Dr. Byers is the director of the Collagen Diagnostic Lab,
Professor of Pathology and Medicine (Medical
Genetics) and Adjunct Professor of Genome Sciences at the University of
Washington. Dr. Byers graduated from the Case Western Reserve University School of
Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.
Dr. Byers is a medical geneticist who has been on the
faculty at the University of Washington since 1977. He is the director of the Medical Genetics
Clinic at the University of Washington Medical Center and the Director of the
Medical Genetics Residency program. Hewas Editor of The American Journal of Human Genetics from 1993
through 1999, president of the American Board of Medical Genetics in 1997, and
president of the American Society of Human Genetics in 2005. He currently directs the Collagen Diagnostic
Laboratory, which does protein based and molecular genetic diagnostic studies
for a group of inherited connective tissue disorders, including forms of EDS.
He is recipient of
several grants, including “Molecular Basis of Osteogenesis Imperfecta” and
“Identification and Expression of Skin Specific Genes.” He is also working on a project called
“Collagen Gene Targeting with AAV Vectors.”
Dr. Peter Byers and his colleagues (William Kerwin, Ulrike Schwarze and Melanie
Pepin) of the University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle) are using
high-resolution MRI to study major arteries in individuals with the vascular
form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) in an effort to determine if certain types
of drugs might reduce the risk of arterial rupture, the usual cause of
premature death in affected individuals. The vascular form of EDS, EDS type IV,
is a rare disorder that affects about 1/100,000 individuals and results from
mutations in the type III collagen gene, COL3A1. Affected individuals die
prematurely from arterial rupture. Currently there are no effective therapies.
These investigators hope that study of the vascular wall by non-invasive
techniques (MRI) will help to define new and effective treatments.