December 2009 -- I am thrilled to report that our researchers were recognized by the American Heart Association in their 2009 Top Ten Research Report, their annual list of top advances in heart disease and stroke research.
In the June issue of Nature Genetics, Aravinda Chakravarti, Dan Arking and colleagues reported the identification of eight new genes associated with blood pressure and hypertension, major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Using genome-wide association, the team analyzed differences in the genomes of nearly 30,000 people of European descent and part of a long-term study of cardiovascular health and disease supported by the National Institutes of Health called ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities).
Hal Dietz and colleagues reported in the Aug. 11 issue of Circulation that measuring blood levels of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) protein might be useful in monitoring patients undergoing treatment for Marfan syndrome, an inherited connective tissue disorder. Mice engineered to have Marfan and Marfan patients have higher blood levels of TGF-beta, which appear to decrease after treatment with losartan or beta-blockers.
What an honor and congratulations to all involved with these research projects
On behalf of the faculty, students and staff at the IGM, have a safe and holiday season and a happy new year to all.
As always, I welcome your feedback.
David Valle, M.D.
Henry J. Knott Professor and Director
McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine