JGenes Pittsburgh, formerly known as the Pittsburgh Victor Center, creates awareness materials, provides education seminars and conducts screenings for young Jewish men and women between 18 and 40 years of age in order to assess their risk of being carriers of a growing number of Jewish genetic diseases. Since 2010, over 600 people were screened, and at least one “Jewish” genetic mutation, was found in 1 out of 3.6 people screened. These mutations manifest themselves in the babies when both parents are carriers of the same mutation.
The Jewish community has the opportunity to improve the odds of having healthy children and avoid family heartbreak by understanding these devastating, often fatal diseases in babies. The rapid expansion of genetic knowledge, especially with genomic sequencing, offers life-saving possibilities. Understanding one’s own genetic makeup is the first step toward those possibilities. For more information on JGenes Pittsburgh, visit their website: http://jgenespgh.org