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Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital Names Dr. Omar Abdul-Rahman Chief of Division of Medical Genetics in Pediatrics

NEW YORK (Feb. 23, 2023) — Dr. Omar Abdul-Rahman, a leading specialist in pediatric genetic medicine, has been named chief of the Division of Medical Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, effective March 1.

The Division of Medical Genetics provides inpatient and outpatient consultation and medical care for children and adolescents with common and rare genetic conditions, including screening and counseling for inherited disease risk during pregnancy. Dr. Abdul-Rahman, who was recruited to Weill Cornell Medicine as the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Professor of Pediatrics, succeeds Dr. Christopher Cunniff, who has led the division since 2014 and remains on the institution’s voluntary faculty as a clinical professor of pediatrics.

In addition to his role as division chief, Dr. Abdul-Rahman will serve as director of clinical genomics for women’s and children’s health at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, with close collaboration with counterparts at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He will also serve as the director of clinical genetics of the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Dr. Abdul-Rahman was recruited from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he served as director of the Department of Genetic Medicine and the Friedland Professor at the Munroe-Meyer Institute. His research has included using facial recognition software with artificial intelligence to improve the identification of congenital conditions, such as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), and the clinical utility of using whole genome sequencing for managing acutely ill infants with suspected genetic diseases.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Abdul-Rahman as our new chief of medical genetics,” said Dr. Sallie Permar, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and pediatrician-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital. “As an outstanding clinician, scientist and educator, Dr. Abdul-Rahman is well-poised to lead our Division of Medical Genetics and take our genetics programs to new heights. I look forward to working with him as we integrate and grow programs and services for women and children and advance multidisciplinary research in medical genetics across our institutions.”

“I’m incredibly excited to step into this new role,” Dr. Abdul-Rahman said. “Genetics touches every disease and condition from the moment of conception. I look forward to leading and working with multidisciplinary specialists to improve access to care. I am also committed to advancing precision medicine research aimed at improving clinical outcomes for babies and children with genetic conditions and their families.”

In his new role, Dr. Abdul-Rahman will lead a skilled team of physicians and scientists focused on advancing clinical care, research and education in pediatric clinical genetics. He will create a new strategic plan to streamline and improve clinical care access, including in the communities served by NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. He will develop new clinical translational research programs and increase training opportunities for physician-scientists specializing in clinical genetics. And he will further develop collaborations between colleagues in the divisions of Medical Genetics, Newborn Medicine and Child Neurology in the Department of Pediatrics, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine.

At the Englander Institute, Dr. Abdul-Rahman will lead efforts to identify genetic alterations that drive diseases with the goal of revealing new treatment options for pediatric patients.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Abdul-Rahman,” said Dr. Olivier Elemento, director of the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine and a professor of physiology and biophysics and of computational genomics in computational biomedicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. “His experience using artificial intelligence to improve clinical care in pediatric patients will be an asset to our team. He shares our vision for developing precision medicine tools, such as genetics, genomic sequencing and clinical data, that may identify genetic conditions sooner than is possible today.”



About Komansky Children's Hospital:

NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital, together with Weill Cornell Medicine, is committed to improving the health of infants, children, and adolescents through high quality and comprehensive programs in patient care, medical education, scientific research, and child and family advocacy.

At Komansky Children's Hospital, an important focus of our mission is providing outstanding medical care in a family-centered environment. Family-centered care is an approach in which families, doctors, nurses and hospital staff partner together, maintaining open communication and recognizing the individual strengths and expertise each person brings to a child's care.



About Omar Abdul-Rahman, M.D.:

Dr. Abdul-Rahman completed his medical school and pediatrics residency at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. Subsequently, he trained in clinical genetics at Stanford University. Dr. Abdul-Rahman returned to Mississippi to begin his academic career and spent 12 years serving in various roles including division chief of medical genetics and interim chair of the department of pediatrics. He then moved to Omaha, Nebraska to serve as the director of the department of genetic medicine at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, part of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Abdul-Rahman served in that role for over five years, developing a number of clinical programs and supporting the establishment of a newly accredited genetic counseling training program. As a person who enjoys developing new collaborations and building programs, he was drawn to the opportunity at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital to expand the reach of genetics across the health system. 

Dr. Abdul-Rahman sees a broad range of patients, including prenatal, pediatric, and adult patients with various genetic conditions. He has worked in clinics serving patients with craniofacial anomalies, differences of sexual development, and bone fragility disorders in addition to general genetics clinics seeing patients of all ages; Dr. Abdul-Rahman enjoys the diversity of patients and disorders in his practice. He is also very interested in evaluating children with possible fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and has worked on a number of educational and research projects related to FASD both in the US and abroad collaborating with the NIAAA and the WHO.







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