SPOKANE, Wash. — Two top-flight researchers with international reputations will be introduced to the medical and research community at a welcome event 10-11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. They will be available for media questions during and following the event.

Lisa G. Shaffer, Ph.D., and Bassem Bejjani, M.D., have been recruited to Spokane through the combined efforts of Washington State University Spokane and Sacred Heart Medical Center. Both are specialists in genetic conditions.

The scientists were recruited from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, the number one genetics department in the United States. Their recruitment through a university-hospital partnership contributes to the development of Spokane’s medical research infrastructure.

Speakers will include Bill Gray, WSU Spokane campus executive officer and dean, and Dr. David Hoak, medical director, Sacred Heart Medical Center. Bejjani and Shaffer will provide brief overviews of their research and the biomedical diagnostics company they are launching in Spokane, and will be available for questions.

Bejjani investigates the molecular genetics of hereditary eye diseases such as primary congenital glaucoma, and is a pediatrician and clinical geneticist. Shaffer’s research focuses on mechanisms leading to chromosomal rearrangements that cause developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome and autism, and other birth defects.

Joining Julie Hanna, Ph.D., Shaffer is co-director of the Cytogenetics Laboratory at Sacred Heart Medical Center. Bejjani joins Marcy Hoffmann, Ph.D., as co-director of the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory. Both have also been appointed research professors with WSU Spokane’s Health Research and Education Center.
WHAT: Community Introduction (invitation-only)
Presenting Lisa Shaffer, Ph.D., and Bassem Bejjani, M.D.

WHERE:
Washington State University Spokane
Health Sciences Building
Riverpoint Higher Education Park
310 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Room 110 B
Directions: East of Trent and Division

WHEN:
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2002, 10-11 a.m.

WHY:
To introduce two new scientists to the health care and research community and learn about their research into the genetics of disease.

Web sites:
WSU Spokane: www.spokane.wsu
Sacred Heart Medical Center: www.shmc.org
SHMC Cytogenetics Lab: www.shmclab.org/cytogenetics.htm