Icon for: Kristina Hernandez


Rutgers University
Years in Grad School: 4
Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies
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Presentation Discussion
  • Icon for: Sebastian Vega

    Sebastian Vega

    Graduate Student
    May 23, 2012 | 01:00 p.m.

    Nice presentation, I have a few questions/comments:

    1) What are the causes of schizophrenia? If it’s hereditary…
    2) Do you think someday an in vitro disease model using reprogrammed fibroblasts from schizophrenic patients could be used to determine a truly personalized treatment regime?

  • Icon for: Kristina Hernandez

    Kristina Hernandez

    Lead Presenter
    May 24, 2012 | 10:28 p.m.

    1)Schizophrenia displays a complex pattern of inheritance, suggesting the involvement of multiple genetic factors in combination with environmental factors. Modern molecular genetic studies have identified a number of possible genetic risk factors for schizophrenia, including the NOS1AP gene. Single nucleotide polymorphisms within NOS1AP have been found to be significantly associated with schizophrenia.
    2)I am currently working with induced pluripotent stem cells that were generated from fibroblasts taken from patients with schizophrenia and the associated NOS1AP SNPs. I hope to find a biomarker for the disease as well as test drugs that may be more beneficial to patients with the NOS1AP SNP. So yes I do believe that personalized medicine for patients with such a complex disorder is necessary and within reach.

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