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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 07/21/00
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Celera Genomics Agreement Signed

Cincinnati--The University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation today signed an agreement with Celera Genomics in Rockville, Maryland to access Celera's databases of genomic information from the mouse, human and fruit fly. Celera is the company that headed the private effort to decode the human genome. A few weeks ago, scientists from Celera and from the publicly funded Human Genome Project announced they had successfully mapped the human genetic code.

The 3-year subscription agreement with Celera will provide UC researchers access to the Celera Discovery System, which includes a comprehensive set of bioinformatics systems and tools for viewing, browsing and analyzing genomic information.

"Access to Celera's focused databases by collaborating investigators of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation and the University of Cincinnati will represent a powerful complement to the outstanding work that is being done by the worldwide Human Genome Project," said Robert F. Highsmith, PhD, associate dean and director of research and graduate education, UC College of Medicine. "We anticipate that the Celera resources will allow us to gain insight into the genes responsible for diseases of children and adults."

"The Medical Center is committed to building our biotechnology capabilities," said Donald C. Harrison, MD, senior vice president and provost for health affairs at UC. "The announcement that scientists have substantially decoded the human genome places genetic research on a fast track to develop new approaches for preventing and treating many diseases. This is the frontier of where the entire field of life sciences is going, and we want University of Cincinnati to be on the front edge of the wave."

The subscription agreement gives UC researchers access to four databases developed by Celera. All four of Celera's databases include Celera proprietary information as well as publicly available data.

First, the Celera Human Gene Index contains the set of human genes derived from the EST (expressed sequence tags) programs. Second, Celera's Human Genome Database is expected to provide the complete sequence of the human genome and the entire collection of human genes with links to associated biological and disease information. Third, the Drosophila Genome Database provides the genome shotgun sequencing strategy. The Drosophila genome database is extensively annotated with gene, protein and biological information. Fourth, the Mouse Genome Database being generated by Celera should allow for comparative analysis with the human genome that may be especially significant for the identification of genes and gene regulatory regions of importance to understanding human biology.

University of Cincinnati is a nationally recognized leader in many areas of basic genetic research including cancer, cardiopulmonary, neurobehavioral medicine, and perinatal and early child development. UC researchers work across disciplines to discover the causes and potential cures for diseases such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, heart disease, neurological diseases, and cancer.

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