Crnic scientists publish groundbreaking leukemia research in ‘The Journal Cell’

feb-enewsletter-photos_0003_kelly-sullivanNationally renowned Crnic scientists, Dr. Joaquin Espinosa— the associate director for science at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, a Global affiliate— and Dr. Kelly Sullivan, teamed up with Northwestern University scientists and published findings that can lead to novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of a specific subset of leukemias.

Published in Cell, the leading publisher of cutting-edge biomedical research, their discoveries pave the road for preclinical testing and potential development of therapies for certain aggressive leukemias that the Down syndrome population is susceptible to.

Espinosa and Sullivan were part of a team led by Dr. Ali Shilatifard at Northwestern University, and including distinguished researcher Dr. John Crispino—a Down syndrome and Leukemia researcher –  which investigated the molecular foundation of a specific type of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). In their research they found that leukemias driven by the abnormal protein called ‘MLL chimera’ are susceptible to a class of drugs not previously considered for leukemia treatment.

The team used state-of-the-art genomics technology to identify a molecular pathway that’s required for the function of the MLL chimera protein. Importantly, this pathway can be blocked with existing drugs. These drugs effectively halted leukemia progression in mouse models.

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