A Study to help diagnose and treat babies with birth defects and genetic disorders is underway. The group heading up the groundbreaking research is right here in the Tennessee valley.
HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and UAB’s School of Medicine along with University of Mississippi Medical Center were awarded a $10 million grant to fund the 4-year project.
The National Institutes of Health grant will be used to help with diagnosis and treatment of newborns with birth defects and genetic disorders; including those with heart and lung defects, seizures as well as physical abnormalities in their faces and limbs.
“When we make a genetic discovery it often times leads to tremendous benefits for that family, just in terms of, for one thing having the knowledge about what it is that’s happening, but also in terms of mapping out the future and what you might expect. And in rare cases we actually do see that treatment decisions get better, because you have a specific genetic explanation for what’s happening,” said HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology faculty investigator Greg Cooper.
The group plans to enroll 1,000 families into the study. Cooper said the goal is to recruit families from diverse background and underserved rural communities to encompass at least 60 percent of the study.