At the Morton Laboratory, we are interested in applying evolving techniques in molecular cytogenetics to address problems in human cytogenetics; our interests include chromosomal rearrangements in constitutional and acquired cytogenetic disorders. We have several long term projects underway.
In one effort, we are seeking to identify genes that predispose women to develop uterine leiomyomata (fibroids), common benign pelvic tumors that are the most frequent indication for hysterectomy in the United States.
In another effort, known as DGAP (Developmental Genome Anatomy Project), we are identifying genes involved in human development and using naturally occurring human chromosomal rearrangements in association with major congenital anomalies as the biological reagents for gene discovery.
We have previously identified genes involved in hearing and deafness disorders using expressed sequences from a human fetal cochlear library, a cochlear cDNA microarray, and mouse models of human deafness disorders.
We are currently undertaking studies to apply CRISPR/Cas9 methodologies to establish therapeutic approaches for targeting mutations in deafness genes.
Another new research project, SEQaBOO (SEQuencing a Baby for an Optimal Outcome), proposes to use the latest DNA sequencing and genetic technologies to define better the genetic causes of hearing loss, with an overarching goal of offering better and timelier treatment options for babies born with hearing loss.