Discoveries in genetics are redefining medicine and our understanding of the basic causes of disease. But how does this new knowledge translate into improved health care and why are some diseases more frequent in the Acadia population?
“Because of the need to sort out so much new information there has never been a better time to educate the community about genetics,” says Dr. Bronya Keats, director of the Molecular and Human Genetics Center at LSU Medical Center in New Orleans, which is organizing a major public health event entitled “Genetics of the Acadian People.” The all-day event will be held Monday, August 9th, at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, from 9:00 AM until 4:30 PM. Co-sponsors are Congres Mondial Acadien and Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center.
One in 20 American babies is born with a genetic disorder. Among the Acadian people, risks for some diseases range from 35% to 250% higher than the national average.
There will be four main speakers: (1) Dr. Charles Scriver, a renowned geneticist from McGill University in Montreal, who will talk on “History of Families, Histories of Genes;” (2) Dr. Bronya Keats, director of the Genetics Center at LSU Medical Center who has been involved in genetic research among the Acadians for 16 years, will talk on “Genetic Links and Cajun Connections;” (3) Dr. Michal Jazwinski, a biochemist who is also with LSU Medical Center, will talk about major research on the genetics of aging that in the future will compare the Acadian populations of Louisiana and Nova Scotia, and (4) Dr. Carl Brasseaux, assistant director of the Center for Louisiana Studies at USL, will talk on “Acadian to Cajun: History of a Society Built on the Extended Family.” There will be other doctors at the small breakout sessions who will talk about and answer questions on these topics such as genes and cancer, genes and psychiatric illness, genetic disorders in children, genetic disorders in adults, genetic research in Acadiana, genetic testing and genetic counseling, gene-based therapies, psychological and social impact of genetic disorders.
There is no charge to attend but advance registration is necessary. All activities will be fully accessible to people with disabilities, including interpreters for braille, sign language and tactile. For on-line registration there is a webpage in both French and English located at htttp://www.acadian-cajun.com/genetics.htm
Copies of the informational flyer/registration form are available from Judy LaBorde at [email protected] and (504)568-6117. Thanks and all best wishes, Judy LaBorde Coordinator of the Molecular & Human Genetics Center at Louisiana State University Medical Center 1901 Perdido St., Suite 5A1 New Orleans, La. 70112 (504)568-6117 Phone (504)568-8500 FAX