Workshops Look at Genomic and Proteomic Work Being Done at Keck Lab

The cutting-edge genomic and proteomic technologies available through the Keck Biotechnology Resource Laboratory and their positive impact on research at Yale University will be the focus of the next two Dean’s Workshops at the School of Medicine.

The Keck Lab was founded to bring a wide range of state-of-the-art genomic and proteomic biotechnologies within reach of hundreds of Yale and non-Yale investigators whose research programs would otherwise not benefit from the highly sophisticated and expensive instrumentation upon which biological research is increasingly dependent.

The lab is comprised of four genomic, six proteomic and three supporting resources (Bioinformatics, Biostatistics and High Performance Computing). It has 50 full-time staff members and more than 100 major instrument systems, purchased at a cost of more than $17 million - making it one of the largest academic biotechnology laboratories of its kind.

Over the past 28 years, the Keck Lab has made many contributions to biological and biomedical research at Yale. It has brought in considerable grant and contract support (including three prestigious National Institutes of Health Centers). It has helped to establish two institutional databases, one for genomics and the other for proteomics data. It offers more than 260,000 services and provides almost 5 million CPU-hours of high-performance computing annually. In 2007 alone, these services were carried out for almost 900 principal investigators.

The first Dean’s Workshop, “Unlocking the Genome to Personalize Medicine: New Frontiers in Genomic Technologies at the Keck Laboratory” will take place on Friday, Sept. 12, at 1 p.m. in The Anlyan Center auditorium, 300 Cedar St. The event is open to the Yale community.

The event will examine how recent inventions of new genomic technologies, such as microarrays and high-throughput DNA sequencing, are driving new discoveries in biomedical research and reshaping scientists’ understanding of how the human genome functions. The ultimate goal of genomic technologies is personalized medicine - using information about a person’s genetic makeup to tailor strategies for the detection, treatment or prevention of disease.

Featured speakers at the workshop will be: Dr. Richard P. Lifton, chair and Sterling Professor of Genetics, who will discuss current genomic technologies; Shrikant Mane, director of the Keck Microarray Resource, who will provide an overview of currently available genomic technologies and their applications in biomedical research, including next-generation platforms offered by the lab; Dr. Allen Bale, professor of genetics, who will speak about a clinical trial for skin cancer prevention using global gene expression as an endpoint; Dr. Murat Gunel, professor of neurosurgery, who will explore the advantages of using the Illumina BeadArray SNP genotyping technology to identify the susceptibility loci for intracranial aneurysms; and James Noonan, assistant professor of genetics, who will speak about the use of Genome Analyzer to profile gene expression in the developing cortex.

At the conclusion of the symposium, attendees will be invited to tour the Keck Genomic facilities located at 300 George St.

The second Dean’s Workshop, “Proteomics: Discovery to Validation; Mass Spectrometry-Based Tools in Biomedical Research,” will take place on Friday, Oct. 17, at 1 p.m. also in The Anlyan Center auditorium.

The work above was funded, fully or in part, by the Yale Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.

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