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Berkeley Cancer Genome Center to study tumor genomics

BERKELEY, CA -- The newly established Berkeley Cancer Genome Center, led by members of the Life Sciences Division in the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is one of seven Cancer Genome Characterization Centers to receive awards from the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute. Earlier today the two institutes, both part of the National Institutes of Health, announced a three-year, $35 million project which will seek to identify important genetic changes involved in lung, brain, and ovarian cancers through genome analysis.

The Berkeley Cancer Genome Center is a collaboration between Berkeley Lab, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of California at San Francisco. The center's director is Joe W. Gray, who is the director of the Life Sciences Division and Berkeley Lab's Associate Laboratory Director for Life and Environmental Sciences. Computational biologist Paul Spellman of the Life Sciences Division is codirector.

"The Berkeley Cancer Genome Center will be focused on identifying changes to the populations of messenger RNA that occur in cancer," says Spellman. Such changes are indicative of different kinds of proteins produced by the altered genomes of tumor cells.

Spellman says, "The Center will use the Affymetric Exon 1.0 array platform to measure exon-specific expression" -- exons are the coding sequences in a gene -- "of at least 1,000 samples per year, and will use computational tools to identify those whose behavior suggests they might play a role in cancer."

In addition to Gray and Spellman, Berkeley Cancer Genome Center investigators include John Conboy of Berkeley Lab's Life Sciences Division, Jane Fridyland of UC San Francisco's Comprehensive Cancer Center, John Ngai of UC Berkeley's Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, and Terry Speed of UCB's Department of Statistics.

Other institutions receiving Cancer Genome C
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Contact: Paul Preuss
paul_preuss@lbl.gov
510-486-6249
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
16-Oct-2006


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