Mentor: Robert Plenge, Medical & Population Genetics
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune arthritis characterized by severe pain, loss of function, and eventual immobility for the patient if left untreated. Considering that 1% of all adults worldwide have this disease, it is imperative that we better understand the “common” genetic roots of this disease in order to accurately assess and treat the disease phenotype.
Bruce and his colleagues are the Broad Institute generated sequencing and genotyping data for the TRAF1 gene in rheumatoid arthritis patients. SNPs in the TRAF1 gene have been recently associated to an increase in rheumatoid arthritis and further experimentation segue to identify functional variants in linkage disequilibrium with the validated common risk allele.
"The Broad Institute exposed me to an open and cooperative work environment, where not only individuals, but entire labs come together to solve today’s most pressing scientific issues. Simply being here was a fantastic change of pace from my normal environment and I am glad that I came to the Broad Institute."
Bruce Jobse, a biological sciences sophomore at Dartmouth College, interpreted genotype expressions of human cell lines for heritable rheumatoid arthritis risk.