New Columbia Genomic Center of Excellence aims to speed genetic targeting of medicines

WHAT: A journalist briefing on the new Columbia University Center of Excellence in Genomic Science, which was recently designated and funded at $11 million by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). The project is among the first to be funded by the NHGRI since the completion of the human genome project.

The new center will build on discoveries at Columbia University and Columbia University Health Sciences that have led to speedier processes of DNA sequencing. Center scientists hope to advance techniques that will increase the accuracy and dramatically reduce the cost of individual genome sequencing. The hope is that this more efficient process will lead to the ability to better identify genetic susceptibilities to disease and develop more effective, individualized genetically targeted treatments for a range of diseases. Neuronal diversity and plasticity will be a primary focus.

WHEN: Thursday, October 16, 2003, 12:00 1:00 p.m.

The briefing will take place during "Genes and Genomes: Impact on Medicine and Society," a far-ranging and unique symposium that brings together internationally known researchers across various disciplines to explore the answers genetic research is providing, as well the questions it is raising for the practice of medicine and for society. Journalists are welcome to attend the two-day symposium, which is part of Columbia University's 250th anniversary celebration.

WHO: Gerald D. Fischbach, MD, Executive Vice President and Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Columbia University Health Sciences
Eric Kandel, MD, University Professor at Columbia University and Winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Jiangyue Ju, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Head of DNA Sequencing & Chemical Biology, Columbia Genome Center
Conrad Gilliam, Ph.D., Professor of Genetics and Development and Director, Columbia Genome Center


Contact: Dennis Tartaglia
M Booth & Associates

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