August 6, 2014. As the flu virus strengthens its annual grip on global health, the lab of Steven Wolinsky, medicine: infectious diseases, is turning to the genome rather than germs for answers.
“Understanding the genetic variation in humans associated with flu severity may contribute to better prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of influenza infection,” says infectious diseases fellow Ellie Walker. “In order to perform this study, we are relying on DNA samples from individuals with documented influenza A infection.”
Those samples are being pulled from Northwestern’s NUgene biobank and from partnering genetic repositories throughout the country.
“What we do is organize our more than 11,000 DNA samples into relevant subsets for researchers to explore,” saysMaureen Smith, director of the NUgene Project. “The goal has always been to create a resource that is easily accessible.” Read more...