Page Menu

Two UMass Medical School research teams named STAT Madness 2019 contenders

Date Posted: March 04, 2019
By: Sarah Willey
Category: Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences,Faculty,Rare Disease
stat-madness-2019.png
STAT Madness is a bracket-style competition in which participants vote for the best pioneering biomedical research of 2018.

Two UMass Medical School research teams have been selected by Stat News to compete among 64 contestants in the third annual 2019 STAT Madness competition. STAT Madness is a bracket-style competition in which participants vote for the best pioneering biomedical research of 2018. Voting for the first round begins Monday, March 4. Winners will be chosen for the next round on March 8.

Anastasia Khvorova, PhD, professor of RNA therapeutics, and Melissa Moore, PhD, professor of RNA therapeutics, were chosen for their work to identify a promising treatment for preeclampsia with a collaboration of scientists at UMMS, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Western Sydney University. Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy that contributes to 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths worldwide. In a November 2018 Nature Biotechnology paper, the scientists explained how they used small interfering RNAs (siRNA) to temper the symptoms of preeclampsia in an animal model, which has the potential to allow women with the condition to extend their pregnancy and improve outcomes for infants.

Christian Mueller, PhD, and Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, were chosen for their research into a potential new treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS. Dr. Mueller, associate professor of pediatrics, and Dr. Brown, the Leo P. and Theresa M. LaChance Chair in Medical Research, professor of neurology and director of the Program in Neurotherapeutics, published a study in Science Translational Medicine last October. They provided evidence that a gene therapy technique, which involves using synthetic microRNAs to switch off the proteins linked to the degenerative neurological disease, has so far proven effective in animal experiments, and is headed to clinical trials on patients.

The public can support UMMS researchers by signing up for a reminder when voting begins on Monday, March 4 by clicking here. Follow the competition on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Additional Resources
click to open search panel