Jackson supporter Glenn Close is first publicly named female to have DNA sequenced

Date: March 16, 2010
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Award-winning actress Glenn Close, a supporter of The Jackson Laboratory, had her DNA completely sequenced, making her the first publicly named female to do so. Illumina, Inc., of San Diego conducted the sequencing using their Genome Analyzer technology.

Ms. Close and her husband, David Shaw--a life trustee of The Jackson Laboratory and former chairman of its board of trustees--are active advocates for the nonprofit research institution. In September 2008, they hosted a benefit gala in New York that raised more than $1.2 million for the Laboratory.

According to an Illumina press release:

Glenn Close joins a small group of individuals who have had their genomes sequenced. "There is bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in my family, illnesses that, like other medical conditions, are thought to have genetic underpinnings," said Ms. Close. "As human sequencing becomes increasingly routine, my hope is that researchers will unravel the genetic aspects of mental illnesses to bring greater awareness about the diseases, de-stigmatize them and pave the way for more effective treatments."

Glenn Close is a co-creator of a nonprofit organization called BringChange2Mind, which is raising awareness about mental illness and fighting the toxic stigma that surrounds it by empowering those living with mental illness and those whose loved ones suffer from it to speak out and connect. BC2M also provides support and information to the mentally ill and their families. She has spoken out about the legacy of mental illness in her own family.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif. Its mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human diseases, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community.

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Contact(s): Joyce Peterson, 207-288-6058

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Media Relations, Communications Office
The Jackson Laboratory
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Phone: 207-288-6058 (journalists only)
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Email: news@jax.org