R. Grace Zhai, Ph.D., of University of Miami Health System will present a lecture entitled: Using Drosophila Models to Decipher Rare Neurological Diseases: From Undiagnosed Diseases to Potential Treatment.
Abstract: Currently there are about 6,800 rare diseases known, affecting 6-8% of the population. The advent of genome technology has greatly accelerated the diagnoses of rare and mysterious conditions, at the same time, has posted challenges for therapeutic discovery. We take advantage of the power of Drosophila genetics and establish models for rare genetic diseases, with the goal to understand disease mechanisms and discover potential therapies. Recently we successfully established a Drosophila model for Snyder-Robinson X-linked intellectual disability syndrome, an ultrarare disease. We characterized disease pathophysiology and proposed potential therapeutic target.