Amy Marcus at the Wall Street Journal has written a short story about the unexpected connection between NPC and Ebola today. It is a fascinating article that provides further compelling evidence about 2 concepts.
First, the idea that Rare Disease research can inform the research going on in the “big conditions” like Ebola
Second, it appears that NPC Disease is the unintended outcome of genetic protections that may have evolved in order to protect us against horrible viruses like Ebola. It appears (from the animal models) that carriers of NPC mutations are more likely to survive an Ebola infection.
We donated our ‘fibroblasts’ (skin cells) in 2009 to a wonderful non-profit bio-bank called The Corriel Institute for Medical Research. We could not have imagined that our cells would be used by researchers to study Ebola and to discover that the NPC gene and it’s proteins could provide critical answers to how best to treat and protect against Ebola.
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Assistant Professor of Medicine, and Cell Biology and Physiology, Cardiovascular Division
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Professor, Neuroscience
Lawrence S.B. Goldstein
Molecular Medicine Director, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UC San Diego
University of Oxford, Department of Pharmacology, Oxford, England
National Chemical Genomics Center, Director
Seoul National University, South Korea, Director, Stem Cell Program
Stanford University, Professor of Biochemistry
UCSF, Developmental Regulation, Molecular Biology, and Novel Actions of Steroid/Neurosteroid Synthesis
Cornell University, Professor and Chairman, Biochemistry
Stanford University Bio-X Department
McHerry Medical College, Director, Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research
University of Arizona, Professor of Genetics
Tufts University, Director of the Cellular and Molecular Physiology Department
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Professor Physiology
Columbia University, Associate Professor of Clinical Nutrition
University of Pennsylvania, Assistant Professor, Section of Neurology and Neurosurgery