Utah's resource, Mark Skolnick
Interviewee: Mark Skolnick. Mark Skolnick talks about taking advantage of the well-documented genealogy of the Mormon pioneers to study inherited genetic disorders. (DNAi Location: Applications > Genes and medicine > Gene hunting > Mark Skolnick > Utah's resource)
So this is a completely unique resource for finding genes, so we're using it to find the breast cancer genes and other cancer genes, skin cancer melanoma, prostate cancer genes and other clusters that we've studied. It's particularly unusual because the Mormon pioneers were polygamous, they would have often five or ten wives, dozens of children, hundreds of grandchildren, and thousands of great-grandchildren. And this allows us to trace genes through these very large descent groups and look at patterns of specific DNA variations on specific chromosomes that tell us where those genes must be, and then go in to that region where the genes are, study the candidate genes and actually isolate the offending gene. That's what we're trying to do.
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Mark Skolnick is Chief Scientific Officer at Myriad Genetics, Inc.
Mark Skolnick talks about forming a company to discover genes and develop genetic tests.
Mary-Claire King talks about the value of using the centuries-old tool of family pedigrees to gain insight into patterns of inheritance of genetic disorders.
Mark Skolnick recounts the complicated process of verifying that the gene they had found was indeed BRCA1.
Mary-Claire King speaks about how much was yet to be understood about the genetic mechanisms of cancer when she began her hunt for genes associated with breast cancer.
Mary-Claire King talks about her first steps toward finding the gene responsible for certain kinds of inherited breast cancer.
Denise talks about her family's affliction with inherited breast cancer and her decision to have her breasts removed as a preventive measure.
Pat Brown talks about using microarrays to discover the differences between cancer cells and healthy cells.
Mark Skolnick talks about moving on after the discovery of BRCA1 to find and clone another gene associated with breast cancer, BRCA2.
Mary-Claire King reflects on how knowledge gained from the identification of BRCA1 and BRCA2 could lead to improved cancer treatments.