Biology Professor and Student Researchers Participate in Down Syndrome "Buddy Walk"

Release Date: 
Oct 9 2008

(October 9, 2008) On October 11, 2008, at White River State Park, thousands of people participated in the "Buddy Walk," a Down Syndrome Indiana event to raise awareness and support for individuals with Down syndrome. Down syndrome, or Trisomy 21, affects more than 350,000 individuals in the U.S. and occurs in one in every 733 births. It is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21 that alters development and results in the characteristic features associated with Down syndrome.

Randall J. Roper, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, leads a research team that is working to better understand Down syndrome. This dedicated team of IUPUI undergraduate and graduate students investigates how genes in three copies of chromosome 21 alters development and leads to specific Down syndrome traits.

These researchers collaborate with other scientists, in Indiana and across the country, who share their passion to better understand Trisomy 21. Ultimately, they hope their research will lead to therapies that will help individuals with Down syndrome to have more productive lives with fewer physical complications. Because these scientists realize that Down syndrome has a profound impact on many lives and families, Roper and his student researchers formed a "Buddy Walk" team--"Roper's 3 Mouseketeers"--and participated in the walk that raised more than $125,000 for Down Syndrome Indiana.