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Human Genetics Department News

Celedon tells working parents, take a deep breath: preschool, daycare do not raise asthma risk

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UCSF NEWS - A study that involved combing through more than 50 years of data to assess the link between asthma and daycare and preschool attendance may provide welcome reassurance to working parents. Early child care does not boost children’s risk for developing this common respiratory disease, according to the study led by researchers including JUAN CELEDON, EPI and HUGEN professor.   

Nimgaonkar's research sheds light on the risks and causes of schizophrenia

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WKSU-FM - No one knows what causes schizophrenia. It’s a devastating mental disorder that affects more than 3 million Americans. And while most people with schizophrenia can be treated, many don’t respond to medications. New research may find ways to help them. HUGEN’s VISHWAJIT NIMGAONKAR heads a team of researchers that’s looking at the genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia. 

Parker praises Personal Genetics Education Project

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GENOME - "The project [tries to] present that there's a blending of genetics and environmental factors responsible for most anything we care about," HUGEN'S LISA PARKER says of the fact that the project aims to see a broader picture of how genes and environment can interact.   

Pandley comments on how FUS helps miRNA silence genes

ALZFORUM - The latest function of the ALS-related protein FUS, is gene silencing mediated by micro RNAs. HUGEN’s UDAI PANDEY finds the study interesting because it reveals how mutations in FUS could have even more widespread consequences than previously thought. He added that the authors’ finding that a C. elegans homolog of FUS facilitates miRNA silencing indicates the pathway is highly conserved. 

Team to discover 15 new genes that shape our face

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - DNA determines what we look like, including our facial features. But first, researchers need to figure out which genes in our DNA are responsible for specific characteristics of our face. HUGEN’s SETH WEINBERG says, “In the past, scientists selected specific features, including the distance between the eyes or the width of the mouth. They would then look for a connection between this feature and many genes.” HUGEN's JOHN SH... 

Stephan named Life Sciences PA's Thought Leader of the Year

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Honoring an individual who has a clearly articulated and enacted vision for advancing the scientific and business prowess of Pennsylvania, HUGEN's DIETRICH STEPHAN was honored with the 2017 award.   

Talkowski: 2018 Early Career Excellence Award

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MICHAEL TALKOWSKI (HUGEN ’08) is associate professor of neurology (genetics) at Harvard Medical School and the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate member of the Broad Institute of the Massachusettes Institute of Technology and Harvard where he directs the Broad Structural Variation and Assembly Group. His research has led to paradigm-shifting discoveries that have left a mark on the field of genetics. 

Modzelewski: 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice

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A two-time breast cancer survivor, RUTH MODZELEWSKI (HUGEN ’96) has served as mission coordinator for Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh since 2009, when she went from researching cancer at the University of Pittsburgh to practicing and promoting cancer prevention and treatment throughout Western Pennsylvania. She oversees the Komen Pittsburgh community-based health grants program which annually gives close to $1 million back to the community. 

Weinberg and team identify new genes responsible for facial features

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GEN NEWS – Scientists say they have identified fifteen genes that determine our facial features. HUGEN’s SETH WEINBERG describes the process before he and his team took on a new approach. “We're basically looking for needles in a haystack… This [approach] has already led to the identification of a number of genes but, of course, the results are limited because only a small set of features are selected and tested."  

Padiath promoted to associate professor

The Department of HUGEN is pleased to announce the promotion of QUASAR PADIATH to associate professor with tenure. His primary research interest is molecular mechanisms of neurological disorders, especially myelin formation and maintenance, using data on humans and mouse and fruit fly models.  

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