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A disease might be rare but its research shouldn’t be. 3.5 million people in the UK are affected by a rare disease. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about these diseases but researchers in Cardiff University have a renowned track record in unraveling the mystery of rare disease. Rare diseases can also help us understand our body’s biology better and contribute to our understanding of well-known diseases like cancer. Make sure you are ready and “rare-ing” to go.
Growing mini guts in a dish – what they can teach us about bowel cancer?
Dr Hannah West (Research Fellow)
Can we really take organs from inside the body and grow them in the lab? How do researchers do this? And why would we want to? Addressing these three questions, we’ll explore how growing mini guts could help us to learn more about two rare genetic conditions. These disorders cause thousands of little growths in the gut that could turn into cancer. Improving our understanding with these amazing lab-grown guts can help us develop really specific medicine to help those affected live a more normal life!
Rare disease? More common than you think!
Dr Elaine Dunlop (Lecturer in Genetics and Genomics)
Affecting 1 in 17 people, and with around five new ones described in the medical literature each week, rare diseases, taken together, are actually fairly common. The study of rare disease can not only start providing some answers for those affected but can inform us about how our genes and proteins should be working together to keep our bodies functioning optimally. This talk will introduce the concept of a rare disease and will highlight the pioneering work done here in Cardiff over the last 25 years into the rare disease Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.
How do we cure a rare disease?
Dr Andrew Tee (Reader)
Following on from Elaine’s talk; we need better therapies for rare diseases. I will take you on a scientific journey of discovery……. 16 years ago, we discovered why tumours grow in patients with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. This knowledge led to a new therapy that shrinks tumours; but we can further improve on this treatment. Our most recent work reveals new drugs that can kill these tumours. Are we getting closer to a possible cure?