Division of Molecular Genetics
The Molecular Genetics program is dedicated to understanding the molecular causes and risk factors for targeted pediatric orthopedic disorders.
Meet Our Team
Carol Wise, Ph.D., Director
Dongping Zhang, M.D., M.S. - Research Scientist
Xiaochong Gao, M.D., M.S.
January Brandon, B.S.
Kristen Mauldin, B.S.
Jessica Frankel, B.S.
Swarkar Sharma, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow
Areas of Investigation
Genetics of Scoliosis
We are currently applying large-scale methods that integrate clinical and genetic data to identify the molecular mechanisms behind scoliosis, the most common spinal deformity in children. Our current study is funded primarily by the National Institutes of Health and will involve more than 3,000 individuals with scoliosis and their families. This is a collaborative effort with other U.S. pediatric orthopaedic surgeons. Read more about TSRHC's gene discovery.
Genetics of Pediatric Inflammatory Diseases
Arthritis in children is not only painful and debilitating but can lead to permanent joint destruction. We previously identified the gene responsible for a type of severe childhood arthritis known as PAPA syndrome. We are currently participating in collaborative studies of this and other forms of juvenile arthritis.
Other Pediatric Disorders
We are interested in the genetics of various skeletal growth disorders. One example is the group of disorders abbreviated as MOPD, the so-called “smallest people in the world.” In collaboration with the skeletal dysplasia program at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and the Potentials Foundation, we are studying correlation between genetics and clinical presentation of these diseases.
You Can Help!
Enrollment is ongoing for TSRHC's genetic studies. You may be eligible to participate if you…
are a TSRHC patient,
have BEEN a TSRHC patient, or
are interested in serving as a healthy control.
Please call (214) 559-7869 or (800) 421-1121, ext. 7869.