JSPAN (Jewish Social Policy Action Network) and the Katz Jewish Community Center of Cherry Hill, NJ present a symposium titled, "The Revolution in Medical Genetics and Personalized Medicine: Hope for Novel Therapies, Concern for Ethical Use."
At the Betty and Milton Katz Jewish Community Center, 1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ
The mapping of the human genome in 2004, combined with recent understanding of how genes are regulated, has created one of the greatest revolutions in the history of medicine. The ability to individualize prevention and treatment, given an understanding of an individual’s genes and the genes of specific tumors or infectious agents, is potentially dramatic. However, the possible ethical and social consequences of this research and how to perform it, as well as its future use, are profoundly challenging. Issues include the economic impact, the choice of who will receive potential therapy, and the possibilities of termination of a pregnancy for what may seem inappropriate reasons, as well as the potential to genetically engineer humans.
The program will be moderated by Dr. Richard Malkin, Chair of the Healthcare and Bioethics Policy Center of JSPAN, who will briefly explain the current status of well- known prenatal genetic tests and amniocentesis, establishing a basic foundation for understanding genes, their purpose, and their regulation. Two renowned medical scientists will then take us to the future:
Dr. Genarosa Grana, Director of the Cooper Cancer Institute, will address the issues presented by the discovery and ability to test BRCA genes and hormone receptors in breast cancer and the consequent individualization of cancer treatment, “Personalized Medicine.”
Dr. John Gearhart, Director of the Penn Institute for Regenerative Medicine, will proceed to the amazing possibilities of changing the control of our genes, actual genetic manipulation, ending at the frontier of creating new tissue, “Regenerative Medicine.”
These presentations will be followed by a panel discussion, including our two medical scientists and Rabbi Richard Address, Senior Rabbi of M’kor Shalom, who has devoted 33 years of his career to bringing such issues before the public as Director of Caring Community and Family Concerns for the URJ. There will then be ample time for audience questions. The goal is to inform the public about the amazing possibilities of the “Medicine of the Future” in the context of the ethical, social and economic questions that must be answered as we travel to that future. Please join us.