibition, Rabbi Dr. Edward Reichman of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine led the students in discussions of key medical case studies and gave an interactive lecture on the history of the training of Jewish medical students. In addition to seeing a range of rare medical artifacts, documents, posters and letters, the students from these schools had the chance to engage on topics such as organ donation, genetic testing and general Jewish medical ethics.

In the evening, the Yeshiva University Medical Ethics Society also brought 40 undergraduate students to the museum to experience the Trail of the Magic Bullet exhibition, and to participate in another lecture given by Reichman. The students heard about and discussed the experience of Jewish doctors in the modern medical field and developments that have facilitated the participation of Jewish doctors within modern medicine. The program featured a rich and engaging discussion around such issues as the acceptance of Jews into secular medical schools, advancements in medical technologies, and the role of halakha in connection to the medical field and contemporary bioethics.

Surgery, Newark Beth Israel Hospital, early 20th century / Collection of the Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey

These two programs highlight the educational impact and potential of the exhibition and attest to the value of the collaboration between the YU Museum and Einstein.

The exhibition celebrated its opening with a program on February 29, 2012, which featured a discussion by Dr. Edward Burns, executive dean of Einstein, on the Jewish role within the medical profession; and the screening of “Heal, You Shall Heal” (produced and directed by Ilana Trachtman), a film that was commissioned and developed by YU Museum in conjunction with the exhibition.

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Graduating Students Secure Impressive Residency Spots in Competitive Fields and Prominent Hospitals

Members of Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University’s graduating class celebrated another strong year for residency placements in competitive specialties and prestigious programs at this year’s Match Day. Representing the culmination of their medical school education, Match Day marked the transition of Einstein’s class of 2012 into the post-graduate phase of their training—when they will practice medicine in a clinical setting under the supervision of fully licensed physicians.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXvMVs7r0w0&feature=youtu.be

Match Day is the much-anticipated annual event at medical schools around the country during which fourth-year medical school students learn where and in what specialty they will spend the next three to seven years of residency training. The “match” ultimately determines the course of their medical careers. After a ritual opening ceremony involving the clanging of a brass gong, personalized envelopes were distributed to students at high noon. What followed was a catharsis of emotion as students tore open the envelopes containing the match to their future professional paths.

In an increasingly competitive matching environment—due to the number of residency slots not keeping pace with the growing number of American medical graduates in recent years—Einstein’s 165 graduating medical students displayed a strong showing in completive specialties, including anesthesiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, radiology and orthopedics. Among the highlights were three matches in radiation oncology—a specialty with only 150 spots in the country—and 14 matches in emergency medicine, a field that has proved extremely popular this year. In residencies with a high number of offered spots, such as pediatrics and internal medicine, Einstein students secured positions at top institutions, including Yale, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Cornell and Columbia. Read full article at Einstein News

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Wurzweiler School of Social Work Announces Spring 2012 Conference Series

Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work has announced its 2012 Spring Conference Series. Addressing topics as varied as the composition of North American Jewish family and what professionals can do to combat poverty, the series will convene educators and social work professionals on three Fridays in March and April to immerse themselves in some of the biggest challenges facing Jewish communities.

On Friday, March 23, a Symposium on Poverty and Professionals, titled “From Concern to Action,” will be held at the Yeshiva University Museum, 15 West 16th Street, New York City. Keynote speaker Bob Herbert, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos and renowned New York Times journalist, will focus on how poverty affects political, economic and social conditions in American society, with follow-up comments delivered by Dr. Robert L. Hawkins, McSilver Assistant Professor in Poverty Studies at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, and Ruth W. Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service. A panel exploring the professional response to poverty will feature Dr. Paris R. Baldacci, clinical professor of law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; Dr. A. Hal Strelnick, chief of the division of community health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Dr. Richard Caputo, professor at Wurzweiler.

The Sixth Annual Joanna M. Mellor Aging Conference will be held on Friday, March 30, at the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room in Cardozo, 55 Fifth Avenue, New York City. Keynote speaker Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging, will discuss changes in New York City that will impact services and policies affecting older populations. Co-sponsors of the conference include Emblem Health and the Washington Heights-Inwood Council on Aging.

On Friday, April 20, a half-day conference titled, “The Diversity of the North American Jewish Family: Challenges and Opportunities,” will also be held at Cardozo’s Moot Court. Keynote speaker Dr. Sylvia Barack-Fishman, chair of the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department and Joseph and Esther Foster Professor of Contemporary Jewish Life at Brandeis University, will bring her expertise to a discussion of some of the dynamic changes that have taken place within the Jewish family structure, such as later and smaller families, blended families, and evolving status and gender hierarchies. A panel featuring Rabbi Andy Bachman, senior rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim; Paul Levine, executive vice-president and chief executive officer at JBFCS; and Rabbi Joy Levitt, will respond to her remarks.

“These conferences represent the diversity within the social work profession and at Wurzweiler,” said Dean Carmen Ortiz Hendricks. “These are cutting-edge topics that professionals and students need to understand. The faculty and administration at Wurzweiler are very excited to bring this range of issues to the forefront with such scholarly speakers and forums.”

For more information about any of these conferences or to register, visit www.yu.edu/wurzweiler/events.

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