Center for Medical Genomics
The mission of the Huck Institutes' Center for Medical Genomics (CMG) is to bring together researchers from diverse areas of scientific expertise to:
- Acquire and analyze data on patients’ genomes, particularly in conjunction with other data sources and basic genome biology concepts
- Facilitate translation of the resulting knowledge into medical practice
Integrating fundamental genome biology concepts with computational approaches underlies the emerging field of translational genomics.
About medical genomics
Medical genomics specifically deals with the acquisition and use of information concerning individual patient genomes for preventing, diagnosing, treating and curing diseases.
Utilizing genomics for personalized medicine requires extensive cross-disciplinary interactions, in order to:
- Apply computational and statistical approaches
- Comprehend basic science concepts (i.e. chromosome behavior, mutational dynamics and the epigenome)
- Understand medical principles and practices
For example, applying tumor sequencing information for personalized oncology requires a multidisciplinary tumor board of team members from genomics, bioinformatics, pathology, clinical genetics, bioethics and clinical oncology.
Since the Center's inception in 2008, its members have worked to coalesce interdisciplinary teams around two major areas of research:
- Mitochondrial genetics
- Chromosome stability
Currently, the Center includes researchers from eighteen laboratories (nine from Hershey and nine from University Park).
Our activities have built strong bridges between the University Park and Hershey campuses, and resulted in multiple interdisciplinary peer-reviewed publications and grant applications.
We have implemented regular monthly, cross-campus research meetings of members, and hosted annual retreats to increase the visibility of our group.
Our fifth annual retreat in March 2014 was highly successful, drawing 114 participants from 32 different departments, representing both Hershey and University Park campuses.
Moreover, our use of prior Center funding has advanced the medical genomics resources available to the university community.
Our activities have also resulted in the cross-training of several graduate students, whose research resulted in new computational programs that have been implemented in Galaxy.