Human Genomics in Development and Disease

Harry Ostrer, M.D.


Harry Ostrer is a medical geneticist who investigates the genetic basis of common and rare disorders and, in the diagnostic laboratory, translates the findings of genetic discoveries into tests that can be used to identify people’s risks for having a disease prior to its occurrence or for predicting its outcome once it has occurred. He studies 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 other rare conditions, having recently identified the role of the signal transducing MAP kinase pathway in gonadal development.

Dr. Ostrer is a long-time investigator of the genetics of the Jewish people. For over 30 years, he has studied the genetic basis of single-gene disorders in Jewish populations and implemented new genetic tests and screening programs to benefit Jewish people.  In 2007, he organized the Jewish HapMap Project, an international effort to map and sequence the genomes of Jewish people. In a series of publications about Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era, Dr. Ostrer and his team of investigators demonstrated that the history of the Jewish Diasporas could be seen in the genomes of contemporary Jewish people—an observation that gained worldwide recognition. He is also an investigator of the genetics of Hispanic and Latino people, including Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Ecuadorians and Mexicans who currently reside in New York City.


Selected Publications

Ostrer H, Skorecki K. The population genetics of the Jewish people. Hum Genet.132:119-27, 2013.

Kerns SL, Stock R, Stone N, Buckstein M, Shao Y, Campbell C, Rath L, DeRuysscher D, Lammering G, Hixson R, Cesaretti J, Terk M, Ostrer H, Rosenstein BS. A 2-stage genome-wide association study to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with development of erectile dysfunction following radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 85(1):e21-8, 2013

Other Publications


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Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People 



Harry Ostrer, MD
Ullmann Building, Room 715
Tel: 718.430.8605

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