Two researchers from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health are teaming up to better understand how a certain gene is related to leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome.

Myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, is a disorder that keeps the body’s bone marrow from producing healthy blood cells.

For many patients, the disease can remain in a stable, relatively minor form for years. For others, it can progress aggressively to leukemia and then death, according to Inga Hofmann, an assistant professor of pediatrics at UW.

She and Emery Bresnick, a professor of cell and regenerative biology and director of the UW-Madison Blood Research Program, will explore the link between these diseases and regulation of the GATA-2 gene.

According to a release, it’s already known that this gene is involved with the development of MDS, but the exact nature of that relationship is less clear.

“This work is distinct from ongoing efforts in the field and has potential to transform our understanding of MDS and leukemia and create opportunities to develop new treatments,” said Bresnick, who performs research on blood-cell development at the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research.

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