The Advanced Center for Translational and Genetic Medicine (ACT-GeM)

ACT-GeM: Advancing children's health, one genome at a time.

As Director, I invite you to use this website as a starting point for accessing information, tools and a wide range of information on our interdisciplinary projects. Our Center offers a unique, project-based atmosphere that is highly collaborative in a shared-resource setting. We work in neighborhoods where investigators from diverse scientific and medical disciplines can meet and collaborate to challenge and perpetuate each other’s science.

Our faculty and staff are accomplished, highly motivated creative scientists with interests in (but not limited to) understanding the architecture of human genetic disease; investigating the mechanisms underlying disease processes and pathomechanism; and the identification of novel therapeutic paradigms for inherited disorders in a unique, state-of-the art facility. 

Should you have any questions about our Center or our research, please feel free to directly contact me at nkatsanis@luriechildrens.org

Nico Katsanis, PhD
Director, ACT-GeM Laboratory,
Lead Principal Investigator, Human Molecular Genetics and Physiology,
Associate Chief Research Officer for Translational Research,
Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute

Professor of Pediatrics and Cell & Developmental Biology,
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


The Advanced Center for Translational and Genetic Medicine (ACT-GeM) was founded in 2019 to tackle research questions at the intersection of genetics, genomics, cell biology and clinical investigation. Our Center offers a unique, project-based atmosphere that is highly collaborative in a shared-resource setting. Focusing primarily on pediatric genetic disorders, our mission is to a) improve our knowledge of genetic variation that causes these disorders and modulates their severity; b) discover pathomechanisms at the cellular and biochemical level; and c) develop cutting-edge therapeutic modalities that will improve the health and well-being of our patients and their families. Our research themes focus on but are not limited to:

  1. Acceleration of gene discovery in proximal and global pediatric cohorts.
  2. Understanding the contextual effect of genetic variation to explain pleiotropy, variable expressivity, and epistasis.
  3. Development and application of experimentally tractable models to delineate underlying pathomechanism.
  4. Establishing in vitro and in vivo assays for human disease modeling that are suitable for medium and high throughout drug screening.
  5. Synthesis of clinical investigation and basic experimental biology to advance molecular diagnosis and identify suitable treatment.

Our international group of faculty and staff are accomplished, motivated, and creative scientists with diverse backgrounds and skillsets. ACT-GeM is uniquely positioned within the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to bridge the gap between basic discovery and implementation in a clinical setting. We are also affiliated with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, bringing to bear a wider network of expertise, as well as opportunities for scholarship.

If you are interested in learning more or joining the ACT-GeM team, please visit our contact page and send us a message. You can also visit our employment page to find out about job opportunities.