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K-State Today

January 31, 2020

Fulbright scholar Michael Fahey to present seminar Feb. 4

Submitted by Gail L. Eyestone

Michael Fahey, visiting Fulbright senior scholar, will present, "Toward an Understanding of Cerebral Palsy in the Genomic Era," at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in the Mara Conference Center, 407 Trotter Hall.

Fahey is an associate professor at Monash University and head of pediatric neurology at Monash Children's Hospital. Thanks to the genomic revolution, Fahey is harnessing genetic technologies to better understand complex neurological diseases — aiming to cure rather than treat those diseases.

Cerebral palsy is the most common disability in childhood affecting more than 800,000 Americans and Australians. Current knowledge suggests the origins of cerebral palsy are multifactorial, with a substantial body of evidence indicating that around 30% of people with cerebral palsy have an underlying genetic disorder.

As a child neurologist and clinical geneticist, Fahey has spent more than a decade working to diagnose and treat people with neurogenetic conditions. The Fulbright scholarship enables him to work at the University of Arizona where he will combine world-leading neuroimaging data from the CSIRO with contemporary genomic techniques to better characterize the genetic changes that lead to Cerebral palsy. In the emerging era of precision medicine, where therapies are increasingly tailored to an individual genomic variation, understanding this data will lead to personalized treatment.