Ribbon Cutting for the Program for Jewish Genetic Health on Feb. 9
The Program for Jewish Genetic Health of Yeshiva University will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, February 9, at 4 p.m., in the Michael F. Price Center for Genetic and Translational Medicine at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
The new program uniquely integrates Jewish communal responsibility, genetic education, and biomedical advances through its relationship with Einstein and its affiliates. At its core are three main objectives—to provide accessible and affordable options for carrier testing for Jewish genetic diseases; to increase awareness and disseminate timely information regarding genetic health to lay and professional sectors of the Jewish community; and to establish a centralized resource and support center for Jewish genetic health and associated concerns.
“The program represents an attempt to develop a centralized resource for the Jewish community and its future generations to deal with Jewish genetic health concerns confronting individuals and families from before birth to old age,” said Nicole Schreiber-Agus, scientific director of the program. “We view the community as an active partner in our mission. We are here to serve all of its constituents and are prepared to evolve and adapt as community needs grow and change.”
The Program for Jewish Genetic Health follows in Einstein’s history as one of the central institutions to have partnered with the Jewish community to eradicate Tay-Sachs disease. With the explosion of genetic knowledge and technology over the past decades, there are now many other issues that require the same focus and attention. The program builds on a pilot effort of the Human Genetics Laboratory of Jacobi Medical Center, wherein carrier testing for Jewish genetic diseases was performed for more than 4,000 individuals in subsidized screening programs nationwide over the past several years. The laboratory at Jacobi will continue to serve as the program’s foundation for testing and research, and will partner with other laboratory programs as well. Working with the Reproductive Genetics Division at Montefiore Medical Center, the program will now have its own community screening program that services the New York area. The education and resource arms of the program will also benefit from Yeshiva University’s efforts in supporting local and global Jewish communities.