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Faculty Candidate Talk: Rui Chen, PhD
March 6, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Speaker: Rui Chen, PhD
Talk Title: From Genetics To Mechanism To Therapy
About the Speaker: Rui Chen received his PhD from Baylor College of Medicine in 1999. His lab is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying human diseases using both experimental and computational approaches to identify and model gene functions in human patients and model organisms. He is currently working on identifying genes involved in several human retinal diseases, such as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), Usher syndrome, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), cone and rod dystrophy, and Stargardt’s disease. His lab recently cloned three novel human retinal disease genes, including Spata7, Cep164, and NMNAT1 and mapped several novel disease loci in their patient collection. To identify the mutation in these loci, he is applying the cutting edge NextGen sequencing technologies coupled with functional analysis to these patient samples.
About the Cluster Hire:
UW’s Cluster Hiring Initiative was launched in 1998 as an innovative partnership between the university, state and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). In its first phase, the initiative authorized nearly 50 “clusters” and nearly 150 new faculty through several rounds of hiring. In 2017, phase two of the Cluster Hiring Initiative was authorized with a goal of supporting at least 12 clusters.
A proposal by several Waisman Center investigators for a Functional Genetics/Genomics of Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Diseases cluster at the Waisman Center was selected by the UW-Madison Cluster Hire Initiative.
New faculty hires who are part of the Functional Genetics/Genomics of Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Diseases cluster at the Waisman Center will help develop a pipeline of discovery that begins with patients in the clinics and ends with new approaches for treatments or therapies. This cycle of translational research would start with identifying patient-specific genetic variants, and then continue through experimental studies to confirm whether these variants truly cause disease. Ultimately, new panels for diagnosis and new approaches for treatment may be discovered.