The National Human Genome Research Institute has appointed two branch chiefs in its Division of Intramural Research: Leslie Biesecker will head the Genetic Disease Research Branch and David Bodine will oversee the Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch.
The NHGRI said the appointments are part of its “ongoing effort to translate genomic discoveries into health benefits.”
In its statement, the NHGRI said Biesecker “aims to provide all scientists in the branch with the resources and tools to help them translate their discoveries into improved patient care.”
“The current group of investigators are well established and doing outstanding work,” Biesecker said. “We want to both encourage basic research and to translate the resulting findings in ways that will help patients in the clinic.”
Investigators in the Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch, meantime, employ molecular genetics and genomic approaches to identify and characterize genes involved in tissue development and function. They aim to understand how genetic defects lead to a range of human disorders, including anemia and leukemia, cancer, immune deficiency conditions, psoriasis and others.
They are also testing potential treatment approaches and technologies in cell lines and animal models, some of which have progressed to clinical trials. “My vision for the branch is to create and maintain a productive environment for our investigators, ensuring that they have the resources to maintain productive programs,” Bodine said in the statement. “A large part of our initiative is to provide an outstanding environment for training the next generation of genetics and genomics scientists.”
Biesecker received a BS in 1979 from the University of California, Riverside, and an MD in 1983 from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He became an NIH investigator in 1993 and was appointed senior investigator at NHGRI in 2001.
Bodine received a BA in 1976 from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and a PhD in 1984 from The Jackson Laboratory. He became a senior investigator at NHGRI in 1994.