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Young researchers tackle Zika's unanswered questions

A pregnant Maryland woman, who recently tested positive for Zika after traveling to the Dominican Republic is among the people who will be informed by a new study on whether interplays between certain genes make some women more vulnerable to symptomatic Zika infections during pregnancy. Mentored by Roberta L. DeBiasi, M.D., M.S., Center for Translational Science, Youssef A. Kousa, D.O., Ph.D., M.S., a pediatric resident at Children's National, is working with his colleagues to recruit study participants and test blood from women whose Zika infections were confirmed in the first or second trimester of pregnancy. Colleague Sarah Mulkey, M.D.Fetal Medicine Institute, mentored by Adre du Plessis, M.D., M.B.Ch.B., Fetal Medicine Institute, is also conducting a study on how Zika can harm fetuses exposed in the utero. In the first 48 hours, the news release was picked up by 223 media outlets that reach a combined audience of 11.5 million. 

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