New findings in genetics of lung health

Posted by ap507 at Jun 16, 2014 09:53 AM |
Research offers potential for prevention and treatment of lung diseases

Scientists have discovered six new regions of the genetic code that relate to lung health - opening up the possibility for better prevention as well as treatment for a range of lung diseases.

An international consortium of scientists from 134 centres in the UK, Europe, the USA and Australia identified genetic variants associated with the health of the human lung. Their discovery could shed new light on the molecular basis of a range of different lung diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis.

It is the first time that these six common genetic variants have been definitely linked with lung function. Researchers say the new pathways discovered could be targeted by drugs.

The study was co-led by Professor Martin Tobin (pictured) from the University of Leicester, Professor Ian Hall from The University of Nottingham and Dr Stephanie London from the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. It is published today in Nature Genetics, and was part funded by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC).

Research into respiratory diseases in Leicester received a boost with the £4.5 million National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit based at Glenfield Hospital in partnership with the University of Leicester.

The University is currently building a new £42 million Centre for Medicine which will act as the central hub, bringing together, for the first time in one place, the University’s leading academics, researchers, clinicians and students, currently spread across multiple sites in the city. Together they will combat the major chronic diseases, harness cutting-edge technologies to transform the medical curriculum and ultimately improve patient safety and care.