Genetics Department News

September 2018

We are bombarded by thousands of diverse species and chemicals

We are all exposed to a vast and dynamic cloud of microbes, chemicals and particulates that, if visible, might make us look something like Pig-Pen from Peanuts.

Stanford scientists have measured the human “exposome,” or the particulates, chemicals and microbes that individually swaddle us all, in unprecedented detail.sing a re-engineered air-monitoring device, scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine have peered into that plume and discovered a smorgasbord of biological and chemical minutia that swirl in, on and around us. Their findings show, in unprecedented detail, the variety of bacteria, viruses, chemicals, plant particulates, fungi, and even tiny microscopic animals that enter our personal space — a bombardment known as the human “exposome.”

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September 2018

Researchers can forecast risk of deadly vascular condition from genome sequence

A new approach that distills deluges of genetic data and patient health records has identified a set of telltale patterns that can predict a person’s risk for a common, and often fatal, cardiovascular disease, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

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July 2018

Diabetic-level glucose spikes seen in healthy people

A study out of Stanford in which blood sugar levels were continuously monitored reveals that even people who think they’re “healthy” should pay attention to what they eat.

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May 2018

New center sets out to stop disease before it starts

At the Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics Center, scientists turn the norms of disease research on their head, searching not for treatments but for ways to prevent disease entirely.

It’s not often that world-class scientists band together to investigate disease with no intention of curing it. Yet upward of 55 scientists at Stanford’s Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics Center are doing just that in a push to get researchers and physicians off their heels and onto their toes in the battle against disease..

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April 2018

CRISPR used to genetically edit coral

In a proof-of-principle study, Stanford scientists and their colleagues used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system to modify genes in coral, suggesting that the tool could one day aid conservation efforts.

Coral reefs on the precipice of collapse may get a conservation boost from the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and their collaborators.

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January 2018

Weight flux alters molecular profile

Stanford scientists have found links between changes in a person’s weight and shifts in their microbiome, immune system and cardiovascular system.

A paper describing the work was published online Jan. 17 in Cell Systems. The lead authors are Stanford postdoctoral scholars Wenyu Zhou, PhD, and Hannes Röst, PhD; staff scientist Kévin Contrepois, PhD; and former postdoctoral scholar Brian Piening, PhD. Senior authorship is shared by Michael Snyder, PhD, professor of genetics at Stanford; Tracey McLaughlin, MD, professor of medicine at Stanford; and George Weinstock, PhD, professor and director of microbial genomics at the Jackson Laboratory, an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution.

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October 2017

Study uncovers mutation that supercharges tumor-suppressor

Cancer researchers have long hailed p53, a tumor-suppressor protein, for its ability to keep unruly cells from forming tumors. But for such a highly studied protein, p53 has hidden its tactics well.

Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have tapped into what makes p53 tick, delineating a clear pathway that shows how the protein mediates anti-tumor activity in pancreatic cancer. The team’s research also revealed something unexpected: A particular mutation in the p53 gene amplified the protein’s tumor-fighting capabilities, creating a “super tumor suppressor.”

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Tissue-specific gene expression uncovered, linked to disease

Understanding how a person’s DNA sequence affects gene expression in various tissues reveals the molecular mechanisms of disease. Stanford scientists involved in the National Institutes Health’s GTEx project have published some of their insights.

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May 2017

John Pringle and Anne Villeneuve elected to National Academy of Sciences  

Three Stanford researchers are among the 84 newly elected members of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new members from Stanford are Dominique Bergmann, PhD, professor of biology; John Pringle, PhD, professor of genetics; and Anne Villeneuve, PhD, professor of developmental biology and of genetics. Full story..

February 2017

$10.5 million awarded to researchers to work on DNA encyclopedia

Stanford’s William Greenleaf, Michael Bassik, Michael Snyder, Jonathan Pritchard and Michael Cherry have won grants to work on the federally funded Encyclopedia of DNA Elements. Full story..

January 2017

Wearable sensors can tell when you are getting sick

New research from Stanford shows that fitness monitors and other wearable biosensors can tell when an individual’s heart rate, skin temperature and other measures are abnormal, suggesting possible illness. Full story..

Department Chair

"Genetics and genomics are undergoing an unparalleled revolution: our mission is to continue to lead this revolution for a better understanding of biology and human health."

Michael Snyder, Ph.D.
Stanford W. Ascherman Professor and Chair, Department of Genetics
Director, Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine

About Us

An underlying theme in our Department is that genetics is not merely a set of tools but a coherent and fruitful way of thinking about biology and medicine. To this end, we emphasize a spectrum of approaches based on molecules, organisms, populations, and genomes.

We provide training through laboratory rotations, dissertation research, seminar series, didactic and interactive coursework, and an annual three-day retreat of nearly 200 students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and research staff.

The mission of the Department includes education and teaching as well as research; graduates from our program pursue careers in many different venues including research in academic or industrial settings, health care, health policy, and education. We are especially committed to increasing diversity within the program, and to the training of individuals from traditionally underrepresented minority groups to apply.

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by U.S. News