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Featured Research

Cell and Organism-Based Disease Models

Members of the GGD cluster are using cell and organism-based models to investigate the molecular and genetic causes for several diseases. The proximity of basic and clinical research and the availability of state of the art infrastructure (e.g. imaging, genomics and transgenic core facilities) support this effort. Diseases under investigation include:

  • Cancer
  • Neurological diseases
  • Bone diseases
  • Heart diseases
  • Metabolic diseases

Cellular Signaling Networks

Biological signals that are transduced by complex regulatory networks control essentially all functions of the organism. Understanding the molecular nature of these networks, the mechanisms by which they influence biological processes and the ways in which malfunctioning signal transduction can cause disease is a priority of our research. Particular areas of interest include:

  • Cell growth control
  • Signal transduction
  • Cell differentiation

Stem Cell Biology

Stem cells offer new insights into principles of cell differentiation, organogenesis and regeneration. Stem cell-based therapies may provide innovative cures for a range of diseases. The GGD cluster membership includes a number of internationally recognized experts in the fields of:

  • Cancer stem cells
  • Stem cell-based therapies
  • Issue-specific stem cells

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

The large-scale approaches of genomics proteomics etc. produce unprecedented amounts of biological information. To be useful these data need to be integrated into virtual models that describe biological processes and then to be aligned with experimental data. Such systems approaches in which theoretical modeling and experimental validation are paired ultimately aim at a holistic understanding of complex processes, such as cell growth, transformation, or development. A priority of graduate education in the GGD cluster is to provide the computational as well as experimental expertise that is required for such systems level analyses. The newly founded Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at U of R will expand this type of research significantly over the next few years. Topics that are currently studied with systems approaches are:

  • Gene networks
  • Tumor gene cooperation

Developmental Biology

Research on a number of model organisms is conducted by our research groups. Genetics, genomics and cell biology are used to explore mechanisms of development and organism function. Organisms that are studied include:

  • Mouse
  • Drosophila
  • C. elegans
  • Yeast