DNA tools getting to the root of disease

Advances in DNA genomics are helping researchers to understand conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s

Prof Mike Lenardo

Prof Mike Lenardo


When the human genome, or DNA, was first sequenced, it took a huge international effort and about three billion dollars to get the project across the line in the early 2000s. Today, we can get genome data for a human within hours, and the cost ranks in thousands rather than billions.

Next week, immunologist Prof Mike Lenardo will be in Dublin to give a talk about how advances in DNA genomics are helping researchers to understand conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, and how he uses those tools to figure out how changes in the immune system affect health.

“My lab studies rare genetic diseases of the immune system,” says Lenardo, who is based at the National Institutes of Health in the US. “When we learn which genes are involved, we can get an idea in some cases about how to treat these rare disorders, and what we find can also point us to what goes wrong in more common allergies and how some people are more susceptible to infections. The scientific tools we have now, based on these new genomic technologies, are much more powerful today than they were even five years ago.”

Prof Lenardo will present the free Irish Society for Immunology/ Irish Times /Science Gallery public lecture How the DNA Genomics Revolution Will Improve Your Future Health in the Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, at 7pm on Tuesday, April 29th. To book, email irishimmunology@gmail.com.

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