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Fall 2001 - Volume 12, No 4

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Articles
Faculty Members Launch Wayne State University Physician Group

 

Students Help Students

 

WSU Establishes Premier Nanobiotechnology Center in Midwest

 

Improving Survival for Obese Breast Cancer Patients

 

Distinguished Professor Honored by American Hemophilia Foundation

 

Genetic Studies Underway for Inherited Aneurysms

 

Scientific Computing Program Offers Training in New Skill Sets

 

WSU School of Medicine Graduates 228 New Doctors

 

Assistant Dean Leads International Efforts for WSU School of Medicine

 

State Funding May Boost Perinatal Research at WSU

 

New Chair of Radiology's Work Could Reduce Need for Hysterectomies

 

Heart Attack Patients with Normal ECGs Can Have Adverse Outcomes

 

Multiple Sclerosis Research Focuses on Axons

 

Researcher Leads International Health Efforts in West Africa

 

Dr. Gray to Lead Graduate Medical Education Programs for WSU, DMC

 

New Urologist Offers Incontinence Treatment

 

Ceremony Welcomes 256 New Medical Students

 

Graduate Student Wins National Award

 

African-American Physician Honored for Her Career-Long Achievements

 

New Medical Students Learn to Celebrate Differences and Understand Similarities

 

Anti-Tobacco Crusader and Movie Star Visit WSU School of Medicine

 

Dr. Gallagher Recognized for Service as Academic Senate President

 

WSU Hosts Conference on African-American Health

 

Minority Research Day Honors Graduate, Undergraduate Students

 

Program Offers Research Opportunities to Local High School Students

 

$1 Million Pledged for Biomedical Department

 

The Wayne State University School of Medicine Welcomes the Class of 2005

 

New Graduate Students Welcomed

 

Training Researchers in Genomics

 

WSU's Blaine White Elected to Prestigious Institute of Medicine

Genetic Studies Underway for Inherited Aneurysms


Antti Ronkainen (left), a neurosurgeon from Finland, visited WSU to get genetics training for the intracranial aneurysm studies that are underway with Drs. S. Helena Kuivaniemi and Gerard Tromp.

The progress made by Helena Kuivaniemi is remarkable, given the elusive nature of her subject. Dr. Kuivaniemi is performing genetic research related to candidate genes for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). Why is this a problem? First, AAAs rarely produce symptoms until they rupture, and then survival rates are very low. Furthermore, few individuals develop aneurysms before the age of 50, and although aneurysms are hereditary, by the time an individual has been diagnosed, his or her parents have generally died and the children are still too young to be tested, making familial studies difficult.

Dr. Kuivaniemi has used scientific means to work around these problems and she is part of a national network gathering data to help families who may carry candidate genes for aneurysms. Her goal is to localize the chromosomal regions likely to harbor the AAA susceptibility genes. She collects DNA from AAA sibling-pair patients and their relatives and performs genetic linkage analysis using highly polymorphic markers from the promising regions. The goal is to identify the gene or genes that harbor mutations in patients with aneurysms.

“A familial tendency to develop aneurysms is well documented in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms, but the genetic basis for this predisposition is unknown,” Dr. Kuivaniemi said. “There is an urgent need to study this problem because it occurs with no warning and few people are screened for it.”

An aneurysm is a balloon-like swelling in the wall of a weakened blood vessel. The chances of surviving a ruptured aneurysm are poor, but elective surgery can be performed if the aneurysm is caught early through regular ultrasound screening. Now that scientists have recognized this as an inherited disorder, more work is being done around the country. Wayne State University is one of seven centers funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for aneurysm research.

While Dr. Kuivaniemi studies abdominal aortic aneurysms, her husband, Dr. Gerard Tromp studies intracranial aneurysms. They are looking for families to participate in their collaborative genetic studies by filling out a family history questionnaire, donating a small blood sample, and agreeing to be part of a national patient registry. For more information, visit their website at http://cmmg.biosci. wayne.edu/ags/

Notes

Honors

Rounds

Continuing Medical Education

Women's Health Lecture Series