Functional Genomics and Proteomics
Where traditional fields of biomolecular research have focused on individual genes, proteins or pathways, the "-omics" revolution is providing a panoramic & holistic view of the cell
MoGen research in the area of Functional Genomics and Proteomics uses technologically advanced methods to comprehensively understand how the information encoded in genes and proteins ultimately functions in an organism. We aim to systematically explore the basic cellular processes underpinning growth and development and identify changes that cause disease.
Genomics and proteomics are two of the newest biological disciplines, and research in these areas has been driven by the application of technology to biology. Two critical technologies driving these disciplines are DNA sequencing and mass spectrometry. New technologies for DNA sequencing were created as part of the global effort to sequence the human genome, completed in 2001. Since then, significant advances in DNA sequencing now make it possible to obtain the entire DNA sequence of any individual and determine all of the RNAs present in a cell. Mass spectrometry is a method for determining the quantity and identity of molecules and can measure molecules ranging from cholesterol and chemotherapy drugs to cellular proteins. Mass spectrometry has been particularly useful in characterizing which proteins are expressed in particular cells, and this information is a powerful complement to quantitative data from DNA and RNA sequencing. The results from these methods and other large-scale—often robotically-assisted—approaches are analyzed using increasingly sophisticated computational methods.
Our diverse labs form an innovative, interdisciplinary, and intensely collaborative community, and our pioneering work holds a leadership position in Canada and internationally. Faculty in this research field apply genomics and proteomics techniques to address topics as varied as the causes of cancer, the fundamental biochemical reactions of life, the evolution of pathogens, and the interactions between different proteins. We benefit greatly from interactions with the five other MoGen research fields, including Cellular and Molecular Structure and Function, Computational and Systems Biology, Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Genetic Models of Development and Disease, and Molecular Medicine and Human Genetics.