Recognizing the profound significance of recent advancements in gene studies, the University of California, Davis, has launched a new genomics initiative that will unite scientists from across the campus in better understanding the actions of genes in growth, health, disease and behavior.
The initiative includes some $20 million for faculty recruitment and lab start-up costs. In addition, the campus is in the process of developing a capital funding plan for construction of a major new Genome and Biomedical Sciences Building that would help launch the initiative.
"In recent years, new research tools and techniques that allow us to study an organism's entire genome -- the full DNA sequence of its genetic material -- have dramatically changed the study of biological systems," said Mark McNamee, dean of the Division of Biological Sciences. "These genomics studies will greatly advance our understanding of living systems. They have enormous implications for progress in human and veterinary health care, agriculture and environmental sciences."
The intellectual centerpiece of the initiative will be the dozens of faculty members engaged in many aspects of genomics research. About 25 of these faculty members will be recruited to fill both new positions created by growth and vacant positions created by resignations or retirements. The new recruits are expected to bring special strengths that are central to genomics studies -- an understanding of robotics and other high-volume technologies needed to study many genes and many proteins simultaneously. Other faculty already on campus have reoriented their research programs to embrace genomics approaches, McNamee said.
Some of the genomics faculty members will belong to the UC Davis Genome Center, the first new product of the initiative. Designed to establish the campus as an international leader in functional and comparative genomics, the center will include scientists specializing in gene studies from
Contact: Mark McNamee
University of California - Davis