75 research outputs found

    Project HEAL (Healthy Eating and Activity for Life): Proposing a Faith-Based Health Education and Lifestyle Intervention for Rural African Americans

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    African Americans, particularly those who reside in rural areas, are at increased risk of developing several preventable health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and overweight/obesity. Because of several professional and personal experiences, I was inspired to use this thesis as an opportunity to propose an intervention that addresses these preventable health conditions. The proposed intervention, Project HEAL (Healthy Eating and Activity for Life), is a faith-based, theory driven education and comprehensive lifestyle management intervention for rural African Americans. This program is of public health importance because it may be particularly useful in positively impacting the health of rural African Americans, a traditionally hard-to-reach population, and in significantly reducing racial/ethnic and geographic health disparities.Project HEAL is informed by the Social Cognitive Theory and Health Belief Model. These theories were chosen because of their emphasis on self-efficacy, the individual, and the environment. Much of the content of Project HEAL was derived from the curriculum of the evidence-based lifestyle modification intervention of the Diabetes Prevention Program. The Project HEAL curriculum is a modified version that addresses specific constructs of the previously mentioned theories and that is more appropriate for rural African Americans churches and for small group settings. To ensure a comprehensive evaluation of the program, Project HEAL's evaluation strategy will be guided by the Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, and Implementation, and Maintenance framework for health behavior programs.Project HEAL will be implemented with the guidance of an advisory committee and with the help of lay health educators. Therefore, while this thesis describes the Project HEAL development and implementation in detail, there are several aspects of the program will need additional modifications to suit the participating church and its congregants. It is my sincere wish to implement this program to determine its feasibility and translatability to public health policy and research regarding rural African Americans

    A mouse informatics platform for phenotypic and translational discovery

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    The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) is providing the world’s first functional catalogue of a mammalian genome by characterising a knockout mouse strain for every gene. A robust and highly structured informatics platform has been developed to systematically collate, analyse and disseminate the data produced by the IMPC. As the first phase of the project, in which 5000 new knockout strains are being broadly phenotyped, nears completion, the informatics platform is extending and adapting to support the increasing volume and complexity of the data produced as well as addressing a large volume of users and emerging user groups. An intuitive interface helps researchers explore IMPC data by giving overviews and the ability to find and visualise data that support a phenotype assertion. Dedicated disease pages allow researchers to find new mouse models of human diseases, and novel viewers provide high-resolution images of embryonic and adult dysmorphologies. With each monthly release, the informatics platform will continue to evolve to support the increased data volume and to maintain its position as the primary route of access to IMPC data and as an invaluable resource for clinical and non-clinical researchers

    Mouse large-scale phenotyping initiatives: overview of the European Mouse Disease Clinic (EUMODIC) and of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Mouse Genetics Project.

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    Two large-scale phenotyping efforts, the European Mouse Disease Clinic (EUMODIC) and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Mouse Genetics Project (SANGER-MGP), started during the late 2000s with the aim to deliver a comprehensive assessment of phenotypes or to screen for robust indicators of diseases in mouse mutants. They both took advantage of available mouse mutant lines but predominantly of the embryonic stem (ES) cells resources derived from the European Conditional Mouse Mutagenesis programme (EUCOMM) and the Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP) to produce and study 799 mouse models that were systematically analysed with a comprehensive set of physiological and behavioural paradigms. They captured more than 400 variables and an additional panel of metadata describing the conditions of the tests. All the data are now available through EuroPhenome database (www.europhenome.org) and the WTSI mouse portal (http://www.sanger.ac.uk/mouseportal/), and the corresponding mouse lines are available through the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA), the International Knockout Mouse Consortium (IKMC), or the Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP) Repository. Overall conclusions from both studies converged, with at least one phenotype scored in at least 80% of the mutant lines. In addition, 57% of the lines were viable, 13% subviable, 30% embryonic lethal, and 7% displayed fertility impairments. These efforts provide an important underpinning for a future global programme that will undertake the complete functional annotation of the mammalian genome in the mouse model

    A large scale hearing loss screen reveals an extensive unexplored genetic landscape for auditory dysfunction.

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    The developmental and physiological complexity of the auditory system is likely reflected in the underlying set of genes involved in auditory function. In humans, over 150 non-syndromic loci have been identified, and there are more than 400 human genetic syndromes with a hearing loss component. Over 100 non-syndromic hearing loss genes have been identified in mouse and human, but we remain ignorant of the full extent of the genetic landscape involved in auditory dysfunction. As part of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium, we undertook a hearing loss screen in a cohort of 3006 mouse knockout strains. In total, we identify 67 candidate hearing loss genes. We detect known hearing loss genes, but the vast majority, 52, of the candidate genes were novel. Our analysis reveals a large and unexplored genetic landscape involved with auditory function.The full extent of the genetic basis for hearing impairment is unknown. Here, as part of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium, the authors perform a hearing loss screen in 3006 mouse knockout strains and identify 52 new candidate genes for genetic hearing loss
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