Erik R. Westin

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Telomere attrition is a natural process that occurs due to inadequate telomere maintenance. Once at a critically short threshold, telomeres signal growth arrest, leading to senescence. Telomeres can be elongated by the enzyme telomerase, which adds de novo telomere repeats to the ends of chromosomes. Mutations in genes for telomere binding proteins or(More)
Dyskeratosis Congenita (DC) is an inherited multisystem premature aging disorder with characteristic skin and mucosal findings as well as a predisposition to cancer and bone marrow failure. DC arises due to gene mutations associated with the telomerase complex or telomere maintenance, resulting in critically shortened telomeres. The pathogenesis of DC, as(More)
High-resolution karyotyping detects cytogenetic anomalies in 5-10% of cases of autism. Karyotyping, however, may fail to detect abnormalities of chromosome subtelomeres, which are gene rich regions prone to anomalies. We assessed whether panels of FISH probes targeted for subtelomeres could detect abnormalities beyond those identified by karyotyping in 104(More)
Dyskeratosis congenita (DC), an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome, is caused by defects in telomerase. Somatic cells from DC patients have shortened telomeres and clinical symptoms are most pronounced in organs with a high cell turnover, including those involved in hematopoiesis and skin function. We previously identified an autosomal dominant (AD)(More)
Mutations of the Janus family kinase JAK3 gene cause severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). JAK3 deficiency in humans is characterized by the absence of circulating T cells and natural killer (NK) cells with normal numbers of poorly functioning B cells (T(-)B(+)NK(-)). Using SCID patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and a T cell in(More)
CRISPR/Cas enhanced correction of the sickle cell disease (SCD) genetic defect in patient-specific induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) provides a potential gene therapy for this debilitating disease. An advantage of this approach is that corrected iPSCs that are free of off-target modifications can be identified before differentiating the cells into(More)
Telomere attrition is a natural process that occurs due to inadequate telomere maintenance. Once at a critically short threshold, telomeres signal the cell to cease division and enter a cell fate termed senescence. Telomeres can be elongated by the enzyme telomerase, which adds de novo telomere repeats to the ends of chromosomes. Mutations in the telomerase(More)
Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited multisystem disorder of premature aging, cancer predisposition, and bone marrow failure caused by selective exhaustion of highly proliferative cell pools. DC patients also have a poor tolerance to chemo/radiotherapy and bone marrow transplantation. Although critically shortened telomeres and defective telomere(More)
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