Research

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Catherine Brownstein, MPH, PhD

Research Center:
The Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research
Division
Genetics and Genomics Research
Hospital Title:
Research Associate
Academic Title:
Scientific Director, Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research; Manager, Molecular Genetics Core Facility, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
GeneticsGene DiscoveryGenomics
Contact Via Email
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Research Overview

Gene Discovery focusing on:
Juvenile onset psychosis
SIDS and sudden unexplained death in pediatrics, Pain syndromes
Hypophosphatemic Rickets
Autism and intellectual disability

About the Researcher

Dr. Brownstein is a research associate in Genetics and Genomics, Instructor in Pediatrics, and the manager of the Molecular Genetics Core Facility at Boston Children’s Hospital. Recently named the Scientific Director for the Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research and specializing in gene discovery, Dr. Brownstein has been instrumental in the elucidation of several new disease genes for conditions such as intellectual disability, nemaline myopathy, psychosis, SIDS, and hypophosphatemic rickets. Her current work focuses on advancing the fields of next generation sequencing and analysis, as evidenced in her management of the international CLARITY and CLARITY Undiagnosed competitions.

Publications

Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles
  1. Lo MS, Towne M, VanNoy GE, Brownstein CA, Lane AA, Chatila TA, Agrawal PB. Monogenic Hashimoto thyroiditis associated with a variant in the thyroglobulin (TG) gene. J Autoimmun. 2017 Sep 21.
  2. Cao S, Smith LL, Padilla-Lopez SR, Guida BS, Blume E, Shi J, Morton SU, Brownstein CA, Beggs AH, Kruer MC, Agrawal PB. Homozygous EEF1A2 mutation causes dilated cardiomyopathy, failure to thrive, global developmental delay, epilepsy and early death. Hum Mol Genet. 2017 Sep 15; 26(18):3545-3552.
  3. Morton SU, Prabhu SP, Lidov HGW, Shi J, Anselm I, Brownstein CA, Bainbridge MN, Beggs AH, Vargas SO, Agrawal PB. AIFM1 mutation presenting with fatal encephalomyopathy and mitochondrial disease in an infant. Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2017 Mar; 3(2):a001560.
  4. Mehta P, Küspert M, Bale T, Brownstein CA, Towne MC, De Girolami U, Shi J, Beggs AH, Darras BT, Wegner M, Piao X, Agrawal PB. Novel mutation in CNTNAP1 results in congenital hypomyelinating neuropathy. Muscle Nerve. 2017 May; 55(5):761-765.
  5. Reddy HM, Cho KA, Lek M, Estrella E, Valkanas E, Jones MD, Mitsuhashi S, Darras BT, Amato AA, Lidov HG, Brownstein CA, Margulies DM, Yu TW, Salih MA, Kunkel LM, MacArthur DG, Kang PB. The sensitivity of exome sequencing in identifying pathogenic mutations for LGMD in the United States. J Hum Genet. 2017 Feb; 62(2):243-252.
  6. Kinney HC, Poduri AH, Cryan JB, Haynes RL, Teot L, Sleeper LA, Holm IA, Berry GT, Prabhu SP, Warfield SK, Brownstein C, Abram HS, Kruer M, Kemp WL, Hargitai B, Gastrang J, Mena OJ, Haas EA, Dastjerdi R, Armstrong DD, Goldstein RD. Hippocampal Formation Maldevelopment and Sudden Unexpected Death across the Pediatric Age Spectrum. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2016 Oct; 75(10):981-997.
  7. Smedemark-Margulies N, Brownstein CA, Vargas S, Tembulkar SK, Towne MC, Shi J, Gonzalez-Cuevas E, Liu KX, Bilguvar K, Kleiman RJ, Han MJ, Torres A, Berry GT, Yu TW, Beggs AH, Agrawal PB, Gonzalez-Heydrich J. A novel de novo mutation in ATP1A3 and childhood-onset schizophrenia. Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2016 Sep; 2(5):a001008.
  8. Palmer S, Towne MC, Pearl PL, Pelletier RC, Genetti CA, Shi J, Beggs AH, Agrawal PB, Brownstein CA. SLC6A1 Mutation and Ketogenic Diet in Epilepsy With Myoclonic-Atonic Seizures. Pediatr Neurol. 2016 Nov; 64:77-79.
  9. Manzi SF, Fusaro VA, Chadwick L, Brownstein C, Clinton C, Mandl KD, Wolf WA, Hawkins JB. Creating a scalable clinical pharmacogenomics service with automated interpretation and medical record result integration - experience from a pediatric tertiary care facility. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2017 Jan; 24(1):74-80.
  10. Brownstein CA, Kleiman RJ, Engle EC, Towne MC, D'Angelo EJ, Yu TW, Beggs AH, Picker J, Fogler JM, Carroll D, Schmitt RC, Wolff RR, Shen Y, Lip V, Bilguvar K, Kim A, Tembulkar S, O'Donnell K, Gonzalez-Heydrich J. Overlapping 16p13.11 deletion and gain of copies variations associated with childhood onset psychosis include genes with mechanistic implications for autism associated pathways: Two case reports. Am J Med Genet A. 2016 May; 170A(5):1165-73.
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  12. Philippakis AA, Azzariti DR, Beltran S, Brookes AJ, Brownstein CA, Brudno M, Brunner HG, Buske OJ, Carey K, Doll C, Dumitriu S, Dyke SO, den Dunnen JT, Firth HV, Gibbs RA, Girdea M, Gonzalez M, Haendel MA, Hamosh A, Holm IA, Huang L, Hurles ME, Hutton B, Krier JB, Misyura A, Mungall CJ, Paschall J, Paten B, Robinson PN, Schiettecatte F, Sobreira NL, Swaminathan GJ, Taschner PE, Terry SF, Washington NL, Züchner S, Boycott KM, Rehm HL. The Matchmaker Exchange: a platform for rare disease gene discovery. Hum Mutat. 2015 Oct; 36(10):915-21.
  13. Brownstein CA, Beggs AH, Rodan L, Shi J, Towne MC, Pelletier R, Cao S, Rosenberg PA, Urion DK, Picker J, Tan WH, Agrawal PB. Clinical heterogeneity associated with KCNA1 mutations include cataplexy and nonataxic presentations. Neurogenetics. 2016 Jan; 17(1):11-6.
  14. Brownstein CA, Holm IA, Ramoni R, Goldstein DB. Data sharing in the undiagnosed diseases network. Hum Mutat. 2015 Oct; 36(10):985-8.
  15. Russell B, Johnston JJ, Biesecker LG, Kramer N, Pickart A, Rhead W, Tan WH, Brownstein CA, Kate Clarkson L, Dobson A, Rosenberg AZ, Vergano SA, Helm BM, Harrison RE, Graham JM. Clinical management of patients with ASXL1 mutations and Bohring-Opitz syndrome, emphasizing the need for Wilms tumor surveillance. Am J Med Genet A. 2015 Sep; 167A(9):2122-31.
  16. Thaker VV, Esteves KM, Towne MC, Brownstein CA, James PM, Crowley L, Hirschhorn JN, Elsea SH, Beggs AH, Picker J, Agrawal PB. Whole exome sequencing identifies RAI1 mutation in a morbidly obese child diagnosed with ROHHAD syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 May; 100(5):1723-30.
  17. Yuen M, Sandaradura SA, Dowling JJ, Kostyukova AS, Moroz N, Quinlan KG, Lehtokari VL, Ravenscroft G, Todd EJ, Ceyhan-Birsoy O, Gokhin DS, Maluenda J, Lek M, Nolent F, Pappas CT, Novak SM, D'Amico A, Malfatti E, Thomas BP, Gabriel SB, Gupta N, Daly MJ, Ilkovski B, Houweling PJ, Davidson AE, Swanson LC, Brownstein CA, Gupta VA, Medne L, Shannon P, Martin N, Bick DP, Flisberg A, Holmberg E, Van den Bergh P, Lapunzina P, Waddell LB, Sloboda DD, Bertini E, Chitayat D, Telfer WR, Laquerrière A, Gregorio CC, Ottenheijm CA, Bönnemann CG, Pelin K, Beggs AH, Hayashi YK, Romero NB, Laing NG, Nishino I, Wallgren-Pettersson C, Melki J, Fowler VM, MacArthur DG, North KN, Clarke NF. Leiomodin-3 dysfunction results in thin filament disorganization and nemaline myopathy. J Clin Invest. 2015 Jan; 125(1):456-7.
  18. Yuen M, Sandaradura SA, Dowling JJ, Kostyukova AS, Moroz N, Quinlan KG, Lehtokari VL, Ravenscroft G, Todd EJ, Ceyhan-Birsoy O, Gokhin DS, Maluenda J, Lek M, Nolent F, Pappas CT, Novak SM, D'Amico A, Malfatti E, Thomas BP, Gabriel SB, Gupta N, Daly MJ, Ilkovski B, Houweling PJ, Davidson AE, Swanson LC, Brownstein CA, Gupta VA, Medne L, Shannon P, Martin N, Bick DP, Flisberg A, Holmberg E, Van den Bergh P, Lapunzina P, Waddell LB, Sloboda DD, Bertini E, Chitayat D, Telfer WR, Laquerrière A, Gregorio CC, Ottenheijm CA, Bönnemann CG, Pelin K, Beggs AH, Hayashi YK, Romero NB, Laing NG, Nishino I, Wallgren-Pettersson C, Melki J, Fowler VM, MacArthur DG, North KN, Clarke NF. Leiomodin-3 dysfunction results in thin filament disorganization and nemaline myopathy. J Clin Invest. 2014 Nov; 124(11):4693-708.
  19. Brownstein CA, Beggs AH, Homer N, Merriman B, Yu TW, Flannery KC, DeChene ET, Towne MC, Savage SK, Price EN, Holm IA, Luquette LJ, Lyon E, Majzoub J, Neupert P, McCallie D, Szolovits P, Willard HF, Mendelsohn NJ, Temme R, Finkel RS, Yum SW, Medne L, Sunyaev SR, Adzhubey I, Cassa CA, de Bakker PI, Duzkale H, Dworzynski P, Fairbrother W, Francioli L, Funke BH, Giovanni MA, Handsaker RE, Lage K, Lebo MS, Lek M, Leshchiner I, MacArthur DG, McLaughlin HM, Murray MF, Pers TH, Polak PP, Raychaudhuri S, Rehm HL, Soemedi R, Stitziel NO, Vestecka S, Supper J, Gugenmus C, Klocke B, Hahn A, Schubach M, Menzel M, Biskup S, Freisinger P, Deng M, Braun M, Perner S, Smith RJ, Andorf JL, Huang J, Ryckman K, Sheffield VC, Stone EM, Bair T, Black-Ziegelbein EA, Braun TA, Darbro B, DeLuca AP, Kolbe DL, Scheetz TE, Shearer AE, Sompallae R, Wang K, Bassuk AG, Edens E, Mathews K, Moore SA, Shchelochkov OA, Trapane P, Bossler A, Campbell CA, Heusel JW, Kwitek A, Maga T, Panzer K, Wassink T, Van Daele D, Azaiez H, Booth K, Meyer N, Segal MM, Williams MS, Tromp G, White P, Corsmeier D, Fitzgerald-Butt S, Herman G, Lamb-Thrush D, McBride KL, Newsom D, Pierson CR, Rakowsky AT, Maver A, Lovrecic L, Palandacic A, Peterlin B, Torkamani A, Wedell A, Huss M, Alexeyenko A, Lindvall JM, Magnusson M, Nilsson D, Stranneheim H, Taylan F, Gilissen C, Hoischen A, van Bon B, Yntema H, Nelen M, Zhang W, Sager J, Zhang L, Blair K, Kural D, Cariaso M, Lennon GG, Javed A, Agrawal S, Ng PC, Sandhu KS, Krishna S, Veeramachaneni V, Isakov O, Halperin E, Friedman E, Shomron N, Glusman G, Roach JC, Caballero J, Cox HC, Mauldin D, Ament SA, Rowen L, Richards DR, San Lucas FA, Gonzalez-Garay ML, Caskey CT, Bai Y, Huang Y, Fang F, Zhang Y, Wang Z, Barrera J, Garcia-Lobo JM, González-Lamuño D, Llorca J, Rodriguez MC, Varela I, Reese MG, De La Vega FM, Kiruluta E, Cargill M, Hart RK, Sorenson JM, Lyon GJ, Stevenson DA, Bray BE, Moore BM, Eilbeck K, Yandell M, Zhao H, Hou L, Chen X, Yan X, Chen M, Li C, Yang C, Gunel M, Li P, Kong Y, Alexander AC, Albertyn ZI, Boycott KM, Bulman DE, Gordon PM, Innes AM, Knoppers BM, Majewski J, Marshall CR, Parboosingh JS, Sawyer SL, Samuels ME, Schwartzentruber J, Kohane IS, Margulies DM. An international effort towards developing standards for best practices in analysis, interpretation and reporting of clinical genome sequencing results in the CLARITY Challenge. Genome Biol. 2014 Mar 25; 15(3):R53.
  20. Brownstein CA, Margulies DM, Manzi SF. Misinterpretation of TPMT by a DTC genetic testing company. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Jun; 95(6):598-600.
  21. Gupta VA, Ravenscroft G, Shaheen R, Todd EJ, Swanson LC, Shiina M, Ogata K, Hsu C, Clarke NF, Darras BT, Farrar MA, Hashem A, Manton ND, Muntoni F, North KN, Sandaradura SA, Nishino I, Hayashi YK, Sewry CA, Thompson EM, Yau KS, Brownstein CA, Yu TW, Allcock RJ, Davis MR, Wallgren-Pettersson C, Matsumoto N, Alkuraya FS, Laing NG, Beggs AH. Identification of KLHL41 Mutations Implicates BTB-Kelch-Mediated Ubiquitination as an Alternate Pathway to Myofibrillar Disruption in Nemaline Myopathy. Am J Hum Genet. 2013 Dec 05; 93(6):1108-17.
  22. Brownstein CA, Towne MC, Luquette LJ, Harris DJ, Marinakis NS, Meinecke P, Kutsche K, Campeau PM, Yu TW, Margulies DM, Agrawal PB, Beggs AH. Mutation of KCNJ8 in a patient with Cantú syndrome with unique vascular abnormalities - support for the role of K(ATP) channels in this condition. Eur J Med Genet. 2013 Dec; 56(12):678-82.
  23. Ravenscroft G, Miyatake S, Lehtokari VL, Todd EJ, Vornanen P, Yau KS, Hayashi YK, Miyake N, Tsurusaki Y, Doi H, Saitsu H, Osaka H, Yamashita S, Ohya T, Sakamoto Y, Koshimizu E, Imamura S, Yamashita M, Ogata K, Shiina M, Bryson-Richardson RJ, Vaz R, Ceyhan O, Brownstein CA, Swanson LC, Monnot S, Romero NB, Amthor H, Kresoje N, Sivadorai P, Kiraly-Borri C, Haliloglu G, Talim B, Orhan D, Kale G, Charles AK, Fabian VA, Davis MR, Lammens M, Sewry CA, Manzur A, Muntoni F, Clarke NF, North KN, Bertini E, Nevo Y, Willichowski E, Silberg IE, Topaloglu H, Beggs AH, Allcock RJ, Nishino I, Wallgren-Pettersson C, Matsumoto N, Laing NG. Mutations in KLHL40 are a frequent cause of severe autosomal-recessive nemaline myopathy. Am J Hum Genet. 2013 Jul 11; 93(1):6-18.
  24. Fusaro VA, Brownstein C, Wolf W, Clinton C, Savage S, Mandl KD, Margulies D, Manzi S. Development of a scalable pharmacogenomic clinical decision support service. AMIA Jt Summits Transl Sci Proc. 2013; 2013:60.
  25. Wicks P, Keininger DL, Massagli MP, de la Loge C, Brownstein C, Isojärvi J, Heywood J. Perceived benefits of sharing health data between people with epilepsy on an online platform. Epilepsy Behav. 2012 Jan; 23(1):16-23.
  26. Pearson JF, Brownstein CA, Brownstein JS. Potential for electronic health records and online social networking to redefine medical research. Clin Chem. 2011 Feb; 57(2):196-204.
  27. Brownstein CA, Wicks P. The potential research impact of patient reported outcomes on osteogenesis imperfecta. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2010 Oct; 468(10):2581-5.
  28. Turner MR, Wicks P, Brownstein CA, Massagli MP, Toronjo M, Talbot K, Al-Chalabi A. Concordance between site of onset and limb dominance in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2011 Aug; 82(8):853-4.
  29. Wicks P, Massagli M, Frost J, Brownstein C, Okun S, Vaughan T, Bradley R, Heywood J. Sharing health data for better outcomes on PatientsLikeMe. J Med Internet Res. 2010 Jun 14; 12(2):e19.
  30. Brownstein CA, Zhang J, Stillman A, Ellis B, Troiano N, Adams DJ, Gundberg CM, Lifton RP, Carpenter TO. Increased bone volume and correction of HYP mouse hypophosphatemia in the Klotho/HYP mouse. Endocrinology. 2010 Feb; 151(2):492-501.
  31. Brownstein CA, Brownstein JS, Williams DS, Wicks P, Heywood JA. The power of social networking in medicine. Nat Biotechnol. 2009 Oct; 27(10):888-90.
  32. Brownstein CA, Adler F, Nelson-Williams C, Iijima J, Li P, Imura A, Nabeshima Y, Reyes-Mugica M, Carpenter TO, Lifton RP. A translocation causing increased alpha-klotho level results in hypophosphatemic rickets and hyperparathyroidism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 04; 105(9):3455-60.
  33. Brownstein CA, Brownstein JS. Estimating excess mortality in post-invasion Iraq. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jan 31; 358(5):445-7.
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The Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research

Founded in 2008, the Manton Center is the first center in the world solely devoted to the study of rare diseases. Senior scientists in residence specialize in a wide range of areas including metabolic, neuromuscular, neurologic and immune disorders. The Center also awards fellowships and research grants to help launch the careers of rare disease specialists, and to facilitate the discovery and development of more effective therapies for rare diseases.


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