Gene Editing Can Help Cure Rare Diseases: Dr Fahad Kiwdai


Dow Dental College organised a continuing dental education (CDE) session, recently. The session was facilitated by Dr Fahad Kidwai. He is a PhD in Stem Cells and a Co-investigator / Clinical Fellow at National Institute of Health (NIH), USA. The lecture was attended by faculty members and post graduate trainees of the college.

Dr Fahad commenced the session by briefing the audience about translational research being conducted at NIH. He started his talk from basics of Genetics and gradually built the tempo towards more complex topics like gene editing. According to him, stem cell research still has a lot of potential in dentistry. It has a potential to treat rare diseases. Dr Fahad then enlightened the audience with a break-through advancement in the field of “Stem Cells and Regeneration” i.e. induced pluripotent stem cells and importance of its application in clinical practice. He then adopted a simplistic approach to describe his research project, “Gene Editing in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Derived from a Patient with Muenke Syndrome.” Muenke syndrome is a rare disease in which there is early ossification of sutures of cranio-facial region only. A challenge in his research was to find out why and how only the cells derived from neural crest are affected. Using an animal model his team was able to identify and isolate a single mutation in FGFR1 as responsible for early suture closure. The next phase of this ongoing research will be to perform gene correction in vivo.


(DDC faculty members and postgraduate trainees attended the seminar.)

Later, Dr Fahad talked about various research and clinical opportunities for Dental professionals in USA and routes towards Dental licensure in USA. According to him there are various other at times often free of cost alternatives to licensure. The lecture was followed by questions from the audience which were answered comprehensively by the speaker. After the session, the faculty and postgraduate trainees discussed their research ideas and areas of interests with Dr Fahad Kidwai. The day ended with presentation of certificate to the presenter as a token of appreciation. Dr Kidwai vowed to return next year with more information.

February 2, 2019

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