International Society
of Nurses in Genetics

Dedicated to fostering the scientific and professional growth of nurses in human genetics and genomics worldwide.
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Annual Nursing research Grant awards

Recipients Updates on Grants 

Awardee: Michelle Wright PhD, RN  Institution: Emory University
Project Title: Characterization of Allele Specific DNA Methylation of PABPNI
Study overview: A small GCG small triplet repeat expansion in a single allele of the PABPN1 gene causes late-onset muscle-specific pathology, despite the gene being ubiquitously expressed in other body tissues without exhibiting pathology. In this study we are using knockin mice to test our hypotheses that allele-specific DNA methylation may contribute to the timing of onset and tissue specific presentation associated with the mutation.

Project update: The funds were released to us from Emory 1 month ago. We have approval through our IACUC and are training grad students on primer design. Once they are successfully trained and primer design has been completed we will move forward with the laboratory analysis of the DNA methylation.

Awardee: Mitch Knisely PhD, RN-BC, ACNS-BC Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Project Title: Identification of Associations Between Inflammatory Pathway Candidate Genes and Health-Related Quality of Life in Individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Study overview: This study seeks to identify associations between cytokine gene polymorphisms and health-related quality of life in individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Project update: Early on I ran into a roadblock and wasn’t able to recruit as originally planned due to circumstances outside of my control. Therefore, I have enacted the alternative strategies that I had proposed. After modifications to an existing IRB protocol and approvals, I have obtained the necessary clinical data and blood specimens from a sample of young adults with Crohn’s disease. We are currently in the process of extracting the DNA from these specimens and will begin the genetic data collection by the end of March. The goal is to have all analyses completed by June 1st.  Also, a “work in progress” abstract is being submitted to the 2018 ISONG conference and a manuscript with our findings will be completed at the conclusion of the study.

Awardee: Nancy Dubois, RN, MSN, MBA, PhD(c) Institution: Boston College
Project Title: Identification of Health and 16S Microbiome Characteristics of Ideal Stool Donors for Fecal Mirobiota Transplantations (FMT)

Study overview: This study aims to generate essential information about FMT donor characteristics that may be predictive of passing the donor screening and donor intestinal microbiome compositions that may be associated with FMT clinical efficacy. 

Project update: Our proposal was approved by committee, and the IRB application is under review. Once this is finalized, we will collect existing data from clinical records and write up findings and discussion/conclusions. 

Awardee: Lacey Wright Heinsberg, BSN, RN Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Project Title: Epigenetic variation of the iron homeostasis pathway in patient outcomes after aSAH

Study overview: The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between variability in cerebrospinal fluid DNA methylation for a set of iron homeostasis candidate genes and patient outcomes following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH).

Project update: In the past few months we have substantially moved along analysis of one of the candidates of interest in this study and have submitted an abstract to present the results at the ISONG World Congress in Orlando this year. Over the next six months, we will complete the preliminary trajectory analyses required to identify which candidates will be examined in the replication phase of this project. We anticipate generating new data for replication of significant findings towards the end of the summer. I am grateful for the support of ISONG and look forward to sharing our findings with the community!

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