A new study highlights how genomic mutations that cause mitochondrial disease may also compromise affected people's immune response. Based on clinical data from patients with mitochondrial disease, the researchers created a mouse model of mitochondrial disease in T-cells, which play important roles in humans' immune response. The mutations resulted in an increased risk of infections and reduced protective immunity after vaccinations. The study appeared June 6, 2017, in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Since 2014, NIH has offered Institutional Review Board (IRB) training to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dr. Deana Around Him, a citizen of Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and training participant, learned how NIH ensures the welfare of people who participate in biomedical studies and helped improve the IRB training.
Laura Koehly, Ph.D., has been named chief of NHGRI's Social and Behavioral Research Branch (SBRB), which conducts research that will potentially transform healthcare through the integration of genomic medicine into the clinic. Her overarching goal for the branch is to build bridges across disciplines, including fields within the social and behavioral sciences and the biological and genomic sciences. SBRB research also includes a focus on disorders that have a major public health impact.
NHGRI researchers and their collaborators have identified mutations in the TAF1 gene in clear cell endometrial cancer (CCEC) tumors, shedding light on the underlying genomic changes that are likely to be important in driving development of this a rare but clinically aggressive form of endometrial cancer. The study was published May 9, 2017, in the journal Cancer.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly heritable, but researchers don't know much about the genes that cause it. Read about the experience of a participant in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trial who is helping researchers find the contributing genes. After researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute identify the genes, they can begin to look for new medications, new behavioral interventions or new combinations of both.
Dr. William Gahl, clinical director at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), gave the honorary Samuel Pruzansky Memorial Lecture on March 23 in Phoenix for the March of Dimes Clinical Genetics Conference. Although he's given dozens of lectures around the world about helping patients with undiagnosed diseases since establishing the Undiagnosed Diseases Program in 2008, this particular talk was truly inspirational.
Newly identified genes associated with Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD), an ultra-rare disease, are also linked to cancer, according to a new study by NHGRI researchers. Thus, ECD should be considered a type of cancer and treated by oncologists. A new clinical trial - enrolling ECD patients now - will test the use of the drugs dabrafenib and trametinib. Findings were published in Blood Advances.
Researchers with NHGRI and their collaborators have successfully used facial recognition software to diagnose DiGeorge Syndrome, a rare, genetic disease in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans. This is the newest addition to the Atlas of Human Malformations in Diverse Populations launched last year. The study was published March 23, 2017, in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.
On March 3, 2017, in honor of Rare Disease Day, experts from the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) turned to Reddit to answer questions from the Reddit community as part of an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA). These rare disease clinical and research experts have joined forces to solve the world's most challenging medical mysteries. Supported by the NIH Common Fund, UDN uses genome sequencing in the clinic, along with a network of experts, to provide answers for patients and families affected by mysterious conditions. Here's a recap of the event.
NIH and USDA researchers have developed a new technique for reconstructing highly accurate reference genomes and have applied it to the domestic goat. Accurate reference genomes are important for understanding an organism's biology, for learning about the genetic causes of health and disease and, in animals, for making breeding decisions. The study is published today, March 6, 2017, in Nature Genetics.
On February 27, several NHGRI researchers - Anastasia L. Wise, Ph.D., Shawn Burgess, Ph.D., and Brian P. Brooks, M.D., Ph.D.- will highlight rare disease research that could benefit affected patients, but also provide insight into more common disorders. They will underline this important relationship in advance of Rare Disease Day at NIH, a day-long symposium that is part of a global effort to raise awareness of rare diseases.
Newly identified genes and genetic pathways in primary melanoma - a type of skin cancer - could give researchers new targets for developing new personalized treatments for melanoma, and potentially other cancers. Learning how the genes are expressed - turned on or off - could be used in the future to predict how and when the cancer cells will spread to other parts of the body and how fast they will grow. Read the study in the February 6, 2017, online issue of Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research
Last Updated: June 7, 2017