With leading scientists, international networking, precision animal models, and next-generation genetics and genomics technologies, The Jackson Laboratory is investing in the futures of people living with rare diseases.
Chris Brannigan receives send-off at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine during his barefoot march
Hear Chris Brannigan's story about his family's fight with rare disease and comments from JAX-GM's Director and Professor Charles Lee in this video from the Jackson Laboratory.
While individually rare (by definition, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S.), rare diseases collectively affect about 350 million people globally, and thus represent a major health issue. About 80 percent of rare diseases are genetic in origin, about half affect children, many are fatal, and very few have cures. Rare conditions are often described as “orphan” because they receive relatively little attention and investment from pharmaceutical companies.
To our researchers, that just does not seem fair. Through the work within the Rare Disease Translational Center, our researchers are developing custom genetic tools that bring real hope to families with rare diseases.
Neuroscientist Cat Lutz, Ph.D., is the vice president of the Rare Disease Translational Center, and she works closely with many rare disease foundations and researchers to support their research and drug discovery goals. Research by Lutz and her collaborators led directly to the development of Spinraza, the first FDA-approved drug to treat spinal muscular atrophy. Now, her team is developing new mouse models for dozens of rare diseases, including SETBP1, Multiple Sulfatase Disorder, Friedreich’s Ataxia, and more.
JAX Professor and neuroscientist Rob Burgess, Ph.D., studies Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which causes damage to the bundles of nerve cell fibers that connect the brain and spinal cord to muscles and sensory organs. Affecting one in about 2,500 people each year, CMT includes more than 80 different genetic mutations, each with very different disease processes and symptoms. Currently, there are no cures.
JAX Associate Professor Greg Cox, Ph.D., is at the hub of a network of researchers, mouse model experts, clinicians and patient families, all dedicated to finding the genetic causes and potential treatments for neuromuscular diseases. In his own lab Cox focuses on SMA and its very rare variant, spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress (SMARD), as well as ALS and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Cat Lutz, Ph.D., M.B.A. was recently named vice president of the Rare Disease Translational Center at The Jackson Laboratory.
In honor for International Myotonic Dystrophy Awareness Day, JAX's Laurent Bogdanik discusses the disease and potential treatments.
Senior Director of JAX Rare and Orphan Disease Center, Cat Lutz, Ph.D., M.B.A. is honored for her tireless efforts in rare disease research with an award from NORD.
A JAX research team led by Cat Lutz launched a project to develop gene therapy strategies and to test small molecules for the treatment of multiple sulfatase deficiency, a rare genetic disorder.
Rare disease families and experts offer advice on how to navigate the complicated and daunting journey from diagnosis to potential treatment.
Chris Brannigan is preparing to take off his boots and walk nearly 1200 miles down the eastern seaboard of the United States, and he's doing it all in the name of CdLS research for his daughter, Hasti.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. As of now, there is no known cure, but researchers at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and elsewhere are undaunted and hard at work.
New five-year NIH grant totaling $10.6M funds JAX center to fast-track treatment-focused research for rare genetic disorders.
JAX has recently developed two new genetic mouse models to be used in SETBP1 rare disease research.