This section briefly describes several ongoing major studies as well as recently completed investigations. The Scripps Translational Science Institute also sponsors pilot/methodological studies whose potential impact on health care is significant. To learn about these projects, please visit pilot grants. The journal reports and other articles authored by STSI researchers also are a source of information about the institute’s studies.
Through the Wellderly study, researchers seek to understand the mechanisms that help keep people healthy and protected from disease as they age, and to translate key discoveries into improvements in patient care.
Scientists hope to define the genetic basis of anorexia nervosa, which has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness. Autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia also have been a focus of STSI’s genomics investigations.
By unraveling the genomic components of cancer and translating that knowledge to the patient, scientists aim to replace the status quo of one-size-fits-all-medicine with individualized health care.
The Scripps Genomic Health Initiative is the first large-scale and long-term evaluation of the attitudes and perceptions of consumers who have who have purchased a commercially available personal genomic risk assessment test. The initial results from the SGHI study were published online Jan. 12, 2011 by the New England Journal of Medicine.
Translational research on diabetes is conducted in the laboratory, clinic and the community.
Circulating endothelial cells are being investigated as a potential biomarker of increased risk for sudden heart attack. And, in a “gene desert” region on human chromosome 9, researchers are taking advantage of the relatively new research tool, zinc finger nucleases, and other groundbreaking new approaches, such as induced pluripotent stem cells, to identify DNA variants that increase risk for coronary artery disease.
The DNA sequences of different strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are being scrutinized to identify genetic factors that distinguish the serious but treatable noninvasive form of the disease from the invasive and potentially lethal infections that bore through the skin, down to the bone, and spread to other body tissues.
Improved scientific understanding of Transient Receptor Potential ion channels may provide new and novel targets for developing more effective and safe therapies for chronic pain.