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Dr. Martinez Asthma Genetics Laboratory
The Asthma Genetics Laboratory is involved in a search for genetic and environmental factors that predispose an individual to the development of asthma and allergies. We are involved in several longitudinal studies of cohorts of individuals enrolled at birth or early childhood and followed until adulthood. By genotyping the DNA from children enrolled in these studies, we are able to identify the specific polymorphisms in the genes that are associated with phenotypes of asthma, allergy, or to response to current asthma therapy. Identification of these polymorphisms may contribute to our understanding of these complex conditions, suggest strategies for prevention, and allow physicians to customize treatment in the future.
We are one of the centers involved in the Childhood Asthma Research and Education (CARE) Network. This network was established to enroll children with asthma and to evaluate treatments. Currently we are conducting genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of asthma with DNA from these subjects. The objective is to combine results of several studies at other Universities to increase the overall power to identify asthma-susceptibility loci.
We are also part of the nationwide AsthmaNet clinical research network, with centers in thirteen states, which was created by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The purpose of AsthmaNet is to develop and conduct multiple clinical trials that explore new approaches in treating asthma from childhood through adulthood. The first two protocols were started in 2011 and we began extracting DNA from blood samples of all the enrolled subjects.