Half-Million Dollars to Fund Program for Genomics and Human Disease

Mayor Nir Barkat, in a joint effort with the Jerusalem Foundation and Shaare Zedek, Raise Half-Million Dollars to Fund Program for Genomics and Human Disease

Program to Research the Genetic Bases of Human Diseases; Made Possible Through a $500,000 Gift Provided By the Hassenfeld Family

 (JERUSALEM- September 8, 2013) Shaare Zedek Medical Center announced that a joint effort with the Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat and the Jerusalem Foundation has facilitated the opening of the Hassenfeld Program for Genomics and Human Disease.

 The Program’s opening has been made possible with a $500,000 donation from the Hassenfeld Family of Providence, Rhode Island. The Hassenfeld Family are long-time benefactors to the city of Jerusalem. In the past five years alone, the Hassenfeld Family has worked closely with Mayor Barkat's administration and The Jerusalem Foundation in building the Sylvia Hassenfeld Family Fountain in Teddy Park, funding environmental awareness programs for Jerusalem schools, and supporting the opening night of the Jerusalem Film Festival in the Merrill Hassenfeld Amphitheatre located in the Sultan's Pool.

The Hassenfeld Program will be led by Professor Ephrat Levy Lahad, Director of Medical Genetics at Shaare Zedek, and will provide a research platform to investigate the genetic bases of human diseases. 

In recent years, Shaare Zedek researchers have been on the forefront of key genetic discoveries that have helped leading scientists identify specific genes linked to diseases, such as Alzheimer's and breast cancer. The creation of the Hassenfeld Program will further Shaare Zedek and the city of Jerusalem as a leading hub for advancing medical research.

Shaare Zedek Director General, Professor Jonathan Halevy, said "we deeply appreciate the generosity and vision of the Hassenfeld family, Mayor Nir Barkat and The Jerusalem Foundation for helping enhance our hospital’s ability to bring groundbreaking developments in this all-important field of modern medical science. The Mayor’s leadership has been instrumental in furthering our hospital’s national and international position as a leader in both clinical medicine and scientific advancement."

Professor Halevy described the new program as "focusing on genetic disease research with the goal of better understanding genetic causes, early identification and the development of pharmaceutical agents to combat them.”

Mayor Barkat said that the new program comes as part of an ongoing effort to strengthen Jerusalem’s role as a global center of scientific excellence. "Shaare Zedek and its medical professionals are recognized around the world for advancing medical research. The money we raised will help create a hub for leading scientific discoveries, where top international researchers will look to Jerusalem for information on the latest and most innovating medical breakthroughs.  Thanks to the generous donation that we secured from The Hassenfeld Family, medical breakthroughs discovered in Jerusalem will help billions of people around the world." 

The Jerusalem Foundation’s President Mark Sofer said, “We are truly proud to be an integral part of this initiative for one of Israel's greatest medical institutions. The research generated at this Center will act as a magnet for pioneers in genetic research, who also will make Jerusalem their home.”

The opening of this new Program is in conjunction with a major $150 million development effort at Shaare Zedek, which will culminate with the upcoming opening of The Next Generation Building – a ten story complex of comprehensive pediatric care.

Half-Million Dollars to Fund Program for Genomics and Human Disease