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11 July, 2008

The inauguration of the newly established Center for Translational Genetics was held on June 11th, 2008, at the Rappaport Institute.  Those present at the proceedings included  Mrs Ruth Rappaport; Mr. Bruce Rappaport; Mrs Irith Rappaport; Prof. Karl Skorecki, Director of the Rappaport Institute; Prof. Ido Perlman, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine; Prof. Raphael Beyar, Director General of Rambam Medical Center; Prof. Yitzhak Appeloig, President of the Technion and other members of the Rappaport Institute Board of Directors.


The new Center headed by Prof. Eli Sprecher is a joint project of the Rappaport Institute, the Rambam Medical Center and the Faculty of Medicine at the Technion. The Center has set as its major goal,  the promotion of  the translation of genetic knowledge into novel and improved, ways to provide medical treatment . The center includes three research teams, with a total of more than 25 senior researchers, students and technical assistants. The three research groups are headed by Prof. Karl Skorecki,  Prof. Ariel Miller and Prof. Eli Sprecher.      


Prof. Skorecki's group will be studying the genetic architecture of Israel's various populations, which will serve as a prerequisite for the interpretation of genetic data and for the design of any DNA-based strategy for targeted treatment.  


Prof. Miller's group focuses on defining the genetic variables determining therapeutic response in multiple sclerosis, a dreadful neurological disease, for which treatment efficacy is notoriously unpredictable. 


Prof. Sprecher's group, will be studying the genetics of simple and complex inherited skin diseases. Their goal is to use this knowledge to develop new approaches for the management of more common conditions.


Thanks to the generosity of the Rappaport family, in the coming year, the Center will fund research programs conducted by 3 additional young principal investigators in the field of translational genetics.

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