Hopkins Program on Telomeres and Individualized Care for Age-related Disease (inTEL)
inTEL investigators seek to generate new knowledge about the fundamental biology of telomeres and to develop new telomere-based clinical strategies that allow better diagnosis and treatment of age-related diseases. The team has established and proposes to implement and evaluate a method for reliably measuring in the clinic the length of a patient’s telomeres. This test could be a powerful diagnostic and prognostic tool, potentially pointing to ways of improving the patient’s outcomes using currently available therapies.
Additional plans of the inTEL team include identification of the genetic factors that contribute to short telomeres. To pinpoint genes that regulate telomere length, inTEL will employ registries of human families with inherited telomere-mediated disease and model organisms. This research will be conducted in collaboration with the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine and the Center for Analytic and Computational Genomics and will allow for timely and rapid identification of novel genes that play a role in common, inherited, age-related disorders.
Also, inTEL investigators plan to increase international recruitment of families to The Johns Hopkins Telomere Syndrome Registry, which captures data on patients with progressive premature aging disorders caused by short telomeres. This Registry is a cornerstone for research in telomere-mediated disease, and the team will seek to establish a program that leverages the Registry to provide best clinical care of, and to conduct genetic research into, these diseases.