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Faculty Forum; Genetics and Public Health Seminar

The Center for the Study of Society and Medicine, together with the Department of Epidemiology under the leadership of Ezra Susser, M.D., Dr.P.H., has established an interdisciplinary group that is looking at the impact of genetic discoveries on group identity. Sheila M. Rothman, Ph.D. has been appointed chair of the group. Other members from the Center include Sherry Brandt-Rauf, J.D. and David J. Rothman, Ph.D.

The group represents a diversity of disciplines, including psychiatry, medicine, epidemiology, history, and law. The group has been meeting on a monthly basis to discuss specific topics pertaining to genetics and group identity. Guest speakers at the meetings have included Harry Ostrer, M.D., Ph.D., Head of the Human Genetics Program, New York University School of Medicine, who spoke on what makes a genetic disease "Jewish;" Rayna Rapp, Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology, New School for Social Research, who spoke on the contribution of anthropology to genetics; Michael Stanislawski, Ph.D. from the Department of History, Columbia University, who spoke on Jewish history and genetic analysis; Rob Desalle, Ph.D. from the American Museum of Natural History who spoke on human population evolution; and Mary-Claire King, Ph.D. from the Departments of Medicine and Genetics, University of Washington.

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