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WUWM: How one physician couple’s difficult pregnancy inspired a medical breakthrough

When Aoy Tomita-Mitchell, PhD, an investigator at the Children’s Wisconsin Research Institute, and her husband, Michael Mitchell, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon in the Herma Heart Institute, faced a difficult decision with their pregnancy, it inspired a medical innovation. This new innovation, the Harmony Prenatal Test, utilized cell-free DNA to detect chromosomal abnormalities — like Down syndrome — with a higher degree of accuracy than traditional diagnostic tests.

Since the creation of the Harmony, the Mitchells have gone on to use cell-free DNA to help heart transplant patients. Where children with heart transplants used to undergo multiple expensive and invasive biopsies a year to test for organ rejection, they can now get more accurate detection with a simple blood draw.

Interview aired on WUWM Radio (89.7 FM)