UNC Health Care to host live Facebook chat on newborn genome mapping

Dr. Cynthia Powell of N.C. Children's Hospital and Dr. Jonathan Berg of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center will answer your questions in a live Facebook chat at noon (12 p.m.) Eastern time on Thursday, Sept. 26.

Drs. Powell and Berg
Drs. Cynthia Powell and Jonathan Berg

Two University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers who lead an effort to sequence the entire genome of 400 infants as part of an NIH-funded study will answer your questions in a live Facebook chat at noon (12 p.m.) Eastern time on Thursday, Sept. 26.

The chat with Dr. Cynthia Powell and Dr. Jonathan Berg will take place on UNC Health Care's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/unchealthcare. You can sign up to have an email reminder sent to you here.

Researchers at UNC plan to sequence the entire genome of 400 infants to determine what useful clinical data can be acquired through the tests. In conjunction with the testing, the UNC team has partnered with Research Triangle Park-based RTI International to develop educational and consent tools to determine how best to educate parents and physicians about the test and its results.

The tests will examine the genomic data from a healthy group of children and a cohort of children with suspected or diagnosed genetic disorders such as phenylketonuria, cystic fibrosis and other disorders involving metabolism. The ultimate goal is to determine whether genomic testing can be an effective tool for pediatricians to incorporate alongside existing tests.

The study is funded by a 5-year, $5 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both parts of the National Institutes of Health.

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