Hadassah is a globally-renowned centre for innovative hospital-based research, well ahead of all other hospitals in Israel.

The breadth of that research is remarkable, occurring in almost every corner of medical science. Two examples provide an insight into the impact of that work.

The first relates to Hadassah researchers using a ground-breaking algorithm, which they developed in collaboration with a Swiss colleague. They found that every third individual is a carrier of a recessive inherited eye disease. The new algorithm, or ‘pipeline’ as the research team dubbed it, calculates the number of carriers of inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) and how many of those carriers will have impaired vision.

Geneticist Hagar Mor Shaked

The second relates to broadening the pathway to unlocking the mysteries of disease-associated genes by asking patients to donate DNA samples to enlarge the hospital’s HADASSOME exome database. With 5,000 records, it’s the largest database of genetic variants in Israel. The Hadassah team works with well-known diseases but also identifies rare diseases that have never been named.

“This is the brave new world of genome sequencing and Israel is a world leader in this field,” says Ruth Ramone Rosen, Executive Director of Hadassah Australia.

“We know from recent, bitter experience with COVID-19 that this type of research and the culture which encourages it, as happens at Hadassah, will be at the forefront of future human engagement with the problems lurking in the natural world.

“We will ultimately win the fight against COVID-19, but the experts tell us that the next pandemic is not far away. Thankfully, Hadassah’s commitment to research and its expectations that doctors as well as scientists will be part of that effort, is another example of why Hadassah is more than a hospital.”