JScreen, the Leader in Jewish Genetic Screening, Doubles its Disease Testing Panel

Written by Hillary J. Kener on . Posted in Health & Wellness

JScreen will be running an onsite screening at Sixth and I Synagogue on July 14 from 5:30-7:15 p.m.

JScreen, the leader in at-home genetic screening for people of Jewish descent, today announced that it increased its testing panel from 100 to more than 200 disease genes that could affect a couple’s future children. JScreen is based in Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Human Genetics and provides convenient, affordable access to help singles and couples throughout the United States plan for healthy families.


One in three people of Jewish background are unknowingly carriers for at least one Jewish genetic disease. Within the spectrum of Jewish backgrounds, there are many common genetic diseases, including Tay-Sachs, thalassemia, spinal muscular atrophy and others. With the expanded panel, JScreen can now identify more disease genes from people of different backgrounds. The only way to know you are a carrier is to either have an affected child or get screened, and the organization’s primary goal is to help people have healthy babies to help ensure the health of future generations.

With JScreen, a non-profit initiative, prospective parents have a unique opportunity to access screening at low cost. Participants register online for screening kits and mail their saliva samples to the lab for testing. JScreen’s test is significantly more comprehensive than other tests that can be ordered online. And, in contrast to other screening programs, JScreen functions under the direction of an MD specializing in genetics; the cost includes genetic counseling via phone or secure video-conference. Through genetic counseling, couples found to be at increased risk gain an understanding of their risks and available options to help them have healthy children.

“Genetic testing alone is not enough. Counseling is a necessary part of the process. Labs that report results directly to consumers put people at risk for misinterpreting the information they need to make family planning decisions,” says Karen Arnovitz Grinzaid, Emory Genetics faculty, and JScreen’s executive director.

The JScreen test uses state-of-the-art genetic sequencing technology to determine carrier status for diseases common in Jewish groups and in many other ethnic groups. In addition, JScreen’s test includes genetic conditions common to the general population, making the test applicable to everyone. With the focus on pre-conception testing, thousands of couples have gone on to have healthy babies, thanks to JScreen’s technology and services.

JScreen will be running an onsite screening at Sixth and I Synagogue on July 14 from 5:30-7:15 p.m. The first 50 people to register will receive a highly-discounted price of $36 (with insurance). After that, screening is $149. Pre-register by visiting www.JScreen.org and selecting “Sixth and I” from the “how did you hear about JScreen” dropdown. Enter your insurance information on step 2 and on step 4, enter coupon code “6inCity” and click “apply.”

 By Hillary J. Kener

 Hillary J. Kener has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and television creating awareness around the importance of genetic screening throughout the country. Hillary is a published author and is very active in multiple charitable organizations.