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Intramural Research Accomplishments 2006

June 2007

In its March-April 2007 issue, the editors of the NIH Catalyst listed brief summaries of intramural research accomplishments from the NIH institutes and centers. In the areas that fit the Institute's research agenda and mission, NIEHS researchers were disproportionately well represented. Numbers in parentheses refer to how many NIEHS studies and how many total studies were recognized in each category.

Identification of Disease Genes (2 of 5)

  • Identification of the K55R polymorphism variant allele in association with increased risk of coronary heart disease in Caucasians in a community-based study of atherosclerosis risk, implicating EPHX2 as a potential cardiovascular disease-susceptibility gene -
  • Single mutations in the human master regulator p53 found to dramatically alter cellular response to environmental stress, potentially exerting an effect on tumor development and therapeutic efficacy
    • Menendez D, Inga A, Resnick MA( Exit NIEHS. 2006. The biological impact of the human master regulator p53 can be altered by mutations that change the spectrum and expression of its target genes. Mol Cell Biol 26:2297-2308.

Basic Discoveries in Cell, Molecular, and Structural Biology with Implications for the Treatment of Human Disease (3 of 56)

  • Discovery of a new molecular mechanism for thyroid hormone action, providing new insight into the role of thyroid hormone in human brain, heart, lipid and neuronal matters and underscoring concerns about agricultural chemicals that interfere with thyroid hormone activities and such public-health problems as learning disorders, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression -
  • Structural analysis of DNA strand slippage that generates deleterious mutations underlying disease, supporting a decades-old but previously unproven idea -
    • Garcia-Diaz M, Bebenek K, Krahn JM, Pedersen LC, Kunkel TA( Exit NIEHS. 2006. Structural analysis of strand misalignment during DNA synthesis by a human DNA polymerase. Cell 124:331-342.
  • TLR4 gene found to protect against tumor development in mice, suggesting that targeting the innate immune system may be useful in fighting human diseases, including cancer -

Development of New or Improved Approaches for Preventing or Delaying the Onset or Progression of Disease and Disability (1 of 16)

  • Finding that overweight and obese men have decreased fertility, with a 20-pound increase yielding a ten percent increase in infertility risk -
    • Sallmen M, Sandler DP, Hoppin JA, Blair A, Baird DD( Exit NIEHS. 2006. Evidence for reduced fertility among overweight and obese men. Epidemiology 17(5):520-523.

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June 2007 Cover Page

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