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UCLA opens new program to solve mystery genetic diseases

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September 16, 2015 
Elaine Schmidt

A new UCLA program offers hope and potential answers for people who have undergone extensive medical testing that has failed to identify their illness.

Undiagnosed diseases take a huge toll on patients, their families and the health care system, said Dr. Katrina Dipple, who is a co-principal investigator of the program along with fellow UCLA geneticists Dr. Stanley Nelson, Dr. Christina Palmer and Dr. Eric Vilain. The lack of a clear diagnosis can prevent patients from obtaining the correct care for their condition. Our goal is to quickly give patients a firm diagnosis and clarify the best way to treat them.

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA was one of six U.S. institutions chosen last year by the National Institutes of Health to help launch a $43 million initiative called the Undiagnosed Diseases Network. The NIH created the network to tackle the most difficult-to-solve medical cases and develop new ways to diagnose rare disorders. UCLA is accepting online applications for its program as of today.

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