Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

“Jewish Genetics” by Murray Brilliant

  • 30 Aug 2015
  • 2:00 PM
  • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook
Program: Sunday, August 30, 2015
Program starts 2:00 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook.

Murray Brilliant, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Laboratory of Genetics, will speak about

“Jewish Genetics” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois meeting. The event will be held at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill.

The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. to accommodate members who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information, phone 312-666-0100.

Murray Brilliant’s presentation will focus on Jewish genetic history with an emphasis on the Ashkenazi population. Among the questions he will consider are the following: Are we European, Middle Eastern or other?  How many people do we descend from?  How closely are we related to one another?  What are the genetic tools that we can use?

He is on the faculty of the Laboratory of Genetics in the School of Medicine and Public Health, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also the director of the Center for Human Genetics at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation and holder of the James Weber Endowed Chair.

Prior to joining the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in 2009, Dr. Brilliant was the Lindholm Professor of Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine since 1997. He also chaired the Research Steering Committee of the Department of Pediatrics and was director of the Genetics Graduate Program at the University of Arizona.

He has also held faculty positions at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine (1986-1989); The Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia  (1989-1997); and the University of Arizona College of Medicine (1997-2009).  He has 25 years of experience in the molecular genetics of mice and humans. In particular, his efforts have led to the identification of three genes for albinism: Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome 1 and Oculocutaneous albinism types 2 and 4.

Dr. Brilliant received his doctorate in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1984.

His current research interest include: the relationship between albinism and leprosy; development of treatments to improve vision in people with albinism;  early detection and prevention of age-related macular degeneration; and genetic services disparities among Native Americans.  

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