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Hutchinson Center Receives $7.6 Million Federal Grant to Study How Genetic Variations Influence Risk of Common Diseases
Date:7/17/2008

tic variants influence disease. "We hope to learn more about the mechanisms by looking at the associations between these genetic variations and intermediate biomarkers of disease, such as cholesterol levels as a marker for heart disease and bone density as a marker for hip fractures," she said.

To this end, the researchers will aim to genotype blood samples from 58,000 WHI study participants to investigate up to 100 known disease-specific genetic variants.

"Information generated from this study will be critical to determine the health impact of any given genetic variant and to prioritize them for intervention studies aimed to reduce their associated risk," Kooperberg said. "These findings may also provide valuable insights into disease pathways and mechanisms, and identify targets for disease screening, prevention and treatment."

The Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division houses the Clinical Coordinating Center for the Women's Health Initiative, one of the most definitive, far-reaching studies of postmenopausal women's health ever undertaken in the United States. Enrollment began in 1993 and participants will be followed at least until 2010. The study examines the prevalence and risk factors for a number of diseases common in aging women, as well as the effects of various interventions, from low-fat diets and hormone therapy to calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

"We are extremely grateful for the study participants who have provided a wealth of biological data that will permit us to link genetic variants to relevant intermediate biomarkers that will potentially provide important clues to the biological basis of the disease," Kooperberg said.

Also collaborating on the project, in addition Kooperberg, Peters and colleagues from the WHI Clinical Coordinating Center, are investigators from the University of Arizona Cancer Center, Ohio State University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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