Prominent Geneticist Harry Ostrer, M.D., Joins Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center

August 29, 2011 – (BRONX, NY) – A leading  medical geneticist, Harry Ostrer, M.D., will join the faculty of Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, to lead the development and clinical implementation of genetic testing at the two institutions. Dr. Ostrer will be named professor of pathology and of genetics at Einstein and director of genetic and genomic testing at Montefiore. His appointments begin September 2.

Harry Ostrer, M.D.
Harry Ostrer, M.D.
Leveraging the assets at Einstein and Montefiore, Dr. Ostrer will work to extend the scope of genetic testing and shorten the time it takes for a test to move from concept to clinical availability. His efforts will focus on effectively implementing existing genetic tests for patients as well as identifying new genetic markers for disease and treatment outcomes, which can then be turned into new genetic tests. Areas of concentration for test development include cancer susceptibility and metastatic risk and sensitivity to radiation therapy.  He will also expand the genetic library by sequencing the genomes of Bronx residents – a genetically diverse population – and various Jewish groups with an eye to detecting new genetic markers.

“Harry Ostrer’s recruitment provides Einstein with a faculty member who truly practices the bench to bedside ideal,” said Edward R. Burns, M.D., executive dean of Einstein. “His expertise in human genetics, experience with patients and reputation as an influential innovator in next generation molecular genetics should combine to put Einstein and Montefiore in the forefront of developing new genetic tests that have direct applicability to patient care.”

“Dr. Spiegel’s commitment to genetic and genomic research and testing is unparalleled in the New York area,” said Dr. Ostrer, referring to Einstein’s Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean Allen M. Spiegel, M.D. “I am looking forward to the chance to work with physicians at Montefiore to identify and develop easily administered genetic tests to improve the treatment of patients.”

Dr. Ostrer’s research focuses on the genetic basis of prostate and breast cancer and adverse outcomes associated with their treatment. He also studies the genetic basis for disorders of sex development and will see patients with these disorders on a limited, consultative basis at Montefiore. A longtime investigator of the genetics of Jewish people, Dr. Ostrer is the lead organizer of the Jewish HapMap Project. In collaboration with Einstein researchers, Dr. Ostrer published the first peer-reviewed paper generated from the project in 2010.

Dr. Ostrer comes to Einstein and Montefiore from New York University School of Medicine, where for 21 years he was the director of the human genetics program and professor of pediatrics, of pathology and of medicine. He received his undergraduate degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his medical degree from Columbia University. He trained in pediatrics and in medical genetics at Johns Hopkins University and in molecular genetics at the National Institutes of Health. He has received awards from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, March of Dimes, Skin Cancer Foundation and Weizmann Institute of Science. In October 2010, he was named to “The Forward 50,” an annual list created by the Jewish daily of “people who have made an imprint in the past year on the ways in which American Jews view the world and relate to each other.”