In honor of the July 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), LMA’s Minnesota Local Group is highlighting a local firm that is passionate about advocating for persons with disabilities. Read more to learn about a scientific research grant funded by Pritzker Hageman lawyers to support novel research of the gut microbiome in individuals with Angelman Syndrome. Written by LMA Member and LMA Minnesota Vice Chair, Lauren McNee.
Pritzker Hageman Lawyers Announce Scientific Research Grant to Support Gut Microbiome Research in Individuals with Angelman Syndrome
Fred and Renee Pritzker, who founded Pritzker Hageman law firm, are passionate advocates for disability rights. Their son Jacob was born with a rare neuro-genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome (AS). In honor of their son, the Pritzkers have provided key funding for scientific research that will improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities.
The Pritzkers have played a significant role in nurturing and funding an increase in scientific research related to helping individuals living with AS, including underwriting one of the first AS clinics at Massachusetts General Hospital. In conjunction with the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, the Pritzkers are proud to announce a scientific research grant, whose first recipient is from Purdue University, to support novel research of the gut microbiome in individuals with AS.
The gut microbiome is located in a pocket of the large intestine called the cecum. It is comprised of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms. Regarding the bacterial composition of the gut microbiome, there are hundreds of bacterial species encoding nearly 2 million genes. The total number of bacteria comprising the gut microbiome is staggeringly large: several trillion. Indeed, there are more bacteria in your body than human cells.
The role of the gut microbiome in causing illness in humans is incredibly complex. Trying to understand that role in the context of a particular disorder like Angelman Syndrome is harder still. GI symptoms in people with AS may also result from the abnormal morphology of nerve cells in the gut (approximately 100 million nerve cells line the human gut). At present, no data exists regarding whether abnormalities in brain cells known to exist in AS are also present in gut nerve cells and, if so, how or whether those abnormalities contribute to GI symptoms.
The Pritzkers are also committed to funding research to identify morphological changes in gut nerve cells.
Fred Pritzker says, “Making sure my son Jacob’s life and the lives of other people with disabilities are safe, happy, and fulfilling is my passion. It affects everything I do, including how I practice law and the way in which I relate to my clients, many of whom are struggling with their own injuries and disabilities.”
Pritzker Hageman, P.A. is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm representing clients in cases involving fires and explosions, food poisoning, Legionnaires’ disease, motor vehicle accidents, defective medical products, and wrongful death. An important part of Pritzker Hageman’s practice includes representing persons with disabilities and their families in personal injury matters.