Graduate Training

Research Track 2

Genomics and Proteomics in Disease and Therapy

Track Directors- Lauren Ball, Jen Isaacs and Steve Ethier

In the last decade, the tremendous progress of ‘omics’ research has enabled investigators to peer into the inner workings of the cell to understand what may go awry during disease. The fields of genomics and proteomics complement each other, and will be essential tools as we move into the era of personalized medicine. It is now possible to perform next generation sequencing (NGS) on single cells and identify gene mutations, polymorphisms, deletions, RNA splicing, and assess expression of microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs. The use of genomics approaches are invaluable in identifying alterations associated with disease states, as well as providing insight into variable responses to therapeutic regimens. Identification of genetic alterations can then be utilized in the clinic as biomarkers of the disease state, as well as tools for guiding personalized therapy.

Equally impressive, proteomic approaches reveal a multitude of post-translational events, such as phosphorylation, ubiquitination, or glycosylation, that impact upon protein function. It is now possible to construct signaling networks and to understand mechanistically what signaling ‘hubs’ have gone awry in disease. Proteomics also enables insight into the ability of pharmacological agents to trigger compensatory signaling mechanisms, thereby revealing mechanisms of drug resistance. A systems approach to proteomics is also useful for providing the rationale to evaluate the effects of combination therapies. In summary, genomics and proteomics approaches are being used to elucidate the underpinnings of disease, to spur the identification of novel drug targets, and to decipher the basis for differential therapeutic responses.

Research Training Opportunities

-       Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics

o   Lauren Ball, Rick Drake, Dan Knapp

-       Biomarker Discovery and MALDI Drug Imaging

o   Rick Drake

-       Epigenetics, Genetics and Cancer

o   Jen Isaacs, Scott Eblen, Steve Ethier

-       Genetics and Addiction

o   Joe Blumer

Elective Courses

-       PCOL (new) Translational Cancer ‘omics’ and the Path to Personalized Medicine

-       PCOL (new) Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics

-       PCOL (new) Fundamentals in Biochemistry

-       PCOL 725 Advanced Topics in Cell Signaling

-       PCOL 744 Pharmacology Cell Signaling Journal Club

-       PCOL 747 Topics in Cancer Research

Relevant Core Facilities

-       Mass Spectrometry facility/Proteomics Center

-       Genomics center

-       Proteogenomics core

-       shRNA Shared Technology Resource

-       Center for Biomedical Imaging

-       Biostatistics Shared Resource

External Faculty

-       Steve Ethier

-       Pat Woster

-       James Chou

-       David Turner

-       Victoria Findlay

-       Dennis Watson