Check back often for more information about what’s happening with the International 22q Foundation!

For more research-related news, check out our News & Reports page.

Profs. Bruno Marino and Nicole Philip-Sarles honored with 2020 DiGeorge Medal

(posted June 2020)

22q11.2 Society ( announce Professors Bruno Marino and Nicole Philip-Sarles as joint recipients of the 2020 Angelo DiGeorge Memorial Medal of Honor. Members of the International 22q11.2 Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board, Drs. Marino and Philip-Sarles were selected in recognition of

1. Their seminal contributions to the study of genotype-phenotype correlations in 22q11.2DS;

2. Their pivotal roles in establishing world renowned subspecialty clinics at Sapienza University and Ospedale Bambino Gesu in Rome, and the Centre of Expertise for Developmental Anomalies of South France in Marseilles, respectively;

3. Their unwavering commitment and service to individuals and families affected by chromosome 22q11.2 differences through their work with AIDEL22 in Italy and Generation 22 in France, as well as throughout the region and across the world, including as Medical Advisory Board Members for the International 22q11.2 Foundation; and

4. Their longstanding efforts to support collaborative work globally through innumerable basic science, clinical and educational initiatives as members of the International 22q11.2 Modifier Consortium and the International 22q11.2 Brain and Behavior Consortium, in hosting biennial international 22q11.2 conferences in Rome ‘00 and Marseilles ’06, and as founding Trustees of the 22q11.2 Society.

Without question, Profs. Marino and Philip-Sarles are recognized as experts on chromosome 22q11.2 CNVs nationally and internationally, but in addition they are acknowledged as world authorities in Pediatrics, Cardiology, Genetics, and Fetal Medicine. It is with inordinate pride that we consider Profs. Marino and Philip-Sarles as members of the 22q11.2 family, as we celebrate their individual and collective achievements conjointly with this award, the highest honor presented by the Society.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Profs Marino and Philip-Sarles will be recognized in person as recipients of the DiGeorge Medal at the 12th Biennial International 22q11.2 Meeting in Split, Croatia.

Empowering young women with the 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome to share their lived experience and mental health support needs. 

(posted 2018)

This research project aimed to address mental health support needs by offering a vehicle through which young people could communicate their lived experiences and service recommendations to parents, educators, researchers, service providers and policy makers. It also aimed to support the development of mental health resilience by providing space for young adults to share their stories of mental health challenges and recovery. Resilience was defined as ‘the ability to bounce back after times when you felt upset by your emotions, thoughts or relationships’.

Read More

22q at the Abilene Zoo

(posted May 24, 2018)

Thank you KTAB Abilene,Texas (Big Country) for shining the light on 22q at the Zoo! 

Click here to watch video

22q in the news!

(posted February 11, 2018)

Meet 6 year old Robert Romero from Minnesota. His dream to be a police officer when he grows up. He has collected hundreds of patches from police agencies across the country.

Click here to find out more 


Shai Ben Yaacov

(posted January 28, 2018)

Living Musically with 22q

Thank you to Shai Ben-Yaacov, WHYY Producer and 22q Dad for shining the spotlight on our 22q friend and amazing young musical talent Todd Simpson!

Read Shai’s full story here


Meet Conner — a young boy with 22q

(posted September 24, 2017)

Meet Conner — a young boy with 22q, found a best friend in a dog named Ellie, who also has her own special needs. Together they embody what unconditional love is all about. 

Learn more

Shai Ben Yaacov, a 22q dad and producer

(posted May 16, 2017)

Shai Ben-Yaacov, a 22q dad and producer of the nightly public radio show NewsWorks Tonight in Philadelphia, was on the air  talking about learning of his son’s heart condition and subsequent 22q diagnosis.  His son has Tetralogy of Fallot, the same condition Jimmy Kimmel just made famous in a widely shared clip about his newborn son. 

Learn more

“22q at the Zoo” raises awareness of genetic condition

(posted April 20, 2017)

Jennifer Leslie, WXIA  article raising awareness for 22q in Atlanta, Ga.

Learn more

Selfies, yes selfies, could help diagnose rare genetic disease

(posted March 31, 2017)

Researchers with the National Institutes of Health’s National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) successfully used facial recognition software similar to that found in airports and on Facebook to diagnose a rare genetic disease called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome using photos alone.

Learn more 

Genetic Drivers of Kidney Defects in the 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome

(posted March 20, 2017)

Lead researcher and nephrologist, Simone Sanna-Cherchi, MD from Columbia University, in collaboration with mouse geneticist, Bernice Morrow, PhD, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Director of the 22q and You Center, Donna McDonald-McGinn, MS, LCGC, from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, among others, recently reported an important link between three genes within the 22q11.2 deletion and development of the kidney and urinary tract, in a paper published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.  In fact it appears that loss of one gene in particular, Crkl, alone is enough to cause kidney differences. In addition to understanding much about these genes, found within a small area of the deletion known as the C-D region, importantly Dr. Sanna-Cherchi identified chromosome 22q11.2 deletions in 1.1% of 1,093 patients who were followed in kidney clinics for small or absent kidneys, as well as in 0.01% of 22,094 controls – individuals without any specific medical problems.  Although these patients were unaware that they had the 22q11.2 deletion, some later reported having symptoms commonly associated with the 22q11.2 deletion. Significantly, this serves to highlight the frequency of the deletion and the fact that there are likely many many patients in our own communities who have not yet been diagnosed with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome due to the fact that they don’t have congenital heart disease as a presenting symptom. This report certainly helps to support our plea for early identification using newborn screening!  To view the whole article visit here

Mom donates 4,600 ounces of breast milk after her infant son’s death

(posted March 20, 2017)

Learn more here

Readiness and Quality of Life in Adolescents and Young Adults with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome

(posted September 12, 2016)

“Do you have 22q or DiGeorge syndrome or VCFS? Are you between the ages of 18-30? Please consider participating in the following research study (STU00203635)! All participants will have the opportunity to be entered into a lottery to win one of ten $30 Visa gift cards! For more information and to be directed to the online survey, please click on the link below.
Thank you for your time!” *

Link to Survey 

Attention Tooth Fairies

April 4, 2016

New research at the University of Tennessee shows that nerve cells can be grown from the dental pulp of teeth after they fall out. Nerve cells are the key cells that function in the brain. In some children, these cells are affected by a missing section of chromo- some 22. This missing section called the 22q11.2 deletion can lead to many serious health problems.

Your child’s lost teeth may be the key to understanding how the deletion affects these important cells.

Learn more here

Nationwide Children’s 22q Webinar Series

Neuropsychological Evaluation of Children with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome

April 2016

April 14, 2016 7-8:30 pm

Webinar will include a discussion of the role of the pediatric neuropsychologist in the evaluation and management of patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. The neurocognitive, learning, mood and behavioral difficulties typical of children affected by this syndrome will be reviewed as well as the recommended timing for baseline and repeat neuropsychological evaluation. Standard components of a neuropsychological evaluation, including types of tests that families can expect their child to undergo, will be discussed. Finally, a discussion regarding common types of interventions for the educational and outpatient medical setting will be provided.

Register here:…

New Website to help families navigate the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, USA

March 2016

The website includes information about the law, ABLE accounts, who qualifies and the particulars of each state’s legislation.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, a federal law signed in December of 2014, will give many individuals with disabilities and their families the opportunity to save for the future and fund essential expenses like medical and dental care, education, community- based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing and transportation.  The law allows eligible individuals with disabilities the ability to create “ABLE accounts” which resemble the qualified tuition programs, often called “529 accounts,” that have been established under that section of the tax code since 1996.  By saving for and funding critical daily expenses, these ABLE accounts will give US citizens with disabilities increased choice, independence, and opportunities to participate more fully within their communities.

Learn more here:

Summary of 22q11.2 Community Survey Results

February 2016

In October of 2015 the ­International 22q11.2 Foundation published an online survey as part an effort to better understand and meet the needs of the worldwide 22q community. Sadly, earlier in the year, two other national organizations for 22q closed. Understanding that the loss of these two organizations would have a significant impact of the flow of information to families, the ­International 22q11.2 Foundation prepared to adjust its priorities in order to address these changes within the 22 community. As part of our process, we created a 22q community survey.

See the Survey Results here

Resources for Teens and Adults

February 2016

Many potential challenges exist for parents as they help guide their adolescent or young adult child who has a 22q11.2 syndrome. The goal is to have him or her become capable and competent in making good life choices. New Transition Fact Sheets are designed for both parents/caregivers and other family members, including those with 22q11.2. The Fact Sheets cover Mental Health, Sexual Health and Alcohol.

View and download the Fact Sheets here

Girl Scout Gold Award About 22q

January 2016

Special Education Girl Scout creates a PSA about 22q Deletion Syndrome. She hopes to expand awareness about 22q and help families, educators and clinicians.

Watch here:

22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Featured in Leading Scientific Journal

November 2015

An extensive review of the 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome was published on November 19, 2015 in Nature. Nature is a British interdisciplinary scientific journal which is highly regarded among leading researchers and has been ranked the world’s most cited scientific journal. This journal claims an online readership of about 3 million readers per month.

This is exciting because it brings focus and education about 22q11.2DS to the scientific community. In addition, the article supports many of International 22q11.2 Foundation’s initiatives such as “The Same Name Campaign”, early diagnosis, including newborn screening, and the importance of early intervention strategies.

Learn more here

From Perspectives in Genetic Counseling – a publication of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC)

November 2015

“Having a child with a genetic syndrome that most people have never heard of can feel very lonely…” Read more

October 2015

It had been two years since our last 22q conference in Dublin and my wife Colleen and I were keen to catch up with the latest developments… Read more

Worldwide Commitment to 22q11.2

October 23, 2015

The ­International 22q11.2 Foundation is committed to serving the worldwide community of families impacted by the 22q11.2 deletion or duplication. With the recent and unexpected closings of the Dempster Family Foundation and the VCFS Educational Foundation, we are more than ever determined to play a leading role in unifying the 22q community and to advancing knowledge and treatment. Please help us by completing this 5 minute confidential survey. We appreciate your feedback and ideas. Survey

Dempster Family Foundation to Close

October 16, 2015

Today, the International 22q11.2 Foundation learned of the closing of the Dempster Family Foundation. This unexpected news follows the recent closing of the Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome Educational Foundation.

First and foremost, the Foundation extends our deepest thanks and appreciation to Ryan and Jenny Dempster for their unwavering support and to their executive director, Michelle Breedlove-Sells, for her hard work and dedication. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their educational and awareness efforts.

It is now our responsibility to build upon the Dempster Family Foundation’s success and to unify the national and international efforts of all families impacted by the 22q11.2 deletion or duplication. It is also our responsibility to bring those families together with the many professionals working diligently on their behalf, to ensure that those professionals work collaboratively with other professionals, and to always keep the needs of families in the forefront of everyone’s efforts.

Just this year we launched our revamped website and a new Family Support Network. Our 22q at the Zoo International Awareness Event was our largest ever and our organization’s staff and board are preparing a number of major initiatives for 2016 including an ongoing webinar series and a new push, through our Same Name Campaign, to once and for all clarify the naming of 22q11.2.

We look forward to continuing to serve the worldwide 22q community.

New finding regarding potential treatment of ADHD and anxiety and implications for 22q

September 2015

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA in conjunction with Medgenics has announced preliminary data regarding the treatment of ADHD and anxiety using precision medicine. The implications are far-reaching, especially for families affected by neoropsychiatric disorders and 22q11.2 syndromes.

For more information, click here to read the press release from medgenics

New finding regarding potential treatment of ADHD and anxiety and its implications for the 22q Community. Read more

Conferences planned for families and professionals planned in the US and Canada

September 2015

All of our upcoming conferences for families and professionals.

Prevalence of 22q11.2 Deletion and Duplication syndromes

July 2015

A new study, recently published in Prenatal Diagnosis, and based on over 9500 prenatal testing samples, suggests a dramatic increase in our understanding of the prevalence of both the 22q11.2 deletion and duplication syndromes. A prevalence of more than one in one-thousand indicates that approximately 5 million or more individuals worldwide are impacted including more than 300,000 in the U.S.

22q at the Zoo Awareness in Central New York

May 2015
News story highlighting our global 22q at the Zoo event in Central New York

ZooMontana hosts Montana’s first 22q at the Zoo event

May 2015
Highlights from the 22q at the Zoo event in Montana.

Grey’s Anatomy Gets it wrong again. Misinformation about 22q.

February 2015
Mother and advocate Nadine Miceli gives an interview in response to misinformation aired for the second time on Grey’s Anatomy.



Santa Brings Joy to Boy with Medical Needs

December 2014
Eight-year-old Vincent Drake is from Camp Hill. This story describes how Santa took the time to share with Vincent that he cares and that he also has medical needs.

Diagnostic Odessey

September 2014
Chairperson of the Foundation, Sheila Kambin describes her diagnostic odyssey of 27 specialists to reach a diagnosis of 22q.


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