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Crnic Institute Scientists Receive NIH and Lejeune Grants

We proudly support the important research of two of our Crnic Institute scientists, Katheleen Gardiner, Ph.D. and Michael Yeager, Ph.D. Dr. Gardiner received a R03 NIH grant to understand cognitive deficits in Down syndrome from Hsa21 orthologs on mouse chromosome 10 and Dr. Yeager received a Lejeune grant to study pneumonia in Down syndrome. NIH awarded Dr. Gardiner $52,750 from September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2019. The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation awarded Dr. Yeager $50,000 from August 18, 2017 to July 21, 2019.

Katheleen Gardiner, Ph.D.

Katheleen Gardiner

Dr. Katheleen Gardiner is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Denver and the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. Dr. Gardiner received a B.S. degree in Honors Physics from McGill University in Montreal. She then spent 2 ½ years teaching high school general science and physics in Kanye, Botswana. She received a PhD from the Department of Biophysics and Genetics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, for studies on RNA processing in bacteria, work which subsequently was awarded a Nobel Prize.

During a postdoctoral fellowship at the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Denver, Dr. Gardiner began working on Down syndrome, initially mapping genes on human chromosome 21 at the start of the human genome project. This work led to her chairing an international committee on genomic sequence annotation when the complete DNA sequence of human chromosome 21 was generated and published in 2000. Dr. Gardiner has continued to focus her research on human chromosome 21 and Down syndrome at the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, then at the University of Denver. She moved to the University of Colorado in 2007 and joined the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome in 2012. Current research focuses on protein expression in mouse and human model systems of Down syndrome, and combines wet bench experimental work with computational approaches. The goal is to identify critical patterns in gene expression that underlie learning and memory deficits and to manipulate these with drug treatments to rescue cognitive deficits.

Dr. Gardiner has organized that last two international conferences on Down syndrome and the biology of human chromosome 21 (in 2007 and 2004) in Washington DC, and co-organized similar conferences in 2000 and 1997, held at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, and the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, respectively. She recently organized a conference entitled “Cognition in Down syndrome: molecular, cellular and behavioral phenotypes and the promise of pharmacotherapeutics.” It was held in Washington, DC, April 13-15, 2013.

Michael Yeager, Ph.D.

Michael Yeager is an Associate Professor in Pediatrics and Bioengineering at the University of Colorado. He earned his Ph.D. at CU in Experimental Pathology and completed post-doctoral fellowships at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes and National Jewish Hospital. His primary research interests have focused on inflammation and fibrosis of the lung vasculature and the right ventricle in children and adults with pulmonary hypertension and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Recently, he has been investigating why persons with Down syndrome are more susceptible to infectious lung disease. He is grateful to be funded to do this work by the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the American Heart Association, and the Jerome Lejeune Foundation.

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