Cincinnati--Ranajit Chakraborty, PhD, an internationally
distinguished geneticist, joined the University of Cincinnati Medical
Center Department of Environmental Health last fall and created the UC
Center for Genome Information (CGI). The mission of the CGI is to
establish a research program for understanding the genetic basis for
complex diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
diseases. Chakraborty serves as the director of the CGI, a core
facility of the Medical Center, and is the first Robert A. Kehoe Chair
of Environmental Health. He and his staff are holding an open house of
the CGI for the public and university community on Wednesday, March 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kettering Laboratory Building,
3235 Eden Avenue. The open house will consist of general information
sessions and laboratory tours every other hour beginning at 11 a.m.
am confident we have set up a national Center for Genome Information
here that will be one of the best in the country," Chakraborty said.
major theme of the research at the CGI is to identify risk factors for
complexdiseases, including environmental, life-style and genetic risk
factors with the ultimate goal of identifying genetic mutations that
may add to the susceptibility of these diseases.
At present CGI
consists of five faculty members and a research staff of 24 members,
conducting genotyping and DNA sequencing experiments, gene expression
analysis and comparative genomics studies with the use of gene
sequencers, robotic genotyping apparatus and microarray readers. A
state-of-the-art molecular laboratory and high-efficiency computer
facility are set up within the center for collection and analysis of
genetic materials from affected individuals.
In addition, CGI has
set up a computational biology laboratory that houses all current
software for analysis of genomic data with the purpose of mapping gene
discovery and comparative genomics. This laboratory is also setting up
a unique database for easy storage and retrieval of large-scale data
with built-in features of assuring data accuracy.
laboratories and databases housed at CGI are accessible to researchers
of the UC Medical Center and other departments and schools of UC and
Children's Hospital. CGI has also established formal research
collaborations with scientists of common interest in Japan, China and