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Bioinformatics class works to help local family

Dec. 18, 2012

The work of BME faculty member Lonnie Welch and one of his classes is the subject of an article that recently appeared in the Ohio University online publication Compass.

The students in the fall semester class Data Mining Applications in the Life Sciences developed software with the aim of helping a local family affected by a rare disease, ataxia with oculomotor apaxia type 1, or AOA1. Two family members suffer from the disease, which is caused by a genetic mutation that blocks the brain's ability to regulate posture, limb movements, and strength.

Meg Nicol, a student in the class, will make the project the focus of her Honors Tutorial College thesis.  She plans to complete her thesis in spring 2014.

Welch continues to studyDNA repair genes and pathways and their links to various diseases. 

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