Paris -- Prof. Karen Avraham, chair of the department of human molecular genetics and biochemistry at Tel Aviv Universitys Sackler School of Medicine, represented EuroHear, a consortium of 25 European, Israeli and U.K.-based research teams, at the European Union conference Hearing and Seeing: European Research to Fight Deafness and Blindness, held at Pariss College de France on July 2-3, 2007.
This fall, Prof. Avraham will visit the U.S. to address several Tel Aviv University:American Council groups on recent advances in research on hearing impairments.
Twelve-million euros have gone into funding EuroHear, in which Prof. Avraham plays a leading role. Attendees at the conference included hundreds of academic representatives as well as patient groups, who are instrumental in helping scientists understand hearing loss.
The goal of the conference was to bring researchers and clinicianswho work with both the deaf and blindtogether to discuss each others strides made in their respective fields, says Prof. Avraham, an American-Israeli geneticist, whose field of research, genomics, aims to investigate the biological mechanisms that can lead to hearing disorders.
Prof. Avrahams work demonstrates that geopolitical issues should not be allowed to hinder academic and scientific collaboration. Her laboratory at the Sackler School has taken part in discovering key genes for deafness in the Israeli and Palestinian populations, and she and her Palestinian colleague, Prof. Moien Kanaan, have helped identify 10 hearing loss genes. Together, as an example of Tel Aviv Universitys commitment to cross-cultural academic and scientific collaboration, they have become renowned for a unique multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the high incidence of genetic deafness among Palestinian children.
Most recently, Prof. Avrahams group discovered a new type of hearing impairment in Israel called OTSC4, a form with onset in early adulthood
Contact: Karin Kloosterman
Tel-Aviv University American Council