Lecture On The Genetic Heritage Of Cypriots
18th May 2012
On Friday the 18th of May 2012, the Kalaydjian Foundation and the
Nicosia Chapter of the Armenian General Benevolent Union organised a
lecture on the genetic profile of the people of Cyprus, with a special
focus on the hereditary diseases specific to Cypriots. The lecture was
delivered by Professor Constantinos Deltas of the Department of
Biological Sciences of the University of Cyprus, a renowned expert in

The event was held in the auditorium of the AGBU Club in Nicosia and
was co-sponsored by the Kalaydjian Foundation and the AGBU as part of
their joint efforts to promote Cypriots’ awareness of
genetically-inherited illnesses and an understanding of their
biological history.

Professor Deltas was introduced to the audience by Mr. Tigran
Kalaydjian, Chairman of the Kalaydjian Foundation, who in his opening
remarks pointed to the closeness in the DNA structures of Cypriots and
Armenians, as evidenced by the similarities in the genetic defects
that cause a range of inherited diseases that are common in both
populations. Professor Deltas then explained how the many invaders and
migrant populations that made Cyprus their home over the centuries
left their genetic imprint on the island. He also analysed the various
diseases that are found frequently in Cyprus and certain other
Mediterranean countries, such as Thalassemia, Cystic Fibrosis and
Familial Microscopic Hematuria, and described in detail the
pathogenesis of such ailments.

Professor Deltas concluded by stressing the importance of the
epidemiological studies of the Cypriot population that are currently
being conducted as part of a project aimed at constructing and
maintaining a genetic map of Cyprus. He also announced that a book he
has written on the subject will be published in 2013 (in Greek) and
will be available in libraries and universities across the island.

The event, which was under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop
Varoujan Hergelian of the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus, was attended
by 150 members of the Armenian community, as well as the mayors of
Strovolos and Aglandjia, and was followed by a complimentary dinner in
the gardens of the AGBU Club.

The Committee of the Kalaydjian Foundation