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Molecular and Human Genetics

Houston, Texas

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
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Christine M. Eng, M.D.

Christine M. Eng, M.D.

Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics

Other Positions

Senior Director, BCM Medical Genetics Laboratories
Medical Director, Whole Genome Laboratory, BCM Medical Genetics Laboratories
Director, DNA Diagnostic Laboratory, BCM Medical Genetics Laboratories
Director, Storage Disorders Clinic


B.A., Yale College, Yale University
M.D., Tulane University School of Medicine

Board Certifications

American Board of Medical Genetics: Clinical Molecular Genetics

Research Interests

My research interests are directed towards translational medicine, specifically the application of molecular genetics to the diagnosis and treatment of genetic diseases. Recently, my efforts have been focused on laboratory and clinical aspects of genetic testing and clinical research in lysosomal storage diseases.

My main area of interest is the development, implementation, and evaluation of novel molecular approaches to the diagnosis of genetic disorders. As Senior Director of the Medical Genetics Laboratories and Medical Director of the Whole Genome Laboratory, our primary mission is to provide state-of-the-art genetic testing for common and rare conditions in a CAP and CLIA-certified clinical laboratory. To this end, we are very active in development of new disease tests and testing strategies, refinement of testing methods for improved sensitivity and specificity, and extension of these activities beyond the usual scope of a molecular diagnostic lab. In collaboration with the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor, we have recently developed, validated, and implemented whole exome sequencing as a clinical diagnostic test for individuals with apparent genetic disorders that have been a challenge to diagnose. The whole exome sequencing test is a highly complex test that identifies changes in a patient's DNA that are causative or related to their medical concerns. In contrast to current sequencing tests that analyze one gene or small groups of related genes at a time, the whole exome sequencing test analyzes the exons or coding regions of thousands of genes simultaneously using next-generation sequencing techniques. Identification of the underlying diagnosis can improve medical management and offer information to the family regarding prognosis. Another area of development in the area of personalized medicine is based on determining an individual's genomic profile. We recently developed and validated a highly multiplexed, beadchip assay that is designed to detect single nucleotide changes in disease genes and genetic loci that are causative or predictive of specific single gene disorders, increase the risk of developing certain common multifactorial conditions such as diabetes, or are associated the altered metabolism and response to certain drugs. In addition to the development of tests for clinical application, we also have an active interest in determining molecular mechanisms for novel mutations detected through routine testing as well as identifying potential novel disease genes.

My major clinical research interest is in lysosomal storage diseases, particularly Fabry disease, Gaucher disease, and Mucopolysaccharidosis type 2, with emphasis on both clinical and laboratory approaches to the elucidation of the natural history, molecular genetics, and evaluation of treatments in clinical trials. Previous accomplishments in my laboratory include the further characterization of the natural history of the classical and cardiac variant forms of the disease, study of genotype-phenotype correlations, and development of rapid mutation assays for prenatal diagnosis and identification of carrier females. Currently, my efforts have been directed toward the evaluation in clinical trials of novel treatment approaches for Fabry disease, Gaucher disease, and other lysosomal storage disorders in the form of recombinant enzyme replacement therapy and chaperone therapy.

Selected Publications

  1. Yang Y, Muzny DM, Reid JG, Bainbridge MN, Willis A, Ward PA, Braxton A, Beuten J, Xia F, Niu Z, Hardison M, Person R, Bekheirnia MR, Leduc MS, Kirby A, Pham P, Scull J, Wang M, Ding Y, Plon SE, Lupski JR, Beaudet AL, Gibbs RA, Eng CM (2013). Clinical Whole-Exome Sequencing for the Diagnosis of Mendelian Disorders. N. Engl. J. Med. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24088041
  2. Berryer MH, Hamdan FF, Klitten LL, Møller RS, Carmant L, Schwartzentruber J, Patry L, Dobrzeniecka S, Rochefort D, Neugnot-Cerioli M, Lacaille JC, Niu Z, Eng CM, Yang Y, Palardy S, Belhumeur C, Rouleau GA, Tommerup N, Immken L, Beauchamp MH, Patel GS, Majewski J, Tarnopolsky MA, Scheffzek K, Hjalgrim H, Michaud JL, Di Cristo G (2013). Mutations in SYNGAP1 cause intellectual disability, autism, and a specific form of epilepsy by inducing haploinsufficiency. Hum. Mutat. 34(2): 385-94. PubMed PMID: 23161826
  3. Wapner RJ, Martin CL, Levy B, Ballif BC, Eng CM, Zachary JM, Savage M, Platt LD, Saltzman D, Grobman WA, Klugman S, Scholl T, Simpson JL, McCall K, Aggarwal VS, Bunke B, Nahum O, Patel A, Lamb AN, Thom EA, Beaudet AL, Ledbetter DH, Shaffer LG, Jackson L (2012). Chromosomal microarray versus karyotyping for prenatal diagnosis. N. Engl. J. Med. 367(23): 2175-84. PubMed PMID: 23215555
  4. Darilek S, Ward P, Pursley A, Plunkett K, Furman P, Magoulas P, Patel A, Cheung SW, Eng CM (2008). Pre- and postnatal genetic testing by array-comparative genomic hybridization: genetic counseling perspectives. Genet. Med. 10(1): 13-8. PubMed PMID: 18197052
  5. Sahoo T, Cheung SW, Ward P, Darilek S, Patel A, del Gaudio D, Kang SH, Lalani SR, Li J, McAdoo S, Burke A, Shaw CA, Stankiewicz P, Chinault AC, Van den Veyver IB, Roa BB, Beaudet AL, Eng CM (2006). Prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities using array-based comparative genomic hybridization. Genet. Med. 8(11): 719-27. PubMed PMID: 17108764
  6. Eng CM, Germain DP, Banikazemi M, Warnock DG, Wanner C, Hopkin RJ, Bultas J, Lee P, Sims K, Brodie SE, Pastores GM, Strotmann JM, Wilcox WR (2006). Fabry disease: guidelines for the evaluation and management of multi-organ system involvement. Genet. Med. 8(9): 539-48. PubMed PMID: 16980809
  7. Eng CM, Guffon N, Wilcox W, Germain D, Lee P, Waldek S, Caplan L, Linthorst GE, Desnick RJ (2001). Safety and efficacy of recombinant human alpha-galactosidase A replacement therapy in Fabry's disease. N. Engl. J. Med. 345(1): 9-16. PubMed PMID: 11439963
  8. Eng CM, Banikazemi M, Gordon R, Goldman M, Phelps R, Kim L, Gass A, Winston J, Dikman S, Brodie S, Mehta D, Desnick RJ (2001). A phase 1/2 clinical trial of enzyme replacement in Fabry disease: Safety, pharmacokinetics, and substrate clearance studies. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 68(3): 711-22. PubMed PMID: 11179018

Contact Information

Christine M. Eng, M.D.
Director, DNA Diagnostic Laboratory
Medical Genetics Laboratories
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza, MS NAB 2015
Houston, TX, 77030, U.S.A.

Phone: 713-798-6555
Fax: 713-798-6584

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