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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 03/07/02
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Open House for Center for Genome Information

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.

"I 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.

The 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.

The core 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 Croatia.

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