Researchers make advancements in gene therapy, sleep science

NC_cover-art-v12_Final-150x150February 6, 2014

We wanted to share these achievements led by two School of Medicine research faculty members and first reported in OHSU Research News.

In a paper published Jan. 17 in Nature Communications, OHSU researchers in the lab of Hiroyuki Nakai, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of molecular and medical genetics, describe a new technique with the potential to significantly broaden the spectrum of diseases that can be treated with gene therapy.

The new method takes advantage of next-generation DNA sequencing technology and is similar to the idea behind the barcode technology used in retail stores.  Read more

Last month, Miranda Lim, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine, neurology and behavioral neuroscience, led a team of researchers at OHSU, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania in a study that improved sleep disturbances in mice with traumatic brain injuries by giving them branched chain amino acids – something all humans produce from foods in their normal diets.

This discovery could lead to improved treatments for thousands of people who have long-term and debilitating sleep and wakefulness issues after they suffer concussions. The study was published in Science Translational Medicine in December. Read more