Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Hegele, Robert A.


Rare disorders affect less than one in 2000 individuals, placing a huge burden on individuals, families and the health care system. Gene discovery is the starting point in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying these diseases. The advent of next-generation sequencing has accelerated discovery of disease-causing genetic variants and is showing numerous benefits for research and medicine. I describe the application of next-generation sequencing, namely LipidSeq™ ‒ a targeted resequencing panel for the identification of dyslipidemia-associated variants ‒ and whole-exome sequencing, to identify genetic determinants of several rare diseases. Utilization of next-generation sequencing plus associated bioinformatics led to the discovery of disease-associated variants for 71 patients with lipodystrophy, two with early-onset obesity, and families with brachydactyly, cerebral atrophy, microcephaly-ichthyosis, and widow’s peak syndrome. Understanding these variants and their contribution to disease can increase understanding of disease mechanisms and help with the development of therapeutic interventions in the future.

Available for download on Thursday, August 01, 2019