DIR provides fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems through basic, clinical, and population-based research. Scroll through the following slideshow to learn about select scientific advances from each affinity group.
Preventing Preterm Birth and Adverse Outcomes in Newborns
Preterm birth is a leading cause of infant death and long-term disability in the United States, and effective treatments to prevent preterm birth are needed.
Enhancing Exosome Secretion from Cells
Exosomes—small sacs of biomolecules released from cells—offer potential as disease biomarkers and treatments. One limitation to their therapeutic use is the low yields of exosomes that can be obtained from cultured cells under standard conditions.
Evaluating the Effect of “Forever Chemicals” on Uterine Fibroids
Many factors may influence changes in uterine fibroids during pregnancy, including exposure to chemicals that can disrupt hormonal signaling.
Exploring the Balance between the Production and Decay of Messenger RNA
Messenger RNA encodes the instructions for cells to make proteins. At any given time in a cell, there is a balance between the creation of these instructions and their destruction to tune gene expression.
Uncovering Genetic Regulators in Disease-causing Bacteria
Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, occurs when a person is bitten by a blacklegged tick (or deer tick) infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacterial pathogen.
Exploring Gene Editing to Treat a Rare Disease
Although gene augmentation therapy is a promising treatment for the rare inherited disorder glycogen storage disease type-Ia (GSD-Ia), it might not be useful for growing children, and its effects might not last a lifetime.
Identifying Genetic Causes of Rare Vascular Conditions
Blood vessels are responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Malformations in blood vessels can lead to a variety of health problems.
Understanding How Thyroid Hormone Influences Intestinal Development
Studying the process of metamorphosis from tadpole to frog can help scientists gain insights into how thyroid hormone regulates adult organ development in mammals.
Defining the Role of Bacterial Genes-Within-Genes
Genes-within-genes that produce a smaller version of a complete, full-length protein can serve important functions within a cell.
Identifying Early Childhood Risks for Suicide
Vulnerability to suicide may be linked to a variety of early childhood factors. Identifying these risk factors can help us better understand how vulnerability to suicide emerges and help inform programs to prevent suicide.
Understanding How Genes are Silenced During Development
During embryonic development, some genes must be silenced or “inactivated” at certain times and places. This silencing is orchestrated by Polycomb group proteins (PcG), which must be recruited to the gene in question.