Genomic Medicine Institute News: 2014

Congratulations to Brandie Leach on her Appointment as President of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer!

Description: Brandie Leach, MSWe are proud to announce that Brandie Leach, MS, a Licensed Genetic Counselor in the Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare (CPGH), the clinical arm of the Genomic Medicine Institute, was elected President of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer. This group aims to advance research on several rare forms of inherited colorectal cancers, as well as improve clinical care for patients and families affected by these diseases.

Ms. Leach specializes in cancer genetic counseling and this appointment marks the first time a genetic counselor has been elected President of this group. Genetic counselors are healthcare professionals with specialized training in medical genetics and counseling.


Genomics Core awarded NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant

Genomics Core awarded NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant  The Lerner Research Institute’s Genomics Core, under the scientific direction of Charis Eng, MD, PhD, has been awarded a $600,000 NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant (Dr. Eng is the PI on the grant) to significantly upgrade its next generation sequencing capabilities.

Having the most innovative genomic technology will enable our investigators to rapidly and cost effectively analyze whole genomes, transcriptomes, methylomes, and metagenomes as well as perform high throughput assays of targeted panels. This automation and massively parallel throughput capability enables large datasets to be generated for multiple patient samples in a very short time. The addition of the HiSeq2500 sequencer will raise the level of genome-wide translational research at CC to the next level, and will enable unique opportunities to make novel discoveries about disease that will ultimately benefit our patients.


Germline PTEN Mutations Raise Second Cancer Risk

Germline PTEN Mutations Raise Second Cancer Risk Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Genomic Medicine Institute Chair, recently published a paper in the Journal of Clinical Oncology entitled “Second Malignant Neoplasms in Patients With Cowden Syndrome With Underlying Germline PTEN Mutations.”

The findings from this 7-year multicenter prospective study concluded patients with Cowden Syndrome with germline PTEN mutations are at higher risk for Second Malignant Neoplasms compared with the general population and prophylactic mastectomy should be considered on an individual basis given the significant risk of subsequent breast cancer.

To learn more about this study, click here


Micheala Aldred, PhD presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society’s International Conference

Micheala Aldred, PhD presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society’s International Conference Micheala Aldred, PhD, Genomic Medicine Institute, was invited to be the “featured speaker” and conclude the session on Epigenetics in Pulmonary Hypertension: Novel Mechanisms and Targets at the 2014 American Thoracic Society Conference. Dr. Aldred’s presentation was entitled “Epigenetics: A changeable landscape.”

In addition, Dr. Aldred organized and chaired a Symposium during the conference entitled: “Novel Therapeutic Strategies Emerging from Genetic Studies in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension”. The Symposium was well received by attendees.

The American Thoracic Society’s annual conference highlights the latest information on clinical, basic and translational science in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.


Congratulations to Amanda Tilot (Eng Lab) on winning the F. Merlin Bumpus Junior Investigator Award!

Amanda Tilot (Eng Lab) on winning the F. Merlin Bumpus Junior Investigator Award Amanda Tilot, doctoral student in the Molecular Medicine program, was named the winner of the F. Merlin Bumpus Junior Investigator Award. This award highlights excellence in research by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in both basic science and clinical areas.

The competition was held during the annual LRI Research Retreat on May 12th. Five research trainees were selected as finalists based on their abstracts. Amanda gave an oral presentation entitled, “The PTEN-M3M4 mouse: A genetic model for high functioning autism spectrum disorder with neuroinflammation.”

Winners and finalists will receive a certificate, their names added to the perpetual plaque in the LRI Commons, and a monetary award.


Charis Eng, MD, PhD and Angela Ting, PhD presented at the Friends of the LRI Seminar Series

Charis Eng, MD, PhD and Angela Ting, PhD presented at the Friends of the LRI Seminar Series The Friends of the LRI event highlights discoveries and innovations in treating specific disease areas and provides a unique opportunity to engage one-on-one with some of the world’s leading scientists.

Charis Eng, MD, PhD gave a presentation entitled “PTEN, From Cancer Gene to Autism.” The presentation addressed the benefits of conducting genomic research and how it can help unravel some of the mysteries of autism.

Angela Ting, PhD gave a presentation entitled, “Improving Ovarian Cancer Survival through Epigenetics Studies.” Dr. Ting’s presentation highlighted how changes in DNA may lead to chemotherapy resistance in Ovarian Cancer.


Fox 8 News Interviews Charis Eng, MD, PhD and Thomas Frazier II, PhD regarding Autism-related Research Efforts

Fox 8 News Interviews Charis Eng, MD, PhD and Thomas Frazier II, PhD regarding  Autism-related  Research Efforts Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Chair of the Cleveland Clinic’s Genomic Medicine Institute and Thomas Frazier II, PHD, Director of the Children’s Hospital Center for Autism are working to investigate autism and genetic related factors. Dr. Eng has discovered a gene mutation that predisposes people to certain kinds of cancer that can also be linked with autism. To learn more about this exciting research, watch interview here.


Charis Eng, MD, PhD. - Rising To The Top and Helping Others Along The Way

Charis Eng, MD, PhD. - Rising To The Top and Helping Others Along The WayMay 5, 2014 — Dr. Charis Eng has achieved much during her busy life. Being a woman in the field of medicine and medical research has not always been easy, especially when it comes to being mentored.

That’s why Dr. Eng has always made it a point to actively mentor others, especially women and minorities, while becoming one of the world’s leading scientists in cancer genetics. Her approach to mentorship is not in the sense of “one and done.” She is willing to nurture mentees throughout their entire careers and invites them to participate in 360-degree mentorship. We invite you to read the following Plain Dealer interview in which she talks about the importance of having a mentor and how she’s combined her love of wine and science.

Read Plain Dealer article here

Charis Eng, M.D., Ph.D. delivers the 17th Annual Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship

Charis Eng, M.D., Ph.D. delivers the 17th Annual Charlotte Friend Memorial LectureshipMay 5, 2014 — The American Association for Cancer Research awarded Dr. Charis Eng with the Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship. She was the 17th annual award recipient. The lecture is intended to give recognition to an outstanding female or male scientist who has made meritorious contributions to the field of cancer research along with furthering the advancement of women in science through leadership or by example. Dr. Eng gave this lecture at the 2014 AACR Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.

The American Medical Women’s Association’s awards Charis Eng, MD, PhD with the Exceptional Mentor Award.

The American Medical Women’s Association’s awards Charis Eng, MD, PhD with the Exceptional Mentor Award.May 5, 2014 — Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Chair of GMI, recently received the American Medical Women’s Association’s Exceptional Mentor award. The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is an organization of women physicians, medical students and other persons dedicated to serving as the unique voice for women’s health and the advancement of women in medicine.

Dr. Eng was anonymously nominated by a past mentee. This award acknowledges mentors who have selflessly contributed to the professional development and growth of women in medicine. Dr. Eng was honored at an awards luncheon in Washington, DC.

Leading the Way in Biomedical Research…

Leading the Way in Biomedical ResearchApril 23, 2014 — The European Journal of Clinical Investigation named Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Chair, Lerner Research Institute’s Genomic Medicine Institute, and Jeffrey Cummings, MD, Director, Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, among the world’s most highly influential biomedical researchers. The article recognizes 407 biomedical researchers from around the world based on Scopus publication impact and citation data from 1996–2011.

Dr. Eng authored and co-authored 380 articles and was cited more than 20,000 times over the past 15 years by researchers from around the globe. Eng’s research have been published in many distinguished publications ranging from The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, JAMA, Nature and many more. These renowned discoveries have instituted and advanced the field of Cancer Genomic Research, patient-centered clinical care and have ultimately led to patient education and empowerment. (insert quote from Dr. Eng) The quote should address her thoughts about being named top researcher.

Congratulations to both Drs. Eng and Cummings for their contributions to the field of biomedical research!