2018 has been a remarkable year of innovation and collaboration for Iggy Get Out.

Building upon the last two years, IGO is fast establishing itself as a critical cog in the drive towards personalised science through genomics. This is quite a remarkable feat for a comparatively small and lean team. We have long held the view that this disease is extraordinarily complex and research into it needs precision analysis and innovative thinking in order to gain headway. Through our analysis we have confirmed that there is more to this disease than originally thought. This year, our analysis revealed associations with the immune system (HLA genes), microglia and glial cells, fatty acid synthesis and metabolism, ECM receptor interactions, and HIPPO signaling. New research will hopefully reveal insights into microtubule associations as well as structural variants. I would like to focus more on structural variants in the new year and we may also look at long read sequencing to do so.

Matthew Keon

The highlights of this year for me include:

  • Establishing a proprietary miRNA knowledge database
  • Establishing a proprietary target gene database
  • Analysing cerebrospinal fluid and plasma miRNA across individuals with different ND’s
  • Building proprietary bioinformatic pipelines
  • Discovering molecules that may have larger consequences for the disease
  • Looking at the relationships between gut microbiome bacteria and mitochondrial production
  • Uncovering high impact genes that may have important implications for the disease

As I write this, we are currently integrating messengerRNA with microRNA and corresponding gene ontology. We are also looking at proteins and microRNA/ messengerRNA. In fact, just now, our lead bioinformatician, John Su, has created a viral and bacterial gene signature database where we have been able to see that the signatures on the genes are completely different. What this means is that we have a more holistic view of each individual’s data and are able to see a more accurate picture of what is going on at a molecular level. I am looking forward to working closely with clinicians to integrate these learnings and findings in a more powerful and meaningful way. I am particularly excited and encouraged by the willingness of institutions like Harvard to look at and analyse data for us. We have just arranged a special collaboration at the Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. They will be looking for retrotransposon elements in the genome and transcriptome. This is no small feat and something we hope will give us more valuable information.

I would like to thank Ximena and Nitin and the whole IGO team for their tireless efforts. I would also like to extend this gratitude to the fundraising committee and support staff for doing an amazing job at raising money for our much needed work. It has been remarkable what they have been able to achieve in a short space of time. I would also like to thank Peter and Duncan for their belief in the IGO team and unquestioning support of our goals. We also can’t forget our loyal advisory board for offering the proper guidance where needed and the scientific help we have had from scientists both here and overseas. All of these people together make IGO a dynamic, innovative and passionate environment to work in.

Let’s be clear – we are here to make an impact.

We have started to do this in 2018, but 2019 will require a larger, more sustained push to get us to where we want to be. We have already begun that push.

*All research needs to be statistically and wet lab validated. These are preliminary research findings for research use only.