MSU Visiting Professor Comes to DDC Clinic

September 12, 2023

DDC Clinic welcomed Michigan State University professor Dr. André Bachmann who joined the clinic’s team in July for a six-month research stint. Currently on sabbatical from the university, Dr. Bachmann is working closely with Dr. Wang, Dr. Cruz and Dr. Xin.

“Working at DDC Clinic has been a very inspirational and fulfilling experience in many ways,” said Dr. Bachmann. “Dr. Wang, Dr. Cruz and Dr. Xin have been exceptional colleagues. I love how we can bounce ideas back and forth daily, leading to new scientific discoveries and meaningful translational research in real-time.”

A tenured Full Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics at Michigan State University, Dr. Bachmann is also the Scientific Director and co-founder of the International Center for Polyamine Disorders in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He completed his MS in Microbiology, PhD in Biology and post-doctoral training at the University of Zurich in Switzerland.

For most of his career, Dr. Bachmann’s research focused primarily on ODC/polyamines and drug development in oncology. He entered the field of genetics through his work with Dr. Caleb Bupp. Together, they’re credited with discovering a new ODC1 gene-linked neurodevelopmental disorder, now known as Bachmann-Bupp Syndrome (BABS).

In 2019, they treated the first BABS patient with DFMO, a drug typically used in treating tropical diseases such as West African sleeping sickness and more recently pediatric cancers. Dr. Bachmann’s hope is to repurpose already approved drugs for new genetic conditions.

Dr. Bachmann first learned about DDC Clinic and its work in the Amish community through a virtual meeting with Dr. Cruz. Although he came to the clinic to participate in research, Dr. Bachmann is also interested in the Amish culture, having grown up in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

Being at DDC Clinic has provided Dr. Bachmann with a unique opportunity to gain insights into the Amish community, acquire additional experience in the field of genetics, and make lasting connections with the clinic’s doctors and staff.

“Working with my DDC colleagues has enabled me to delve deeper into the molecular world of rare genetic disorders more commonly diagnosed in the Amish community, and to seek potential new treatments,” said Dr. Bachmann, whose six-month term will end in December 2023.

Speaking of the team at DDC Clinic, he said, “It has been a true blessing and privilege to be working closely with executive director Eli Miller and the fabulous staff. You can sense that every single person on the DDC team loves their job, is dedicated to making a difference, and deeply cares for this special community.”