Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics

Peter K Gregersen, MD
Center Head

The field of human genetics and genomics is expanding faster than any other area of science and the findings are leading to a new understanding of a myriad of diseases and normal human states. At the Feinstein Institute’s Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics, scientists are combing the genome to find risk genes for a number of common human conditions – from autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis – to Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. They are also pursuing the identification of genes for absolute pitch and an unusual sensory condition called synesthesia, as well as other human traits related to memory and cognition.

Center head Peter K. Gregersen, MD, has mounted collaborations across the world in an effort to expand the numbers of genetic specimens used to identify specific disease genes, with an emphasis on autoimmune disorders. The North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium, directed by Dr. Gregersen, has identified several major risk genes for RA. In fact the majority of the known risk genes for rheumatoid arthritis have been discovered by Feinstein Investigators and their collaborators, and there are likely to be many more waiting to be found. Having these genes in hand is beginning to allow the team to focus on what the genes do, and may ultimately inform the development of targeted therapies. Center scientists have also played major role in identifying the risk genes involved in systemic lupus erythematosus, and the Center is leading or participating in international efforts to define the genetics of other autoimmune diseases such as Myasthenia Gravis, Alopecia Areata, Polymyositis, and IgA deficiency.

In addition to these genetic studies, the Boas Center has developed robotic facilities for the preparation, storage and distribution of biospecimens, including large collections of DNA. This is complemented by a state of the art bioinformatics team that is able to create custom data management systems for Feinstein Investigators. These two resources have enabled the Feinstein Institute to spearhead a new program known as the the BioGene Bank – a comprehensive approach to enlist patients throughout the health system to allow their DNA specimens to be linked to medical information. This will facilitate rapid discovery new relationships between genetic variation and medical conditions, treatment responses and outcome, the first step to develop a truly personalized approach to medical care.

Laboratory of Genomics and Human Genetics - Peter K. Gregersen, MD

Laboratory of Experimental Rheumatology - Percio Gulko, MD

North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC) - Peter K. Gregersen, MD

Multiple Autoimmune Disease Genetics Consortium (MADGC) - Peter K. Gregersen, MD

New York Rheumatoid Arthritis Registry  - Peter K. Gregersen, MD

 Administrative Staff

Name: Marlena Kern, DNP, RN     
Position: Administrative Director
Phone: (516) 562-2244
Name: Cathleen Mason, RN, CCM, CCRC
Position: Research Nurse
Phone: (516) 562-1176
Name: Mary Keogh, ANP, CCRC
Position: Research Nurse Coordinator
Phone: ((516) 562-3491
Name: Gila Klein
Position: Project Coordinator
Phone: (516) 562-1264
Name: Joanne Stathis
Position: Financial Coordinator
Phone: (516) 562-1559



Last Update

January 21, 2011
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