Giving thanks for things that matter

November 22, 2012 by MassDevice


By Vector Staff

At this Thanksgiving, we'd like to pause in appreciation of our researchers and innovators who work hard to find answers and build better lives for patients. We extend an equal thanks to the foundations, donors, investors, companies – and you, the public – who support their work.

Not everything we discuss here on Vector makes a big public splash. Most of these discoveries won't bring a clinician or scientist fame or fortune. Nonetheless, these projects matter.

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Among many, many efforts at Boston Children's, we're thankful:

…for having the technology and dedicated experts to solve some of the toughest genetic mysteries on the planet. Diseases like CLOVES and rare forms of epilepsy may seem arcane, but could open the door to treatments and to understanding more common, related diseases. Progeria – whose genetic cause was found just a decade ago – is a case in point: We now have a drug showing benefit in a clinical trial, and some lessons for aging in general.

…for physicians who aren't content with current labels, taking common diseases like medulloblastoma (the most common malignant childhood brain tumor) and discovering different kinds of disease behind the name, based on genetic patterns.