Cox to discuss rare diseases

BAR HARBOR — Greg Cox, assistant professor at The Jackson Laboratory, will speak at the Jesup Memorial Library on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.

Cox studies a wide array of orphan and rare diseases, meaning diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people. He will talk about his work on understanding the genetics behind these rare diseases including muscular dystrophies and motor neuron diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy and Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy.

Research focused on one disease can lead to discoveries that can be used to treat multiple diseases and help many more patients.

Cox will also talk about the role of mouse models in his research. Mice share more than 95 percent of their DNA with humans, which means humans and mice are often affected by a disease in similar ways.

By studying mice that have symptoms of diseases that Cox is studying, he can better understand how the disease can possibly be treated in humans. He will also speak about how these animals are equally susceptible to the same devastating diseases.

This talk is part of the Primary Source speaker series, an annual collaboration between the Jesup Memorial Library and The Jackson Laboratory, featuring programs about genetics for a lay audience. This year’s theme is “How Your Genes are Shaping the Future of Healthcare.”

Contact 288-4245.

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