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Department of Genetics

The Department of Genetics started its activity as the Genetics Research Center (GRC) at the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation sciences (USWR) in 1997. Degrees offered by GRC include M.Sc. in Human Genetics (since 2003) and Ph.D. in Medical Genetics (since 2008). The main objective in GRC is identification, diagnosis, and prevention of common genetic diseases in Iran. Its research is focused on 5 areas: Cognitive disorders, Blindness and deafness, Neuromuscular disorders, Haemglobinopathies, Cancer genetics.

GRC was designated as the national referral laboratory for thalassemia and prenatal diagnosis in July 1999 by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

What is Genetics?

Genetics is a term that refers to the study of genes and their role in inheritance, we study the way certain traits are passed down from one generation to another, the interactions of genetic materials, the interactions of that genetic material with the environment, and the subsequent phenotypic changes.


·   Establishment of the Iranian Human gene Bank. Currently its catalogue is available online (www.ihmgb.com)

·   Identifying the genetic causes of prevalent genetic disorders in Iran.

·   Cooperation in training genetic counselors at nationwide scale.

·   Organizing conferences on mental disability (since1999).

·   Education of modern biology techniques through organizing different workshops and courses and remote training.

·   Establishment of research collaborations at national and international levels.

·   Publication of scientific articles in peer reviewed international journals.

·   Registration of several new mutations, genes, disease loci, and genetic syndromes in international databases.



Based on a fully integrated curriculum that combines self-directed learning opportunities with high quality lectures and tutorials, we teach postgraduate (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) students.

Postgraduate courses in human and medical genetics leading to M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees respectively.

Offering scientific workshops and short courses.

Organizing congresses, seminars and symposia both nationally and internationally.

Publication of research findings in peer reviewed international and national journals.

Increasing public awareness via media and information booklets.  



Cognitive disorders (mental retardation, behavioral and psychiatric disorders)

Deafness and blindness

Neuromuscular disorders


Cancer genetics  

We started our research in the area of Intellectual Disabilities (ID) since 2004. Our project covers either syndromic or non-syndromic forms of ID with all heterogeneities exist. The goal of this project is to establish the genetic causes of ID using cytogenetics, and molecular genetics techniques. Most of the genetic research has been focused on X-linked forms of ID in last 20 years and these investigations has lead to discoveries of many genes on X-chromosome, however, that the X-linked forms account for only 10% of ID. On the other side, not much attempt has been put to identify the autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant forms of ID. Until 2004 only three genes were known for autosomal recessive non-sydromic ID. Our team in USWR, Genetics Research Center in Tehran and Max Planck Institute in Berlin few days ago has published our breakthrough in October issue of Nature entitled “Deep sequencing reveals 50 novel genes for recessive cognitive disorders”. In this finding we are reporting the results of 136 consanguineous families with moderate or severe forms of ID mostly from Iran. We were able to identify a single homozygous mutation for 78 of these families of which 50 genes are novel. Our discovery almost had tripled the number of genes involve in non-syndromic ID.

For more information, visit the GRC website at http://www.uswr.ac.ir/GRC

Services We Offer/Clinics

Degrees offered by GRC include M.Sc. in human genetics (since 2003) and Ph.D. in Medical Genetics (since 2008).

Providing information for the public awareness

Genetics counseling and clinical diagnosis of genetic diseases

Laboratory diagnostic services

Our People

A number of academics and administrative staff are the cornerstone in our departmental operations. They provide support for students and the program.


Department of Genetics, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Koodakyar End Close, Student Blvd., Post Code: 1985713834, Evin, Tehran, Iran

Phone: (+98) 21 – 22 180138


More Information

More information about our programs, staff and services can be found at the following link: http://Genetics.uswr.ac.ir/