The Hereditary Research Lab’s (HRL) research activity and infrastructure constitute a major effort in building a national Genome Strategic Resource Laboratory for genome methodologies: large-scale DNA sequencing, the detection of DNA variations (mutations, polymorphisms, and chromosomal breakpoints), and computational genomics. This facility provides genome-related practical know-how, as well as computing-intensive tools with regard to DNA sequence and variation analyses for the entire academic community of The Palestinian Authority. Such strategic resource is essential for the ability to benefit from the outcome of the worldwide Human Genome Project (HGP). It is expected to support new biotechnology enterprises in the areas of diagnostics, agriculture, combating genetic diseases, drug development, and gene therapy.
The HRL reflects our conviction that the genetics of human populations present both the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity for genetics in the future. We also believe that genetics of a people are most appropriately addressed by scientists who live in the same places as those people. Clearly this requires specialized training and sustainable transfer of technology. By virtue of its unique role in human cultural evolution, the Middle East represents one of the world’s most intense challenges to human genetics.
The HRL offers practical and sustainable results for the Life Sciences Department at Bethlehem University. We have identified exactly the components of current genomics technology that can be directly transferred to Bethlehem University, which will be of practical application to medical and public health research in Palestine, and will enable students at Bethlehem University to obtain up-to-date training in these disciplines.
The information provided in this website is an example of how advances in genomics can be used to address relevant problems. It summarizes the different research activities in the lab and our direction for the future.