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For Release: May 19, 2010
David Corriveau, Media Relations Officer, Dartmouth Medical School, at or 603-653-0771; and
Jason Moore, at 603-653-9939 or

Moore: Finding Genetic Hints to Disease is Complex Task

Jason H. Moore, Ph.D.

Hanover, N.H.—The search for ways to identify risk factors for cancer and other common diseases will require strategies beyond the "simple approaches" - such as the Human Genome Project - now dominating the field of genetics, Dartmouth researcher Jason Moore, Ph.D. argues in an essay published online in the journal Nature Review Genetics.

Moore, Dartmouth Medical School's Frank Lane Research Scholar in Computational Genetics and director of bioinformatics, joined six fellow geneticists in writing opinions in a "Viewpoint" article for the June 2010 edition of the journal, on where and how to find missing genetic factors that trigger the diseases.

"The time is now to philosophically and analytically retool for a complex genetic architecture or we will continue to underdeliver on the promises of human genetics," Moore, a DMS professor of genetics and of community and family medicine, writes in his essay. "Indeed, life, and thus genetics, is complicated and some will soon ask, as seismologists have [about earthquakes], whether we are trying to predict the unpredictable."

Moore and his colleagues explain how various factors, including structural variants, epigenetic regulation, and genetic interactions, could contribute to common human disease.

"The field of genetics has been dominated by simple approaches to the problem and have not achieved much success," Moore says. "My research program directly confronts this complexity by developing powerful computational algorithms and software for looking t interactions between multiple genetic and environmental risk factors."

More information about Moore's program is available in the spring 2010 edition of Dartmouth Medicine magazine, at his web site and on his blog


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