Academic Health Center
Stay Connected
expert-perspectives

Research snapshot: Genetic links to resilience in PTSD patients

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects roughly 20% of all veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The disorder’s unfortunate prominence among those who’ve served prompted Lisa James, Ph.D., and Apostolos Georgopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., to investigate a genetic predisposition for PTSD.  James and Georgopoulos are researchers at the Brain Sciences Center, an interdisciplinary center between the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Neuroscience and the Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Precision medicine: Tailoring treatment to your DNA

Imagine if an individual’s DNA could be matched to the most effective medication to treat his or her case specifically. Using pharmacogenomics, researchers and providers are getting closer to achieving this goal.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Obesity can lead to the alteration of specific genes

In a new study from the University of Minnesota, researchers found there are numerous areas of the genome where obese and non-obese individuals differ in terms of their “methylome.”

Essentially, the researchers found that the level of DNA methylation (addition or subtraction of a methyl group on the DNA molecule) was related to level of body mass index (BMI), a marker of obesity. These differences in methylome are a type of “epigenetic” variation, which does not involve the genetic sequence itself, but rather is thought to alter which genes are turned “on” and “off” at a given point in time in a given tissue. Typical genetic sequences do differ but data shows these differences go beyond that.

Read more
education

50 years out: Will your genes define your Rx?

Tylenol should relieve pain, cough suppressants should ease cough and serious ailments should reliably respond to vital medication. But when a prescribed medicine doesn’t do its intended job, it can be difficult to decide who or what is to blame.

It doesn’t help that sometimes the problem doesn’t lie within the medicine or the doctor; it can lie within your genes.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Master regulator of key cancer gene found, offers new drug target

Gene partnership may be fueling cancer spread in as much as 20 percent of cancers

A key cancer-causing gene, responsible for up to 20 percent of cancers, may have a weak spot in its armor, according to new research from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

The partnership of MYC, a gene long linked to cancer, and a non-coding RNA, PVT1, could be the key to understanding how MYC fuels cancer cells. The research is published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

For dogs, sole gene doesn’t equate to cancer

If you’re a dog lover, we have some good news. It turns out that a better understanding of the mechanisms behind aging and cancer could reduce the number of canines over the age of 10 that die from cancer each year. A better understanding of those same mechanisms may even yield big news for humans down the road.

Recently, University of Minnesota researchers made a surprising discovery about one gene implicated in canine aging. Their finding centered around a gene known as “TERT.”

Read more