School of Medicine

Diagnostic odyssey

When you seek medical care, you expect a diagnosis. You may need to answer a lot of questions and undergo tests, but usually doctors can figure out the root of the problem.

This is not the case for a surprisingly large group of patients. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 25 million to 30 million Americans live with rare diseases that sometimes require years to diagnose.

Funded by the NIH, the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) collaborates on hard-to-diagnose conditions in patients of all ages. With 12 clinical sites, including a coordinating site at Harvard University, the UDN joins together clinicians, researchers and physician-scientists from around the country who use advanced technologies in a way that would not be possible outside of this network.

The School of Medicine, an international leader in genome sequencing, is bringing its unique strengths to the UDN, helping to solve some of today’s most challenging medical mysteries.

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