Omar S. Alfi, M.D. began his medical career as a pediatrician in Cairo, Egypt. In 1954, he was named as a Fulbright Fellow with the Naval American Research Unit, focusing on cytogenetics research.
In 1970, Dr. Alfi joined Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and was named Head of Division of Medical Genetics.
One of Dr. Alfi’s major areas of research interest was the study of chromosome structure and the delineation of new chromosome syndromes. Through his research in the early 1970s, he was the first physician to identify a rare chromosome anomaly known as Monosomy 9p, later named “Alfi’s Syndrome.”
In 1980, Dr. Alfi was able to successfully complete cytogenetics analysis of amniotic fluid in seven days, while the standard of care at that time was four weeks. In 1981, Dr. Alfi established Alfigen, Inc./The Genetics Institute, as the first private full service cytogenetics laboratory in the United States. It has since grown tremendously both in specimen volume and scope of services to become one of the largest private genetics laboratories.
In addition to being a physician and researcher, Dr. Alfi is a philanthropist. He co-founded Aldeen Foundation, a private non-profit foundation. He established the Endowment of the Omar & Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Fellowship in Islamic Law at the School of Law, University of California, Los Angeles. He also was one of the founders of the Four New Horizon Schools, located throughout Southern California.