Four faculty members at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are currently in contention for the STAT Madness 2019, a bracket-style, multiple-round competition to find the best innovations in science and medicine.

It is sponsored by STAT, a media company focused on finding and telling compelling stories about health, medicine and scientific discovery.

Lead author Anjon Audhya, associate professor of biomolecular chemistry, Michael Sheets, professor of biomolecular chemistry, Edwin Chapman, professor of neuroscience, and Sam Butcher, professor of biochemistry, were chosen for their work to explain how one particular gene contributes to ALS and other neurological disorders, including hereditary spastic paraplegia.

In an August 2018 Cell Reports paper, the team used CRISPR-mediated genome editing and other molecular approaches to discover that mutations in Trk-fused gene reduced surface levels of an adhesion molecule important for bundling nerve fibers together. These results should lead to new avenues for disease intervention.

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