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Genome Sciences Institute

Genome Sciences Institute

Fostering excellence and interdisciplinary collaborations in research and training in the Genome Sciences.


Understanding the function and evolution of genomes, how they interact with each other and the environment and the consequences for health and fitness, requires a combination of new high throughput experimental techniques and innovative approaches to handling, analysing and integrating the massive data these techniques produce. Insight and understanding in this 21st century enterprise are quintessentially interdisciplinary.  

The Institute, cutting across departments and colleges at Penn State, brings together people with a range of expertise and scientific perspectives.  Centers of excellence and projects within the Institute belong to four broad thematic areas:

  •  Algorithms, computational tools and bioinformatics

  • Statistics and machine learning for high throughput data analysis and integration

  • Functional, evolutionary and ecological genomics

  • Translation and biomedical applications


Recent publications
In vivo observations of a fluorescent protein may spark development of novel cancer treatments Using a technique known as Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC), Zhi-Chun Lai and his lab have directly visualized the activation of the Hippo (Hpo) tumor-suppressor pathway in living cells.
Hepatitis C treatment's side effects can now be studied in the lab A research team led by Craig Cameron has developed a means of replicating and observing in Petri dishes and test tubes the adverse side effects of certain hepatitis C medications.
Early-Earth cells are modeled to show how the first life forms might have packaged RNA Phil Bevilacqua and his colleagues have developed a chemical model that mimics a possible step in the formation of cellular life on Earth four billion years ago.
The Rolls Lab discovers a new neuron repair pathway that could one day help people suffering from nerve damage. Existence of new neuron repair pathway discovered - Full article
A new suite of tools in the Millennium Science Complex is helping scientists experience data like never before. Health researchers build bridges with Penn State’s new visualization wall - Full article
Two teams – one of them led by Huck Institutes researcher Manuel Llinás – have independently discovered that a single regulatory protein acts as the master genetic switch that triggers the development of male and female sexual forms (termed gametocytes) of the malaria parasite, solving a long-standing mystery in parasite biology with important implications for human health. A key regulatory protein is discovered to be essential for malaria parasite transmission to mosquitos - Full article