The Jewish HapMap Project: What Genetics Has Given to Jews and What Jews Have Given to Genetics
Harry Ostrer, M.D.
Professor and Director
Human Genetics Program
New York University School of Medicine
One goal of contemporary genetic research among Jewish populations is to develop personalized genomics for prediction of disease risk, effectiveness of specific treatments and risks of adverse outcomes. Given the high-degree of relatedness of members of Jewish groups, this problem is simpler than it might be in other populations. Large segments of genomes are shared. Rare variants become founder mutations. Technology for sequencing whole genomes is at hand and affordable.
Currently, a study is underway at NYU Langone Medical Center to understand all of the genetic factors that increase an Ashkenazi Jewish woman’s risk for developing breast cancer (Jewish Women’s Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genetics Study). The ultimate goal of this study is to develop a risk assessment model by assessing many genetic variants at the same time and taking into account their synergistic effects. The Ashkenazi Jewish population lends itself to being the first population studied in this project due to the homogenous nature of this group relative to other ethnic groups in the United States. Studies of single gene conditions (BRCA1 and 2 familial breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, Gaucher disease, and Tay-Sachs disease) have demonstrated how this information might be used in a personalized genomics program to lessen risk of disease, develop novel treatments and prevent disease.
We will be recruiting individuals to enroll in the Jewish Women’s Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genetics Study during the IAJGS conference. If you are interested in possibly enrolling, please follow this link to complete a brief eligibility questionnaire prior to the conference:
This will allow us to determine if you are eligible and follow up with you to arrange a time for an enrollment appointment at the conference. Please note that completing this survey or making an enrollment appointment in no way requires you to participate in the study.