Yale Establishes New Center for Genomics and Proteomics

Yale University has announced an investment of over $200 million for the Yale Center for Genomics and Proteomics, a new initiative in these rapidly developing areas of scientific research.

The initiative represents part of Yale’s previously announced $1 billion expenditure for science and engineering facilities, along with additional investments for programmatic expansion.

The Center will be devoted to determining the function of the genes and proteins encoded by different organisms-how they are regulated, and how they work together to mediate complex biological processes. Such information will help researchers understand basic biological processes, the diversity of life and its origins, and will eventually help scientists better diagnose and treat diseases.

“This initiative will advance scientific knowledge and further collaborative work in the biological and biomedical sciences at Yale,” said Richard C. Levin, President of Yale. “The University’s original $1 billion commitment to science and engineering facilities will be further advanced with this new program, which will bring together scientists across the University to apply new technologies to the exploration of basic questions in biology and disease processes.”

The money will support a “center without walls,” which will include new facilities and renovation of existing facilities for research in genomics and proteomics. In addition, the University anticipates investing over $23 million for faculty recruitment and development of programs in these areas over the next three to five years. Yale scientists currently attract over $16 million per year in external funding for genomics-related research. In the course of the new genomics initiative, this support is expected to grow significantly.

With the completion of the full DNA sequence for humans and a number of other organisms, Yale’s new initiative will focus on analyzing the complete genetic program of an organism (genome), and the entire set of proteins encoded by an organism (proteome).

“This is an exciting opportunity to be able to catalog and study all the genes,” said the new center’s director, Michael Snyder, professor and chair of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale. “In addition to research, the center will be used for teaching and to amplify our interactions and partnerships with industry.”

Yale’s Dean of the Graduate School and William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology, Susan Hockfield said, “We’ve designed a structure that provides access to state-of-the-art technology to scientists all over our campus, and that will encourage collaboration in research and teaching. As the research interests of more and more of our faculty bring them into these new areas, we want them to have ready access to the best expertise and the latest technology. Our aim is to create a center without walls.”

The Center’s primary goals are to develop cutting-edge technologies for the analysis of entire genomes and proteomes; pioneer the generation of knowledge about genomes and proteomes and apply this knowledge for the improvement of human health; maximize opportunities for communication and collaboration among the many departments and subfields at Yale engaged in research in genomics and proteomics, and between Yale scientists and their colleagues at peer institutions; develop a teaching and training program that meets the future needs of the field, including sessions and hands-on workshops; and build relations with corporate partners and industrial research laboratories to facilitate technology development.

“The School of Medicine is excited to be a part of this collaborative effort,” said Yale School of Medicine Dean David Kessler, M.D. “The marriage of basic science and medicine will produce cutting-edge results.”

To accomplish the Center’s many goals, Yale will build new core facilities and equip them with state-of-the art equipment and methodologies. “We will pursue projects that significantly advance our knowledge in the areas of structural genomics, comparative genomics, pharmacogenomics, chemical genomics, bioinformatics, computational biology and proteomics,” said Snyder. “These projects will span a wide variety of organisms, including humans, mice, plants, flies, worms and yeast. The core facilities and programs will also serve as focal points for developing collaborative projects among investigators at Yale and other institutions.”

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Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326