This month Duke Medicine physicians and researchers published the paper Aspirin Exposure Reveals Novel Genes Associated with Platelet Function and Cardiovascular Events in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. They reported that the significance of the findings is that they have “solved some of the mysteries related to the use of this century-old drug, and developed a blood-based test of gene activity that has been shown to accurately identify who will respond to the therapy.”
In a Duke Medicine news release, Deepak Voora, assistant professor of medicine at Duke and lead author of the study, explained, “The aspirin response signature can determine who is at risk for heart attack and death. There is something about the biology of platelets that determines how well we respond to aspirin, and we can now capture that with a genomic signature in blood.”
Some of the testing for the research behind the discovery was conducted at the David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI), located on the NC Research Campus. DHMRI provides a multidisciplinary, integrated approach to research support and lab services that includes genomics, analytical sciences, cellular sciences and bioinformatics.
Geoffrey Ginsburg, MD PhD, director of genomic medicine at Duke’s Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy and executive director of the Center for Personalized Medicine, was the papers’ senior author. He is also a DHMRI board member. Co-author Kristin Newby, MD MHS, is a professor of Medicine, Cardiology at Duke; principal investigator, MURDOCK Cardiovascular Disease Study; and co-principal investigator, MURDOCK Registry/Biorepository.
The MURDOCK Study (Measurement to Understand the Reclassification of Disease of Cabarrus/Kannapolis) is a multi-tiered, long-term genomic study based at the NCRC. Led by Duke University’s Duke Translational Medicine Institute, the MURDOCK Study is using advanced technologies such as the study of genes, proteins, and other biomarkers to identify genomic linkages within and across diseases and disorders such as hepatitis C, cardiovascular disease, obesity and osteoarthritis.