medical genetics

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Mar 22, 2000
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Are there any other med. students interested in medical genetics residencies? I am intrigued by the potential of this field, especially with the latest developments in gene sequencing and gene therapy. Are any of you currently in clinical med. genetics residencies? I would like to hear more about the field from an "insider". Thanks.

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Latest developments in gene therapy? What are they? Remember that so far there has not been one person what has been cured by gene therapy, i am interested to know if there is such residencies. Being involved in biochmistry research i can tell you one thing that a lag of time between successful research and clinical medicine is 15-25 years at least, dont hope to see the manifestations of sequencing effords by celera any time soon in the doctor's offices. An in any case medical genetics involves 99% work with test tubes and not patients.

Good luck in your search
Most recently, gene therapy has restored the immune system in two children with severe combined immuno-deficiency, SCID. The trial was conducted in Paris, France, and after two years of study, the two are presenting a normal immune system, no longer living in "bubbles". There have been many in-vitro gene transfer studies as well as those conducted in animals for countless diseases. Granted, such studies are a far cry from an actual FDA approved procedure, but the potential is there. The death of the patient last year was clearly a setback to gene therapy, but it is questionable whether blame lies in the theory or the practice of the theory for that death. It will take many more successful studies till the procedure becomes run of the doctors office, but I think it will happen sooner than 25 years.

As for residency programs, the American Board of Medical Genetics accredits clinical medical genetics programs. A listing of these programs can be found at A FRIEDA Online search displayed 44 programs in the specialty of Medical Genetics. Since it is a voluntary listing, I am assuming the ABMG listing is more complete. It is difficult to say which of these programs have an emphasis or even rotations in Gene Therapy. That would require a more thorough search, or, if I am lucky, an insider perspective.

As far as Celera?s work is concerned, once they have repeated their complete sequencing effort in couple dozen more persons, their work will show up in the form of diagnostic kits within five years.

Since I am early in my medical career, I have the luxury of being able to wait and see which direction the research takes. But it is definitely interesting.

Thanks for the reply.

[This message has been edited by Blueprint (edited 05-12-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Blueprint (edited 05-12-2000).]
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SCID children? Do they have the same immune system characteristics (no B or T cells) as SCID mice?
I would urge herr zilberman to research NIH and CancerLit....there is a lot of CLINICAL research being done on REAL patients done with gene therapy. I dont understand his/her bias.
Nih currently lists 47 studies INVOLVING PATIENTS in which gene therapy is being used, including in chronic granulomatous disease, HIV, colon cancer, brain cancer, melanoma.
The director of NIH in the late 80's and 90s wrote a book THE TRANSFORMED CELL describing the use of altered autologous t lymphocytes and their use to cure several patients of DISSEMINATED MELANOMA (yep, i said disseminated melanoma). to assert that medical genetics is a field only for research scientists and not for clinicians is just not true, certainly the Nih director would disagree with that statement, read the book! These patients in these trials need CLINICIANS, the field needs CLINICIANS, and by the time the premed student gets done with their 9 years of training to become an internal medicine physician with a subspecialty in medical genetics, I GUARANTEE that medical genetics will be a field with plenty of clinical relevance, IT ALREADY IS!
I agree with you about the research effords, but there is no procedure that has been aproved, everything that we know about gene therapy as done on small groups in clinical trials. This is very different when approved FDA treatment. I agree that gene therapy is an emerging field, but i am not sure how soon will it be accepted by the people. And keep in mine ethical implications.
I will give you some personal mother has terminal brain cancer, based on my extended families search for answers to the unanswerable, I assure you that just as in THE TRANSFORMED GENE, medical ethics and patient acceptance is not a problem for patients and their acceptance of hope....and that is precisely what patients a medical geneticist is going to encounter on a daily basis. so while the general public may have medical ethics issues (which the courts have already bypassed to allow clinical trials of geneticly altered material on humans, so its moot at this point) dying patients and their families are just as willing to put an adenovirus with genetic material into their bodies as travel to brazil for the latest rainforest plant.
It is being done and has had success with people...large groups? who the hell cares, if its showing efficacy and it is, and it is emerging both in technology and opportunity, then I encourage people to go into this field, its going to cure a lot of people from a lot of nasty illnesses....AND ALREADY HAS CURED A FEW. The size of the study isnt as important in this particular debate as the TYPE OF PATIENT being treated...a patient with malignant melanoma which has disseminated has a death sentence....if five or six of these can be turned around in a small study of ten patients, then THAT is more significant than the size of the sampling...obviously this argument doesn't hold for the common cold, just for verifiably guaranteed deadly illnesses.
Blueprint said:
Are there any other med. students interested in medical genetics residencies? I am intrigued by the potential of this field, especially with the latest developments in gene sequencing and gene therapy. Are any of you currently in clinical med. genetics residencies? I would like to hear more about the field from an "insider". Thanks.
nothing important, im just searching around and bumping old genetics threads to see if theres any new input to be had
i am also extremely interested in the field of medical genetics! i'm glad to know that i'm not alone! :)

when i say that i'm interested in a genetics fellowship, my friends look at me like i'm crazy and tell me i wont make any money.

but the field excites me. there is so much to be found and with an m.d. we have an opportunity to link research with clinical trials. i'm trying to decide wheter to enter a residency in internal med, peds or ob-gyn. i'm thinking the ob-gyn and peds have more of a potential.

i am particularly interested in cancer genetics and ivf. so i'm also considering heme-onc. i dont like ob-gyn a whole lot, so it is deterring me from entering ivf, but who knows, i might change my mind.

either way, we probably wont get to see big bucks bc i htink it will be a LONG time before these trials amount to anything real in patient treatments.

i still think that it is an exciting area to enter now. i have a genetic disease in my family and this field could be the answer, or at least an avenue of hope.

good luck. let me know if u find any new info. perhaps we can set up a seperate forum for medical genetics to get those of us interested in it to express our ideas and opinions. i think it would be fun :D