Navigation Links
UT leads $2.5 million training program in pioneering area of genetic research
Date:1/9/2009

A consortium led by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston has received a $2.5 million award to train investigators in a ground-breaking area of genetic study known as gene-environment interaction.

Scientists studying gene-environment interaction are trying to discover why some people with known risk factors for disease get sick and others don't. The answer may have to do with the interplay between their genes and environmental factors such as exposure to viruses, pollution or cigarette smoke.

The consortium, which also includes The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine, earned a 2009 Institutional Program Unifying Population and Laboratory Based Sciences Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, an independent private foundation dedicated to advancing biomedical sciences. It is one of three awards from a proposal pool of 61.

"This is an achievement for the Texas Medical Center," said C. Thomas Caskey, M.D., award co-director and director/CEO of The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM), a part of the UT Health Science Center at Houston. "It speaks to the quality of research in the Texas Medical Center and the collaboration among institutions." The five-year-award starts Feb. 2.

Gene-environment interaction is the combined impact of genetic susceptibility factors and modifiable environmental factors on disease. Genetic variations, according to the National Office of Public Health Genomics, do not cause disease but rather influence a person's susceptibility to environmental factors, broadly defined to include infectious, chemical, physical, nutritional and behavioral factors.

"This is the type of cutting edge, interdisciplinary program that will help bring the best and brightest young scientists to Houston because they can receive the training of the future that integrates population, laboratory, and information sciences I expect many future national leaders to come out of our program," said George Stancel, Ph.D., dean of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (GSBS), who serves on the consortium training committee.

The consortium plans to recruit five to six students a year who will have the opportunity to pursue a doctorate program of their choice at participating institutions, so long as their research is in the broad area of gene-environment interaction. Students opting for the health science center program can receive a doctoral degree from the GSBS, The University of Texas School of Public Health or The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston (SHIS). They will work in the laboratories of faculty members at those schools, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston or the IMM.

"The Burroughs Wellcome Fund training grant is a bridge linking the UT Health Science Center, the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Baylor College of Medicine. The program is a model for collaboration in the future," said Eric Boerwinkle, Ph.D., award co-director, director of the Division of Epidemiology and Kozmetsky Family Chair in Human Genetics at the UT School of Public Health and the Institute of Molecular Medicine.

Pharmacogeneticsthe study of the effects of genes on drug responseis an example of a gene-environment interaction, Boerwinkle said.

"There are millions of people taking medicines to lower their blood pressure. The particular type of medication the physician prescribes to a patient is not an exact science and there is an element of trial and error in the process. Individuals do not respond to a particular medication to the same extent and some people respond to one drug but not another," Boerwinkle said. "At least a portion of the variation in drug response is attributable to genetic differences among individuals. Researchers at the UT School of Public Health and the IMM are identifying the genes responsible for variation in drug response. "

According to Boerwinkle, gene-environment interaction is the cornerstone of personalized medicine, which is the use of a patient's genotype or genetic profile to tailor medical care to an individual's needs. Such information could be used to decide which medication will work best.

Much research on gene-environment interaction is already underway at the UT Health Science Center, where researchers earned two of the initial awards presented through a program created by the National Institutes of Health to promote gene-environment interaction research.

Shine Chang, Ph.D., associate professor at the UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, who serves on the consortium training committee, said, "I am thrilled to be part of this highly innovative program to recruit and train researchers to discover and solve critical health problems in an entirely different way than we have in the past. We will help trainees develop skills and experience to bring together diverse perspectives to solve historically intractable health problems such as obesity and cancer that require super multidisciplinary approaches."


'/>"/>

Contact: Robert Cahill
Robert.Cahill@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3042
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Removing Ovaries Before Menopause Leads to Memory, Movement Troubles
2. Lack of sleep among new school-goers leads to behavioral, cognitive problems
3. AstraZeneca Leads Local Walking Movement
4. Leeza Gibbons Leads New Coaching Program to Boost the Nations Heart Health
5. Support System Leads to Better Diet, Nutrition
6. Brain atrophy in elderly leads to unintended racism, depression and problem gambling
7. Medical University of South Carolina Leads Multicenter Study Evaluating Biliary Sphincter Disorder
8. Loss of gene leads to protein splicing and buildup of toxic proteins in neurons
9. In birds, expecting to mate leads to higher fertilization rates
10. Olympic Gold Medalist Marion Jones-Thompson Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements in Two Separate Federal Criminal Investigations
11. Antibody leads to repair of myelin sheath in lab study of multiple sclerosis and related disorders
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A recent report from the Wisconsin Institute ... 2015-16 school year across Wisconsin’s public schools, charter schools, and private schools participating ... student test score performance, the report’s limited analyses fail to provide answers as ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) , ... April 25, ... ... teeth can now choose a modern procedure that achieves results in a fraction ... orthodontist in Las Vegas, NV, with Significance Dental Specialists, now offers this ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... to their neck and back pain with a reputable physician in their area, announces ... The CRM protects patient information for patients who are looking for reputable physicians to ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... predictive analytics to its patient care management module. Using this new feature, sleep ... patient has been initiated on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), oral, or other ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... large animal healthcare products, is introducing Flexadin UCII, part of the EQUISTRO line, ... development and joint health in horses at the immunologic level. , The scientifically-developed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... 2017  SARES•REGIS Group leased the first of ... Conejo Spectrum Business Park in Thousand ... Inc. , a biopharmaceutical company developing meaningful therapies ... have been underserved by scientific innovation, with an ... autoimmune and infectious disease. Before commencement ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017 Cogentix Medical, ... on providing the Urology, Uro/Gyn and Gynecology markets with ... the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 after the ... The Company will host a conference call and ... on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... to grow at a CAGR of 6.35% during the period 2017-2021. ... been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ... prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: