Genetics Program

High School Genetic Screening Program

The High School Genetics Screening Program provides year 11 students at Emanuel College, Kesser Torah College, Masada College, Moriah College and Reddam House with the opportunity to undergo genetic carrier screening. Screening is particularly relevant for individuals with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and those with a history of a genetic disorder in their family. However, the Program also includes screening for cystic fibrosis, a condition common in people from a European background.

Students would undergo genetic testing for the following 9 conditions:

  • Tay Sachs disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Canavan disease
  • Fanconi anaemia
  • Familial Dysautonomia
  • Bloom Syndrome
  • Neimann-Pick Disease
  • Glycogen Storage Disease type 1a
  • Mucolipidosis type 4

Students are presented with information about the genetic screening offered by a genetic counsellor, and are given a few days to discuss this with their parents and to decide whether or not they would like to undergo screening before they provide DNA samples via a cheek swab.

The screening is free to the student.

There are two ways students can choose to have their results reported:

Individual reporting

This method is designed for those people who wish to know their own personal screening results. Results are reported to you in the same way as other pathology results. If you are not a carrier of the faulty gene, your results will be sent to you by mail. If your results indicate that you are a genetic carrier, your results will be given to you by a genetic counsellor, so that any questions that may arise can be answered.

Anonymous (Couple-based) reporting

With this method you never receive your individual result. You will receive a PIN. When you and your (future) partner wish to find out whether you are ‘at risk’, as a couple, of having an affected child, you simply contact the laboratory together providing the lab with both of your PINs. You will be told whether **as a couple** you are at risk of having a child affected by the disorders for which you were screened. Both partners are required to undergo anonymous screening for couple-based reporting.

For more information, go to the links below:

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