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Emory University Fragile X Group Receives NIH Program Grant

nd medical geneticists have been able to provide perinatal testing of babies to determine if they might be affected by fragile X syndrome. Moreover, these data helped explain the "Sherman paradox", named after Dr. Stephanie Sherman, associate professor of genetics and a co-investigator on the program project. Dr. Sherman first noted nearly a decade ago that fragile X syndrome did not get passed on to offspring with the usual probabilities common among most genetic disorders. This variance from the norm was unexplained for a number of years, hence the "paradox," until the gene was discovered and the influence of the expanded CGG repeat was found to be responsible for the effect.

Despite these significant breakthroughs, key questions about fragile X remain unanswered. The new grant will use novel genetic, molecular biological, neurobiological and biochemical approaches to the syndrome, including cell culture, transgenic mice and yeast systems to help uncover additional answers.

The seven projects will be led by a diverse group of both established and newer Emory investigators, including Drs. Warren and Sherman; Ye Feng, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry; Judy Fridovich-Keil, Ph.D., assistant professor of genetics; Steven Hersch, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology; Daniel Reines, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry; and Keith Wilkinson, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry. Six out of the seven already have published one or more research papers on fragile X syndrome, representing a total of 65 published manuscripts from Emory on the disorder.

"It is unlikely that there are many other institutions with a similar group of investigators with such a history or track record of fragile X syndrome research," notes Dr. Warren. "And since our investigators represent several scientific disciplines, this program will significantly expand the scope and breadth of contemporary fragile X research."


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Contact: Holly Korschun
hkorsch@emory.edu
404/727-3990
Emory University Health Sciences Center
26-Jan-1998


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