The Taubman Institute will co-sponsor a new DNA sequencing project that aims to expand knowledge of the human genome and its role in disease.
“Short Tandem Repeats in Precision Health and Human Disease” will be jointly supported by the institute and the Michigan Medicine Precision Health research initiative.
The project is one of seven funded through Precision Health’s 2019 Investigators Awards, which provide two-year, $300,000 funding. The genome project is led by Peter Todd, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology; Ryan E. Mills, PhD, Associate Professor of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics and Human Genetics; Alan Boyle, PhD, Assistant Professor of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics and Human Genetics
“About half of the human genome is made up of repetitive elements. For most of these repeats, however, we know almost nothing about whether they have normal roles in neurobiology or whether they contribute to human disease,” said Todd (pictured above.) “To explore these questions, we assembled an interdisciplinary, multi-departmental team: a physician scientist expert in neurological disease models, a bioinformatics expert on genome analysis, and a genetics expert who has designed tools to capture and sequence large pieces of DNA.
“Together, we have designed an innovative set of studies that will define variation in this ‘missing’ half of the genome and link it to Precision Health resources, to allow us to discover how repeat variation contributes to human disease.”