Genetics and Genomics
The Theme extends from gene discovery to its exploitation in cell biology and the development of new predictive, preventative and therapeutic approaches, including gene and cell-based therapies. The goal of the Genetics and Genomics Strategic Theme is to effectively link genetics and genomics to every medical speciality within the College.
Further to this, targeted care and prescription of innovative medicines in this post-genome era is now a realistic goal in many disciplines. This will be aided by the newly-established Genome Centre at our Hammersmith Campus.
Current Genetics and Genomics research areas include identification of monogenic and polygenic disease genes, characterisation of gene function and studies into the molecular mechanisms of disease.
In clinical practice, DNA-based diagnosis and risk protection (for example in ante-natal counselling), microarray-based diagnosis (for example in B-cell lymphoma diagnosis) and personalised medicine development are all made possible by the cross-cutting nature of the Genetics and Genomics Strategic Theme.
A two-colour microarray experiment, showing how gene expression can be altered by a disease such as cancer (by kind permission of Laurence Game and Tim Aitman).
State-of-the-art genotyping facilities available at the Imperial College Genome Centre. The image at the top shows the Samsung Nanospotter, used to load samples onto a Sequenom SpectroChip prior to reading in the Autoflex Maldi-TOF mass spectrometer (shown below), which is used to allow downstream software to determine SNP genotypes.