Genetics Department News
Weight flux alters molecular profile
Stanford scientists have found links between changes in a person’s weight and shifts in their microbiome, immune system and cardiovascular system.
A paper describing the work was published online Jan. 17 in Cell Systems. The lead authors are Stanford postdoctoral scholars Wenyu Zhou, PhD, and Hannes Röst, PhD; staff scientist Kévin Contrepois, PhD; and former postdoctoral scholar Brian Piening, PhD. Senior authorship is shared by Michael Snyder, PhD, professor of genetics at Stanford; Tracey McLaughlin, MD, professor of medicine at Stanford; and George Weinstock, PhD, professor and director of microbial genomics at the Jackson Laboratory, an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution.
Cancer researchers have long hailed p53, a tumor-suppressor protein, for its ability to keep unruly cells from forming tumors. But for such a highly studied protein, p53 has hidden its tactics well.
Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have tapped into what makes p53 tick, delineating a clear pathway that shows how the protein mediates anti-tumor activity in pancreatic cancer. The team’s research also revealed something unexpected: A particular mutation in the p53 gene amplified the protein’s tumor-fighting capabilities, creating a “super tumor suppressor.”
Understanding how a person’s DNA sequence affects gene expression in various tissues reveals the molecular mechanisms of disease. Stanford scientists involved in the National Institutes Health’s GTEx project have published some of their insights.
Three Stanford researchers are among the 84 newly elected members of the National Academy of Sciences.
The new members from Stanford are Dominique Bergmann, PhD, professor of biology; John Pringle, PhD, professor of genetics; and Anne Villeneuve, PhD, professor of developmental biology and of genetics. Full story..
Stanford’s William Greenleaf, Michael Bassik, Michael Snyder, Jonathan Pritchard and Michael Cherry have won grants to work on the federally funded Encyclopedia of DNA Elements. Full story..
New research from Stanford shows that fitness monitors and other wearable biosensors can tell when an individual’s heart rate, skin temperature and other measures are abnormal, suggesting possible illness. Full story..
"Genetics and genomics are undergoing an unparalleled revolution: our mission is to continue to lead this revolution for a better understanding of biology and human health."
Michael Snyder, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
An underlying theme in our Department is that genetics is not merely a set of tools but a coherent and fruitful way of thinking about biology and medicine. To this end, we emphasize a spectrum of approaches based on molecules, organisms, populations, and genomes.
We provide training through laboratory rotations, dissertation research, seminar series, didactic and interactive coursework, and an annual three-day retreat of nearly 200 students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and research staff.
The mission of the Department includes education and teaching as well as research; graduates from our program pursue careers in many different venues including research in academic or industrial settings, health care, health policy, and education. We are especially committed to increasing diversity within the program, and to the training of individuals from traditionally underrepresented minority groups to apply.
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