Division of Molecular Genetics

The Molecular Genetics program is dedicated to understanding the molecular causes and risk factors for targeted pediatric orthopedic disorders.

Meet Our Team

Carol Wise, Ph.D.
Director, Principal Investigator

Jonathan Rios, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Dongping Zhang, M.D., M.S.
Research Scientist

Xiaochong Gao
Research Scientist

January Brandon
Clinical Research Coordinator II

Kristen Mauldin
Research Coordinator

Anas Khanshour, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Nandina Paria, Ph.D.
Research Scientist


Areas of Investigation

Genetics of Scoliosis

We are currently applying large-scale methods that integrate clinical and genetic data to identify the molecular mechanisms behind scoliosis, the most common spinal deformity in children. Our current study is funded primarily by the National Institutes of Health and will involve more than 3,000 individuals with scoliosis and their families. This is a collaborative effort with other U.S. pediatric orthopaedic surgeons. Read more about TSRHC's gene discovery.

Genetics of Pediatric Inflammatory Diseases

Arthritis in children is not only painful and debilitating but can lead to permanent joint destruction. We previously identified the gene responsible for a type of severe childhood arthritis known as PAPA syndrome. We are currently participating in collaborative studies of this and other forms of juvenile arthritis.

Other Pediatric Disorders

We are interested in the genetics of various skeletal growth disorders. One example is the group of disorders abbreviated as MOPD, the so-called “smallest people in the world.” In collaboration with the skeletal dysplasia program at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and the Potentials Foundation, we are studying correlation between genetics and clinical presentation of these diseases.

You Can Help!

Enrollment is ongoing for TSRHC's genetic studies. You may be eligible to participate if you…

  1. are a TSRHC patient,
  2. have BEEN a TSRHC patient, or
  3. are interested in serving as a healthy control.

Please call (214) 559-7869 or (800) 421-1121, ext. 7869.